The main Erasmus+ Information Day promoting the 2019 Erasmus+ call for proposals has been held on 26th  November 2018 at the grand amphitheater of the Main University Library Building – University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina” in Pristina. The activity was supported by EU Office in Kosovo, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) and the Office for International Relation of the University of Prishtina.

The Information Day was organized in 2 separate sessions:

  1. Session for Higher Education Institutions: This event gathered around 60 participants representing various HEIS of Kosovo, representatives of MEST and NGOs.

The Info Day was chaired by the Kosovo Erasmus+ Acting Coordinator – Elheme Selmani Rexhepi. In her welcoming/opening speech shortly presented the Erasmus+ Programme and its role and impact in Kosovo Higher Education, and also informed the participants in that new 2019 Erasmus+ call for proposals have been published at the end of October 2018 and that this information has been shared with all HEIs in Kosovo.

In his address to participants Mr. Fehmi Hysenaj, Minister’s adviser (MESTK) stressed the importance of applying for the Erasmus+ programme, and mentioned that every year Kosovo institutions benefit with more than 700 scholarships for staff and students.

In his address to the participants Mr. Stergios Tragoudas, informed the participants on the Erasmus+ program, Kosovo participation in the program and encouraged the higher number of applications on all the programs. Mr. Tragoudas ensured the participants that “the Erasmus+ programme offers opportunities to those who are very professional and based on their merit, so we really hope that with this program we will achieve better results”. EU delegation in Kosovo will continue to support to all HEIs in the process of reform and further capacity building.

After the welcoming /opening speeches the participants had the opportunity to watch a video testimonial from 2 staff – part of the Kosovo Academy for Public Safety (University in Vushtrri). Professors Male Morina and Shefik Xhaqkaj that benefited as exchange students from the Erasmus+ programme KA1.

Following this video testimonial participants had the opportunity for opening discussion and questions to the EU and MESTK representative. There were a couple of questions and comments directed to the EU Office and MESTK regarding the low number of selection projects for Kosovo.

Further, the KEO Project Officer Goran Lazic presented the main features of Erasmus+ programme and its Key Action 1- Learning Mobility presenting International Credit Mobility and Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees. Further the ICM types and duration, results of the 2018 call, and next call novelties. While presenting EMJMDs he put an emphasis on its structure, main aims, opportunities for HEIs and students, award criteria, funding rules, students scholarships grants, selection results in 2018 Erasmus+ call for proposals and novelties in 2019 call for EMJMDs.

After presentation about KA1, KEO Project Officer presented main features of Jean Monnet, results of 2018 call and next call novelties.

The next presentation was about 2019 Erasmus+ call for proposals for Erasmus+, Key Action 2, Capacity Building in Higher Education. KEO Project Officer presented selection results of 2018 call, CBHE key characteristics, application and selection procedure, general and national priorities for Kosovo. Throughout the presentations the emphasizes were put on how to make successful and competitive proposals putting an emphasis on how to develop a original project based on the needs of the institutions and in line with the national priorities, calculate budget (categories and methods), allocation and justification methods (real and unit costs), cost of stay and travel costs, assessment of CBHE projects, eligibility criteria, selection process and local support.

Following the sessions, Mrs. Fadile Dyla- Acting Head of Higher Education Department (MESTK), briefly presented Kosovo and its participation in the Erasmus+ programme, and benefits of using these funds available.

During the moring session for HEIs University of Prishtina nad IBCM college in Mitrovica presented their experiences on the Erasmus+ Program.

Prof Dr Gazmend Qorraj, as the only Chair Monnet for Kosovo up to now, shortly presented his activities with students and staff of the University of Prishtina. He also presented the procedure and steps on how to successfully compile a Jean Monnet application, best practices under the program that he had learned while as Jean Monnet Chair and encouraged the academic staff to apply for this program.

Following, two CBHE projects as grand holder have presented:

Prof. Blerim Saqipi from University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina” in his capacity as Project coordinator for the Tempus project: “Modernizing Teacher Education at the University of Prishtina” (MeD@UP). In his presentation he informed the participants on the application procedure, implementation of the project activities, cooperation with international partners and sustainability of the project after its eligibility period.

Prof. Dr. Mihone Keroll from the IBCM College in Mitrovica presented the activities under the Erasmus CBHE project “Creation Theory to Practice Centers for Innovation and Employment”. She presented the procedure of application, cooperation with International partners, and steps on how to prepare a successful application from the perspective of an Erasmus+ applicants. Following to her presentation, she advised Kosovo HEIs not to apply in too many applications in the same call, but to focus in 1-2 projects and to try to create a successful application.

This session resulted very interactive, many questions were raised and high interest on the success and challenges on the project implementation has been shown, especially on Jean Monnet which resulted with one hour delay of the end of activity.

  1. Afternoon session for Students: The session with the students resulted to be very interesting, a large number of students were present coming from all public and private Institutions in Kosovo.

In total 170 students attended the activity. In the opening speech KEO Assistant Blerinë Zjaça and EU Office Programme Manager Stergios Tragoudas welcomed the students and informed that the new call for application under the Erasmus+ programme for 2019 is already open. Mr. Tragoudas ensured the students that the EU office will continue to support the student related the Erasmus+ programme.

During the session for student opportunities KEO Assistant Mrs. Blerinë Zjaça shortly presented on Credit Erasmus+ for students and existing possibilities within the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees, though giving the opportunity in the opening question and discussion between students and panel.

Roland Raka as representative and one of two contact point for Kosovo in the Western Balkans Alumni Association (WBAA) briefly presented the role and activities under the WBA association.

This year, for the first time KEO in cooperation with WBAA contact point for Kosovo selected 3 students who actually were part of the Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility (two of them in Bachelor exchange and one in PhD) who explained in details the procedure of application, starting from the process of information gained at the IROs, process of application, selection, experience in the host universities, and after coming back in the home universities. PhD student Adelina Basholli also presented in practice “How to write a successful Motivation Letter”, by reading and sharing her personal motivation letter.

This practice of offering the opportunity to hear from students that actually were part of the programme resulted very positive and a very proactive debate among participants-Alumni-KEO.