We are on the verge of the beginning of the new academic year 2023/24, in which case I wish you a good year and an even more successful achievement than so far.
Humanity is facing global challenges that do not require a passport to spread far and wide. If three years ago we were challenged with the global pandemic, last year with the energy and inflationary crisis, this year we are being challenged with the continuation of the Russian-Ukrainian war and the disruption of the world order, which reignited the Cold War, where the most developed countries are more worried about defense and security budgets than education, science and innovation! As if these challenges were not enough, in recent years humanity is facing the consequences of nature's "revenge" for neglecting it. Floods, fires, ruins, collapses and other natural phenomena all over the planet, as if they alert humanity that is still not aware of what is happening.
The dynamics of general changes (stunning from year to year), especially in the education sector, with special emphasis on higher education, is exponential. Although the Strategy of the European University Association (EUA) envisages "Universities without walls", open for cooperation and optimization of resources, we in our country are "burying" deeper and deeper in our bunkers as if we have achieved everything. The university community seems not to leave the comfort zone and is not moving at all, let alone becoming aware of self-organization. In the time of the digital revolution, the labor market is calling and alarming every day more and more about the lack of specific profiles with the necessary skills and knowledge. Institutions, authorities and those who are responsible for changing these circumstances seem not to listen at all!
In these unfavorable circumstances, SEEU is continuing with the continuous changes, despite the fact that they are insufficient and perhaps "alone" in this effort. Every year we have 2-3 new study program offers that are very well accepted by the market. The traditional academic structure until 3-4 years ago is changing in function of the needs of the market, moving in the field of "soft" technical sciences. In addition to the programs of architecture, design (digital and interior), polytechnic, health sciences, social psychology, we are increasingly offering interdisciplinary programs, such as Economics-Energy-Ecology (3E). New academic offers accompanied by increasing student scholarships, without increasing the cost of study by a penny, for 22 years have brought the University to a level that is both consolidated and growing. When international students are added to this, beyond our regional border (Kosovo, Preshevo Valley, Albania), others are mainly coming from Central Asian countries supported by American scholarships, the University takes on the full form that resembles its name!
Investments in new staff, mainly in specific programs and from the most popular European and American universities, accompanied by capital investments in technological infrastructure and spatial modernizations enable us to keep pace with the necessary digitalization of the times. Already the Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs, the necessary technical laboratories, the development of scientific projects and inter-university cooperation networks associated with the opportunities they offer: the Technology Park, the Business Development Center, the Career Center, the Future Skills Center, as well as The Youth Center (iCan), together with the Center for Regional Development (iCare), are great offers and opportunities for students and staff to keep up with the challenges of the times in teaching and learning under AI and robotics conditions.
Dear academic staff,
In the training sessions we jointly decided that the commitment to students is increasingly recognized by the market as well. Therefore, let's continue with the increase of individual commitment and dedication, with positive energy towards each student to reach even those who have less desire and work habits, to motivate them with gentleness and conviction for the benefits they will have. In this regard, I suggest that everyone read, and if necessary, re-read the "Letter" of the former American president, Abraham Lincoln, that nearly 200 years ago (in 1830), he addressed to his son’s teacher. Despite the fact that the messages were for the basic level of the school, from its content many tips are extracted on how to motivate the student generations for quality learning.
These and many other opportunities, such as program exchanges (Erasmus+), specializations that the University benefits from various international cooperation projects, are a reality that puts you on a completely equal level with the opportunities of European universities. It is enough for you to be dedicated, with passion and enthusiasm to work to build your future. You should use these competitive advantages that SEEU offers in order to prepare as professionally as possible for a better future for you and your families. These possibilities are not imaginary stories, but reality that you can confirm from previous generations, especially from the last 4-5 years! Last year we received a full scholarship for master studies from the prestigious University of Birmingham in Great Britain, in the Program of ecological studies and college--MSc. Lejla Ademi, who successfully completed this program as soon as she returned and joined us as a full staff member, while this year in the same program we have sent two other colleagues for studies with even better conditions, and next year they will join us as full staff member. We have plenty of such examples.
At the same time, use the multicultural and multilingual environment to create networks, both local and regional, as well as international, which will be of great value to you tomorrow. In fact, you can be informed more directly by SEEU Alumni that in addition to the knowledge and practical skills acquired during studies, these attributes have also created many competitive advantages in the labor market and in their career progress.
Of course, during your studies, you have opportunities for various cultural and sports activities on our campuses, which are offered by the Student Parliament. Enjoy the student life that is taken care of by all employees at our university campuses, both in Tetovo and in Skopje.
Concluding this message, I wish you health, success and personal development in all aspects!
Good luck in these joint journeys!
Rector, Acad. Prof. Dr. Abdylmenaf Bexheti