Skopje, March 2023 – Rector of “Mother Teresa” University in Skopje, Lecturer Izet Zeqiri Ph.D., as a member and scientific secretary of ASANM, was part of the Scientific Conference on Higher Education organized by the Center for Strategic Research “Ksente Bogoev” operating within the Academy of Sciences and Arts of North Macedonia (ASANM).

Rector Zeqiri presented the analysis entitled “Systemic problems in higher education and scientific research” where he discussed the data, the status and presented a general analysis of the development of higher education in the last two decades, in private and public universities.

In the analysis, he emphasized that the problems between private and public universities are different, since private ones are faced with a lack of adequate teaching staff, they focus too much on promoting technical and environmental conditions compared to academic ones. Moreover, private universities get their curricula from other institutions therefore those curriculums are undeveloped or inappropriate. Sometimes the public perceives them as private companies, while they have a weaker offer of elective subjects, an insufficiently developed system.

On the other hand, Zeqiri said that public universities have insufficient curriculum flexibility, dominant authoritarian attitude of the staff, relatively high tuition fees for students who do not receive state scholarship, weak involvement of students in research-scientific work. Other problems are the unequal interest of students in different study programs, insufficient availability of teaching and administrative staff, then insufficient involvement of students in decision-making, focus on knowledge, lack or insufficient control of the practice of students, funding problems and lack of data on student success in the labor market.

During the presentation, Rector Zeqiri said that the method of financing higher education was mainly related to the competences of the Council for financing higher education, while according to the Law on Higher Education proposed by the Council, the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia must approve and implement a decree for the measures and criteria for financing the activities of higher education institutions, standards from 1988, so it defines the field of activity in higher education, it defines the amount of funds that must be provided by the Budget of the Republic of North Macedonia.

The universities themselves have many problems in the allocation of budget funds, which have also been evidenced in the audit reports. Rector Izet Zeqiri Ph.D., recommended taking the following measures:

The National Council to monitor the development of higher education and its compliance with European and international standards; to approve a Regulation on the content of study programs and propose measures, solutions and recommendations for improving the activity of higher education; to propose the approval of The National Program for Higher Education; to approve the Regulation on the norms and standards for the establishment of higher education institutions and for the performance of higher education activities in accordance with the law.

Zeqiri added that it is important the adoption of a new funding model, for which it is necessary to adopt a strategy for financing higher education in accordance with the analyzes and needs of the state and its financing in a realistic framework.