Prishtina, 13 February 2020
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, attended today the Rectors’ Conference of the Public Universities of Kosovo, on the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the University of Prishtina.
Addressing the numerous attendees, Rectors of the Public Universities of Kosovo, Ambassadors accredited in Kosovo, and other personalities, Prime Minister Kurti stressed that the history of the development of the University of Prishtina is closely linked to the history of our people in the past half century. “A period of great changes in which the fate of the University was closely linked to the destiny of the people, because the University gave the necessary knowledge to a generation that would define the future of the country and consequently the University itself,” Prime Minister Kurti said.
Likewise, Prime Minister Kurti emphasized that more than a place of knowledge, the University was a place of resistance, a place where the suppressed will was relieved; the place where energy was accumulated to face injustice.
Prime Minister’s speech at the Rectors’ Conference of the Public Universities of Kosovo:
It is a pleasure and a privilege to be here with you today, at this moment of the historic achievement of the University of Prishtina.
The history of the development of the University of Prishtina is closely linked to the history of our people in the past half century. A period of great changes in which the fate of the University was closely linked to the destiny of the people, because the University gave the necessary knowledge to a generation that would define the future of the country and consequently the University itself.
Thus, more than a place of knowledge, the University was a place of resistance, a place where the suppressed will was relieved; the place where energy was accumulated to face injustice.
The more the pressure from the then regime to ban our studies, the more freedom we sought to study, and the more we studied, the more we felt the lack of freedom.
Thus, the interim measures of June 1991 to stop teaching in Albanian language would be challenged with house-school, school-house, Universities at houses as in 1997 the entire oppressive regime would be challenged.
In August 1991, Gani Bajrami had sent a letter to the interim authorities of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Prishtina, concluding with the words, I quote: “Remember that the fate of a people without its will can be controlled by force only for a period of time and not forever”. Bajrami was a graduate engineer and assistant.
So it happened, and so it is because the will of the people cannot be imposed.
Today, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the University of Prishtina, we are so honoured to remember the foundation, as well as its resumption, because the resumption of the University of Prishtina in 1991 was no less difficult than that of its foundation in 1970.
And in this year of reflecting and celebrating the University for this half-century, it is good to remember and honour one of its key figures, who refused the subjection and imposition of the University by others. The one, who gave a lot to this country and without whom the University would not be as such. This year, on 16 April, Professor Ejup Statovci would be celebrating his 80th birth anniversary, and we, as institutions, are obliged to honour him as he deserves. His wisdom and teachings still guide us in our difficulties which are not few.
In 1997, I was a student of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, just like many other students who were aware of the injustice of the time we were living in, the inner voice that called each of us for change and the duty we felt towards our country. We did what we were, the duty of a student, like our young forerunners in 1968, 1981 and 1989, ’90 and ’91.
In this sense, every time I go back to the professors, I learn what I know, as I came out of that University, but the University has never come out of me.
Freedom only makes sense when there is justice. Freedom without justice is servitude of the other kind. If until yesterday injustice stood in the denial of freedom from the outside, today injustice lies in the abuse of freedom from inside.
Enrichment of a small group of people at the expense of the majority of people, poverty and social inequality, inefficient judicial system and lack of equal opportunities lose the meaning of freedom and create perpetual injustice within us.
This is the challenge of our society nowadays, a challenge that the University of Prishtina must address and accomplish in the second half of its century.
So, I’m not wrong if I say that as in the first half of its century, the University has prepared the generations that have served the country for liberation, in the second half, the University must prepare the generations for development.
This is our joint challenge.
If the diploma you received earlier determined the workplace, nowadays the workplace also determines the diploma we need to obtain.
This change that has taken place in the field of education and employment should be reflected in the University of Prishtina as the leader of Public Higher Education, as a place where knowledge is produced, in addition to being consumed.
The state is obliged to create and provide equal conditions and opportunities, whereas the University must guarantee the quality of education and the competition for knowledge and knowledge as a value.
So let’s share our duties and responsibilities and I’m sure the success is guaranteed.
We will increase investment and carry out reforms in education in this mandate, but first we need to know where we stand. I believe we all agree that, currently, things are not so good, that there is a need for change, there is a need for reform that prepares the University to meet the challenges of our age.
The time is now and this is the moment we have been waiting for. There was no previous Government that has been more interested, more committed to the development of education, which is a precondition for the development of the country.
Dear professors, congratulations on your achievements and successes for years to come.
Happy 50th anniversary and many other 50th anniversaries!