Albania - Higher Education
Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceAlbania - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education - NONFORMAL EDUCATION, SUMMARY
Albania's institutions of higher learning were founded in the 1950s and were patterned on Soviet designs. The Higher Pedagogic Institute, Higher Polytechnical Institute, and Higher Agricultural Institute were founded in 1951. A team of Soviet educators developed the administration and curriculum of Enver Hoxha University (now the University of Tirana) in 1957. All these highly centralized institutions were greatly influenced by Soviet practices. Although Soviet influence declined markedly after 1960, higher education remained highly politicized. In addition to attending classes, students were required to work in factories or on collective farms. Access to higher education was generally limited to the children of party members.
Today some 27,000 students are enrolled in Albania's six universities: Tirana, Shkoder, Korca, Vlora, Gjirokaster, and Elbasan. Other students attend institutes and academies, including Tirana's fine arts academy. Institutions of higher learning charge tuition though fees are based on family income. In the mid-1990s Albanian students began to study abroad in large numbers—breaking 60 years of intellectual and cultural isolation.