Albanian Parliament should urgently establish the Students’ Ombudsperson

Albanian Parliament should urgently establish the Students’ Ombudsperson

An independent institution for oversighting public universities should address corruption, sexual harassment, student complaints and quality in education

Tirana, 21 December 2018 - Young people in Albania represent 25% of the population, and about 129,394 of them are students enrolled in public universities. However, none of them has anywhere to complain when their rights as a university are violated! The student protest, which today entered its 16th day, has denounced hundreds of cases of sexual abuse and exploitation of students by their pedagogues, corruption in student assessment and abuse of public funds. On the other hand, Public Universities, 28 years after the collapse of communism, have not established any mechanisms for protecting student rights.

The Albanian Coalition for Education (ACE), the Albanian National Youth Network (ANYN) and CRCA Albania, today publicly ask the Parliament of Albania to set up through an accelerated procedure the Office of the Students’ Ombudsperson, based on the model of the Human Rights Ombudsman Office or other independent human rights Commissions.

In the latest EUROSTAT survey called "Quality of Life", Albania ranks as the country with the highest level of dissatisfaction in education. According to GALLUP's latest survey, about 79% of young people wish to leave the country for a better life in another western country.

There are no official annual reports on the level of corruption, sexual violence, gender discrimination etc. on public universities. In our opinion, Students Ombudsperson should have a mandate to observe all those rights violations including student financial concerns, academic issues, disciplinary measures, student housing conditions, professional behaviour of professors etc.

The Students’ Ombudsperson should be an independent institution elected by the Parliament, which would allow an impartial and objective examination of all the issues. The Ombudsperson would provide secure and confidential space to resolve conflicts and concerns that arise during students’ university life.

On behalf of the organizations:

Linda PINO                                            Ervjola OSMANAJ                                      Altin HAZIZAJ

Albanian Coalition for Education          Albanian National Youth Network                    CRCA

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