Speech by President of Republic of Kosovo Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu given on the occasion of the 4th Commencement Ceremony at the American University in Kosovo

I always feel happy when I am surrounded by young people, especially on a day like this, on which you mark the completion of a substantial part of your studies and assume new responsibilities on your journey to building your future professional careers.

26 May 2010, Prishtina

Honorable Dr. Chris Hall, President of the American University in Kosovo,
Honorable Mr. Søren Jessen-Petersen, great friend of Kosovo,
Honorable University lecturers and staff,
Dear students,
Dear families and participants in this Commencement Ceremony,

I always feel joyful when I am surrounded by young people, especially on a day like this, on which you mark the completion of a substantial part of your studies and assume new responsibilities on your journey to building your future professional careers.

Higher education system in Kosovo has undergone changes over the past ten years, always with the aim of aligning knowledge requirements to the labor market. Many changes have taken place over this period on the legislation, curricula and teaching environments that have paved the way for an active and creative competiveness in higher education. Today, we are closer to the modern standards in becoming a part of an international market in which quality and fair competition prevail.

The American University in Kosovo has been the first institution of higher education to bring in standards and research experience of American higher education. It managed to blend great qualities of education and scientific research of its professors, teaching assistants and students. Accordingly, many young expert individuals from Kosovo and the region who have emerged from your University have contributed actively to the development of our country and the region. Moreover, cooperation between national and international lecturers has helped improve the quality of teaching as a simultaneous process to educational development in Kosovo.

The AUK is a good example in building active partnerships. The AUK has contributed to fostering the academic freedom and creating a new vision, one based on academic autonomy in line with public responsibility. By providing high-quality study opportunities, with many graduates whom you are joining today, the AUK has provided an immense support to enhancing our country’s welfare.

As the country with the youngest population in Europe, we aspire to achieve a higher attendance level in Universities, because this is the only way to surmounting the challenges that lie ahead. Today, when the barriers that we as an earlier generation have faced do not exist anymore, we want our young men and women to be able to compete with their peers in Europe and worldwide. A young and well-educated population is key to implementing the reforms needed for the development of our country. Only through educated people will we be able to manage multiple projects that lead to prosperity for all. AUK is specifically playing a tremendous role in producing experts who will direct major projects for the future of Kosovo and the region.

I strongly hope that many other young and talented people like you will have equal chances of attending this institution by opening the way for the pursuit of universal knowledge, which knows no boundaries. We also expect the students studying in world universities to return to continue coming back as Kosovo dearly needs them.

Dear students,
Today you have completed a long journey and tomorrow you will embark on an equally important one. I wish you good health, luck and success in our professional careers. I am certain that you will contribute a lot to Kosovo and its development. I encourage and congratulate you, parents, on your great investment in your children’s education. Their accomplishments are yours and those of Kosovo as well.

Congratulations on your graduation and may you all succeed in your future engagements!
Thank you!