University of Birmingham delegation visits the Balkans

Posted on Friday 11th January 2013

A University of Birmingham delegation visited the Balkans from 04-08 December 2012. The delegation was headed by Professor Mark Webber, Head of the School of Government and Society, and its members included Professor Stefan Wolff, Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer in the College of Social Sciences, Dr Graham Timmins, Director of Education in the School of Government and Society, and Dr Gëzim Alpion, Director of Joint Honours Programmes in the Department of Political Science and International Studies. In addition to their administrative responsibilities, the Birmingham academics are internationally renowned scholars with research interests that include South-East European politics, society, religion and media.

The team visited Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia. The Balkans tour began with a symposium in Tirana on 05 December. At that event the Birmingham team gave presentations on the University’s excellent research record, its attractive undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, its relationship with the city of Birmingham and its international connections (reflected, for instance, in the significant number of its overseas academics and students). The presentations were followed by a question-and-answer session.

During their stay in Tirana, the delegation had a meeting with the Minister of Education and Science of Albania, Myqerem Tafaj, and took part in a 90-minute television debate which was broadcast on 4 January 2013.

The programme in the Republic of Kosovo on 06 December included a meeting at the University of Prishtina with the Vice-Rector for International Relations Lindita Tahiri.

In the Republic of Macedonia the Birmingham academics had a meeting in the Ministry of Education and Science. This was followed by a visit at the South East European University in Tetovo where the delegation had talks with Rector-Emeritus Alajdin Abazi and Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Andrew Goodspeed, and a meeting with members of staff and students.

During their say in the Balkans the delegation had a chance to meet with University of Birmingham alumnae.

The visit of the University of Birmingham delegation reflects the research interests that a number of academics at this world-class institution have in South-East Europe as well as the interest that scholars and students in the region show in its excellent research record and undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. It is hoped that the visit will strengthen links between the University of Birmingham and leading universities and research institutions in the Balkans.

The visit was covered widely by the media in the Balkans and news agencies, newspapers and other media outlets in the UK, Switzerland, and the US.

Media Coverage of the Balkan Tour

Tonight Ilva Tare - RTV Ora News

Fjala e Lirë - Online Literary Magazine, London:

The Albanian Newspaper, London:

HermesNewsAgency:

AGON Newspaper, Tirana:

Dielli Newspaper/The Sun, Bronx, New York, USA:

KosovaLive News Agency, Prishtina, Kosovo:

University of Prishtina Webpage: