Ministry of Education and Sport, Albania
The Ministry of Education and Sport is the state authority presiding over Higher Education and Science in Albania. The Ministry of Education and Sport is the main state institution responsible for education policies and management of the entire education system; it is supported by regional educational directorates and local educational offices operating at every region. This institution is also supported in carrying out its activities by its agencies such as: Institute of Education Development ; State Inspectorate of Education, National Agency of Exam; National Agency of Vocational Education and Training and the Public Agency of Accreditation of Higher Education.
The Ministry is actively cooperating with the partner institution and other organization in the framework of quality assurance and sustainability strategies in the field of education. Albanian has signed the Bologna Declaration since 2003. From that time, its higher education has progressed in a systematic fashion in its efforts to reform curricula and the structure of higher education system in accordance with the Bologna Process principles. Higher studies are categorized in three levels: Bachelor, Masters and Ph.D. Additionally, universities offer 2-year post-secondary courses and training courses, thematically based on Life Long Learning. Bachelor studies are equivalent to 180 ECTS, Masters to 120 credits and Professional Masters to 60 to 90 credits. Doctoral studies, by law, include 60 ECTS points of teaching activities. For instance, we have 1 doctoral school that is a research center focused on extensive research and third cycle studies in Albanology. Short cycle programmes are legally considered to be an integral part of our higher education system. Clear criteria of transferring students from one cycle of studies into the next and from one HEI into another are set by the academic senates of each HEI. The entire system issue Diploma supplement free of charge.
With reference to the legal landscape, an important document – the Albanian Qualification Framework based upon European Qualification Framework – endorsed by the parliament in March 2010, has started its implementation. National policies encourage the use of learning outcomes in developing curricula through advisory measures, guidelines, trainings etc. But further steps need to be carried out toward the redesign of study programmes based on learning outcomes.