South East Europe - Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia
During its formative years, CEP Albania survived political and societal instability. Despite these adversities, CEP Fellows in Albania continued to teach and to direct their energies toward procuring scholarships for Albanian students from the Soros Foundation, book donations from the Austrian and German governments to supply the library at the University of Elbasan, and cooperating with other CEP countries to maximize the effectiveness of the program. Even the challenge of the NATO bombings in Kosovo did not prevent CEP Albania students from attending the International Student Conference in Budapest in the spring of 1999.
The Civic Education Project launched its program in Albania during the 1993-94 academic year with one Visiting Faculty Fellow at Luigj Gurakuqi University in Shkodra. After one semester, this lecturer moved to the capital, Tirana, which became the focal point of CEP activities during the next two years. Under its present Country Director, Frank Dalton, CEP Albania has operated at the University of Tirana, Aleksandėr Xhuvani University in Elbasan, the Albanian Magistrates School, and Luigj Gurakugi University. In the 2000-01 academic year, CEP expanded to three new departments the newly created Department of Political Science, the Department of British and American Studies, and the Department of Journalism, all at the University of Tirana and is continuing to work closely with Aleksandėr Xhuvani University. Throughout the program in Albania, CEP is becoming more active in the teaching of academic writing.
For academic year 2000-01, CEP Albania is supporting one Visiting Faculty Fellow (VL) and three Local Faculty Fellows (ESs). Plans are already underway for the recruitment of several new Local Faculty Fellows from among the former CEP students who have begun studies at western universities and at the Central European University.
CEP ALBANIA CORE PROGRAM
At present CEP Fellows in Albania teach in the fields of law, history, political science, and cultural studies. In addition to their teaching, CEP Fellows in Albania are active in curriculum development, outreach activities, and in bringing an interdisciplinary approach to teaching at these universities.
At the history faculty of the University of Tirana, the support CEP grants to Local Faculty Fellows has been vital to their professional development. Students are able to learn about contemporary historical methods and scholarship almost entirely from Local Faculty Fellows and Local Faculty Fellow alumni. A CEP Local Faculty Fellow is a founding member of the Department of Political Science, allowing him to have significant influence on the development of that departments curriculum.
One Local Faculty Fellow alumna actively involved in setting up a distance learning laboratory at the University of Tirana. This effort is a step toward changing the current correspondence studies system, where students are granted diplomas after four years of studying without materials and without attending any courses.
Outreach Activities: National and Regional CEP projects
Every year, CEP Albania participates in the organization of the Balkan Debate Forum (see CEP Bulgaria for details on the 2000 event, and CEP Romania for information on the upcoming Forum, to be held in May of 2001).
CEP Albania also organized student advising workshops in Tirana during the 1999-2000 academic year. Future workshops will be held in cooperation with the American Embassy, outside Tirana. These will be primarily for students and faculty at universities where CEP currently does not have a program, and will focus on getting wider participation in scholarship competitions and in post-graduate education. At the moment, almost all students applying for such programs come from the University of Tirana or the University of Elbasan.
Over the last years, CEP Albania has initiated a translation workshop. This involves assisting lecturers and some advanced students, primarily at Aleksandėr Xhuvani University, in preparing high-quality translations of classic texts in the social sciences. During the 1999-2000 academic year, a translation of Max Webers Politik als Beruf was edited and we are looking for publishers. We also continued translations of Robert Nisbets The Sociological Tradition and Elias Canettis Masse und Macht. We have begun translating Émile Durkheims Suicide. The selection process is underway for further titles and translators for the 2000-01 academic year. A new aspect of the project will include translating foreign scholarly work written on Albania.
CEP Fellows also participate in many non-CEP projects. Country Director Frank Dalton is working with the Tirana District Albanian Language Teaching Inspectorate to develop courses on essay/paper writing skills for secondary school pupils and is a member of the Fulbright/Ron Brown Scholarship Commission. Visiting Faculty Fellow Bülent Bilmez is conducting a research project on Albanian Alewite Muslims. Local Faculty Fellow Bledar Islami is working at the Office of International Relations and is actively involved in developing a graduate program in European Studies. Local Faculty Fellow Argita Malltezi has worked on establishing a Law Review at the Albanian Magistrates School. Local Faculty Fellow Bernard Zeneli is developing a curriculum for academic writing and for academic English at the University of Tirana Faculty of Social Sciences.
Albania is located in the western part of the Balkan peninsula. It borders the former Yugoslavia (Serbia-Montenegro) and Kosovo in the north and the east, Macedonia in the east, and Greece in the south. It is on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas in the west. From the Strait of Otranto, Albania is less than 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Italy. The country covers a total of 28,000 square kilometers (11,000 square miles) and has a population of 3.3 million. Its capital is Tirana
Until 1991, Albania was a communist country. From after World War II until his death in 1986, the dictator Enver Hoxha ruled with an iron fist. In 1986 he was succeeded by Ramiz Alia. In 1990 and 1991, popular protests toppled the communist regime and the first democratic elections were held in 1991. In 1992, the second elections were held, in which the opposition (the Democratic Party under the leadership of Sali Berisha) won the majority of seats. After disputed elections in 1996, after which the Democratic Party continued to hold power, and the fall of pyramid investment schemes in early 1997, elections in June 1997 returned the Socialist Party to power. New parliamentary elections are to be held by June 2001.
Universities Hosting CEP Fellows
Among its partnerships, the most successful involves the Aleksandėr Xhuvani University, Elbasan Faculty of Foreign Languages, where, for several years, work has been ongoing at setting up German Studies and English and American Studies centers. As a result of CEPs work over the past years, German Studies has rapidly expanded its social science offerings from one general course in German history to three courses in German History, a general course on German cultural studies, a course on German politics and society, and a course on German philosophy. In addition, CEP has been advising the faculty on expanding its literature program (where instead of one course, the department now offers three) and on teaching about art, music and architecture (where one course has recently been added).
In English and American Studies, the efforts started more recently, but course offerings have expanded rapidly as a result of CEPs work. Instead of one general course on "English and American Civilization," there are now separate British and U.S. History courses, as well as a CEP course on British politics and society. For the first time, the 1999-2000 academic year included a course on American history and politics. In the 2001-02 academic year, this course will be divided into separate courses, one on U.S. History and one on American Politics and Society. German Politics and Society was taught for the first time in 1999-2000 and continues to be taught by a CEP lecturer. Visiting lecturers work closely with participants in the Higher Education Support Programs Southeastern Europe Faculty Development Project.
At the University of Elbasan, visiting lecturers also work actively with newly-appointed assistant lecturers. These are recent university graduates, often former CEP students, who have been appointed to teach certain courses. Unlike in other countries, these assistant lecturers often have considerable responsibility for the content of their courses, although normally they would not be permitted to teach any courses involving lectures.
The Albanian Magistrates School is housed in a modern facility with air-conditioned classrooms. Students at this school are graduate students preparing to become judges and prosecutors in Albania. CEPs work here has been successful in the individual courses, though CEP has had less impact on the general curriculum.
At the history faculty of the University of Tirana, the support CEP grants to Local Faculty Fellows has been very important in their professional development. As a result, students learn about contemporary historical methods and scholarship almost only from Local Faculty Fellows. In this faculty, the support offered by CEPs teaching materials has been most appreciated.
At the Faculty of Social Sciences, the oldest CEP partnership in Albania, a CEP Local Faculty Fellow, Bernard Zeneli, is now one of the first instructors in the newly-established Department of Political Science.
CEPs is continuing its work at the Law Faculty of the University of Tirana. A CEP Local Faculty Fellow teaches the course on commercial law, while an Local Faculty Fellow alumna is now the Head of the Department of Civil Law at this faculty.
Kosovo is a new CEP program. The related information will be put below.
Montenegro is a new CEP program. The related information will be put below.