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Issues in Educational Research, 2022, Vol 32(3), 1092-1110.
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Academic freedom and higher education governance in the Western Balkans: The case of Kosovo

Gazmend Qorraj, Besnik Krasniqi and Gezim Jusufi
University of Prishtina, Kosovo

Like other transitional countries, the Western Balkans face educational challenges due to the long transition period, respectively centralised educational activities associated with a dearth of scientific activities, and limited academic freedom. The previous centralised political and economic system in the Western Balkans created the academic community's dependence on the political system in some of these new countries. Kosovo is a point in the case. The purpose of this study is to address some aspects which have an impact on academic freedom within higher education institutions (HEIs) in Kosovo: (1) freedom to research and teach; (2) freedom of academic exchange and dissemination; (3) institutional autonomy; (4) campus integrity; and (5) freedom of academic and cultural expression. To analyse universities' challenges concerning academic freedom, we conducted a survey with academic staff at the largest public university in Kosovo, the University of Prishtina. This study is the first attempt to construct and analyse the academic freedom, providing a framework for analysis and debate of academic freedom in Kosovo. The results show that compared to previous decades (1981-1999), there is improved academic freedom in Kosovo. However, considering the latest developments and opportunities coming from the European Union (EU) programs and cooperation with EU universities, there is still a possibility of further advancing academic freedom within HEI, focusing on supporting academic integrity, institutional sustainability, and cooperation.
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Authors: Gazmend Qorraj, a Jean Monnet Chair Professor. He teaches European integration at the University of Prishtina. He received his PhD from University of Ljubljana in 2009 and MA in Economics at Staffordshire University, UK & Vrije University Brussels. He worked as coordinator on different EU projects such as Tempus and Erasmus+, and served also as a National Contact Point for Horizon 2020. Currently he is a Member of Kosovo National Science Council.
Email: gazmend.qorraj@uni-pr.edu

Besnik Krasniqi, a Fulbright Scholar, holds MA and PhD in Economics from Staffordshire University (UK). He teaches small business and entrepreneurship at University of Prishtina. His career spans teaching and research in entrepreneurship at Maastricht School of Management (Netherlands), Indiana University (USA), University of Michigan (USA), and Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (France). His research has appeared in international journals such as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Small Business Economics, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, and Economic Systems.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2440-3974
Email: besnik.krasniqi@uni-pr.edu

Gezim Jusufi received his PhD in economics at the University of Prishtina, Faculty of Economics. He received an MA in Marketing in 2011 from the University of Prishtina and a diploma in Business Administration in 2009 from Trakya University, Edirne, Turkey.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4338-3331
Email: gezimi.gjilan@gmail.com

Please cite as: Qorraj, G., Krasniqi, B. & Jusufi, G. (2022). Academic freedom and higher education governance in the Western Balkans: The case of Kosovo. Issues in Educational Research, 32(3), 1092-1110. http://www.iier.org.au/iier32/qorraj.pdf

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Created 24 September 2022. Last correction: 24 September 2022. Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]