This chapter provides a thematic and chronological overview of national reforms and policy developments since 2020.
The introduction of the chapter describes the overall education strategy and the key objectives across the whole education system. It also looks at how the education reform process is organised and who are the main actors in the decision-making process.
The section on ongoing reforms and policy developments groups reforms in the following broad thematic areas that largely correspond to education levels:
Inside each thematic area, reforms are organised chronologically. The most recent reforms are described first.
Overall National Education Strategy and Key Objectives
Education in Albania is considered as a public good and service, regardless of it is offered by a public or non-public education institution. The Albanian Education System is divided into following levels in compliance with levels of the Albanian Qualification Framework:
- Pre-School Education [Arsimi Parashkollor]; Basic education [Arsimi Bazë] ëhich is divided into: primary education [Arsimi Fillor] and loëer secondary education [Arsimi i Mesëm i Ulët]
- Vocational Qualification of two years [Kualifikimi Profesional 2-vjeçar]
- Vocational Qualification of one year [Kualifikimi Profesional 1-vjeçar]
- Medium education [Arsimi I mesëm] also recognized as upper Secondary Education [Arsimi i mesëm I Lartë] divided into gymnasium [i Përgjithshëm] and Vocational [professional]
- First cycle of University studies “Bachelor” [Cikli i Parë i Studimeve Uiniversitare Bachelor]
- Second cycle of University studies “Professional Master” [“Master Profesional”] and Master of Sciences [“Master i Shkencave”]
- Third cycle of University Studies: Doctorate [“Doktoratë”]; “Executive Master” [“Master Ekzekutiv”]; Long Term Specialized Studies [“Studime Afatgjata”]
For each of the levels group: a)levels 1 – 4 (preuniversity education) and b)levels 5 – 8 (higher education) a legislation/strategy framework is adopted. In the framework of the education reform processes, the strategies/legislation framework describe the key objectives, vision and policies across the relative level of education. They also look at how the education reform processes are organized and who are the actors in the decision-making and executive procedures. Generally speaking, the strategies/reforms are oriented by the priorities set up in the “National Plan for European integration 2014 – 2020”.
Following the completion of the "Pre university Education system 2014-2020" the new "Strategy on Education 2021-2026" was adopted. This strategy for the first time incudes all cycles of education starting from pre-chool education to higher education. The vision of the strategy is to offer quality education based on inclusive principles and lifelong learning that enables for potential development of the individual that enables for potential devleopment of the individual by contributing to the personal welfare of the las as well as in strengthening ot democracy and integration of the country to the European Union.
The strategy is composed by 4 policy aims: The first one relates to pre-university education and aims to create pre-university education that is inclusive, qualitative and offered on equal basis that creates the conditions for all pupils to develop knowledge, skills stances anvd values conform the requests of a democratic society in order for them to be able to face the life challenges and cto contribute to personal and social welfare.Specific objectives that are related to this policy objective target guarantee of inclusiveness and participation in preparatory clasess and obligatory education and upper secondary education.; secure social, emotional and physical welfare of all students in order to reduce droppout and to enable for pupils to reach their full potential; creation of chances for qualitative formation of teachers and improvement of their carrer advancement system to enable fo excellent teaching levels; full development of the competence based curricula through effective teaching and by using high tech resources and communication tools in ICT area.
The second policy aim relates to efficient management of education system conform requests of a democratic society, to face in a constructive wasy the life challenges and to contribute in construction of personal ans society welfare. This aim includes objectives related to increase of performance at school level through professional management structures and quality assurance structure; guaranteee of system performance through the building of an inclusive evaluation strutucter and its implementation.
Higher education is included under policy aim C and includes seven specific objectives related to increase of quality in higher education, moderinzation of higher education insfrastructure and application of high standards for programme evaluation, encouragement of excellence in teaching and scientific research; better connection between education and labor market; guarantee of transparency and accountabilit in higher educcation; improvement of socio-economic status of students; internationalziation of higher education and deeper integration into European Higher Education area; advancement of TIC infrastructre and services in public higher education institutions.
Regarding the Vocational Educational and Training and Adult Learning a new Law has passed and a Strategy is in place. The Law defines the mission and the main objectives of the VET System in compliance with the overall educational system and the labor market, as well as fundamental rules of delivery, governance, financing and management of vocational education and training (VET). It also defines the roles and responsibilities of the public authorities and other subjects, responsible for planning, implementation and monitoring aspects of the VET.
The purpose of the law is to create and develop a unified VET system that is able to response to socioeconomic and technology changes, in compliance with local and global labour market needs, to create sustainable mechanisms of quality assurance in vocational education institutions in compliance with EU standards and to ensure the equal opportunities for all individuals who want to attend VET studies.
“National Strategy on Employment and Skills 2019-2022"
The vision of the Employment and Skills Strategy to deliver smart, sustainable and inclusive growth – is to have by 2020 a competitive economy and an inclusive society that is grounded on higher skills and better jobs for all women and men, throughout the lifecycle. This is achieved through coherent and concerted policy actions that simultaneously address labour demand, labour supply and social inclusion gaps.
The Higher Education System besides prediction in the strategy is ruled also by the Law on higher education. Law No.80/2015 “On higher Education and Scientific Research in Higher Education Institutions in the Republic of Albania” was approved. It aims at defining the role of the State in the Higher Education and the mission, key objectives of higher education and scientific research, the rules for establishing, organization, management, funding and closure of higher education institutions. The Law’s aims are to create sustainable quality assurance mechanisms in higher education institutions in compliance with European standards. It also aims to create a unified system of higher education, scientific research in higher education institutions, contemporary and competitive innovation in compliance with European Higher Education Area standards.
Overview of processes and drivers for the education reform
The Ministry of Education and Sports, based on the responsibilities set by the Council of Ministers, is responsible for the management of: pre-university education, higher education, scientific research, sports and youth. In this chapter only ministry responsibilites related to education (including pre-university education and higher education are covered.
The pre-university education system at the central level is managed by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth, and at the local level by the Local Education Units. The Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth and Local Education Units are respectively supported and consulted by the forums of the National Council for Pre-University Education and the National Council for Pre-University Education, which operates under the Regional level.
Through the educational institutions of the pre-university education system, the service of education is provided for the levels of:
- Preschool Education [Arsimi parashkollor],
- Basic Education [Arsimi Baze, which includes Primary Education and Lower Secondary Education.
- UPpper secondary education, which includes general education (Gymnasium), secondary oriented education and vocational education.
The education service at the levels of Lower Secondary and Upper Secondary Education is offered in the form of full-time and part-time study. The form of distance education is stipulated in the law on the pre-university education system, but has not been implemented.
Quality assurance in the pre-university education system is facilitated through:
- Self-evaluation methodology, which is exercised by the schools,
- Monitoring process, which is exercises conducted by Local Education Units,
- By inspection of the quality of service, which is provided by the State Inspectorate of Education.
The professional development of teachers is realized based on the needs of the teachers and is facilitated through:
- Professional Development,
- Training, Professional Networks,
- Consultancy and
- Short and Long Term Courses.
Trainings are conducted according to the "Request-Offer" system. Training programs are accredited by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth and can be provided by public or private institutions / operators.
In the area of Vocational Education and Training (VET), the MESY divides its competences with the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MFE). Key institutions that rule the VET system include:
- The Ministry of Finance and Economy (MFE)
- The Ministry of Education and Sports (MES)
- The National Agency of Vocational Education and Training and Qualifications (NAVETQ)
Based on the last Decision of Council of Ministers the MFE has as its mission amongst others also the guarantee of constitutional rights for vocational education and training (VET). The same act states that MFE exercises its competences in the VET area.
In the area of VET, MESY defines the general criteria for the qualification and certification of the general teachers in vocational education in cooperation with the Minister responsible for VET, drafts and implements policies for the professional development of general teachers, develops tests and certifications of pupils in VET schools in cooperation with the ministry responsible for VET defines the curricula of general subjects, defines the criteria for employment qualifications and certification of teachers of general culture.
The National Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Qualifications (NAVETQ) is a dependent institution of the Ministry of Finance and Economy. Since the start of its activity the NAVETQ has acted as public institution that enables expertise in the issues of VET development and lifelong learning, as well as has an important role in the guarantee of the quality of the VET offer. NAVETQ is responsible for the development of vocational qualifications (ISCED levels 2 to 5)
Higher education is provided in accordance with the law on higher education and scientific research
Higher education and scientific research, structurally, is organized and managed by the following institions/organs:
- Ministry responsible for education [Ministri përgjegjës për Arsimin]
- The Council for Higher Education and Scientific Research [Këshilli i Arsimit të Lartë dhe Kërkimit Shkencor]
- Educational Services Center [Qendra për Shërbimet Arsimore]
- National Agency for the Financing of Higher Education [Agjencia Kombëtare për Financimin e Arsimit të Lartë]
- National Agency for Scientific Research and Innovation [Agjencia Kombëtare për Kërkim Shkencor dhe Inovacion]
- Quality Assurance Agency in Higher Education [Agjencia Kombëtare për Cilësinë në Arsimin e Lartë] , near which the Accreditation Board, [Bordi i Akreditimit] is organized and functions, with the main function accreditation of higher education institutions and study programs.