Merco faculty may not enroll nursing and technician students until the program is accredited

Photo: Government of RSM

The Faculty of Health Sciences at the International University in Struga of the son of Ramiz Merko, Genz, has not yet received accreditation for the study program that will produce nurses and technicians, sources from the Agency for Quality of Higher Education confirm for "Sloboden Pechat". Until receiving this accreditation, the faculty cannot start enrolling students.

Within this Higher Education Quality Agency is the Higher Education Accreditation Board, whose task is to accredit the study program provided by the university and according to which the students will study. It is already on the University's website announced that the Faculty of Health Sciences will also function in it.

In the specific case, it was applied with only one curriculum – that for nurses and technicians. There was no program for doctors.

It has already been announced on the website of the International University of Struga that the University has a Faculty of Health Sciences. In addition to this faculty, the students of this University also enroll in the Faculty of Political Sciences, Economic Sciences, Legal Sciences and Information Technologies.

Merco asked to establish a Faculty of Health Sciences with a three-year study program (180 credits) for nurses. According to our information, the University also submitted notarized statements that the professors they will hire at the Faculty of Health Sciences will be in full-time employment.

The only one that has received permission to start work is the unit, that is, the Faculty of Health Sciences.

But the program is not yet accredited. They have only applied for one program, which is for nurses and technicians. There is no application for general medicine, the director of the Agency for Quality of Higher Education told "Sloboden Pechat". Rasim Zuferi.

The Minister of Education  Jeton Shakiri came under fire for the fact that shortly before his departure he "founded the Faculty of Health Sciences at the International University in Struga".

But he denied that he founded the faculty and said that he only signed a decision that the conditions were met for the higher education institution to start working, something he did for other faculties as well.

Before his signature, a commission in the Ministry of Education and Science gave him a positive report.

I have been called by certain political entities that I founded the Faculty of Health Sciences at the International University in Struga. Some mention the Faculty of Medical Sciences, which are two different terms.

I will not go into the reasons for such posts, whether they are tendentious or out of ignorance, but I categorically deny this information. I would like to clarify that a minister cannot establish a higher education institution.

It is a whole procedure in which several competent institutions and authorities are involved, among them the Ministry of Education and Science, which essentially has the least competences, says Shakiri.

The International University in Struga is partially owned by the son of the mayor of Struga, Ramiz Merko, Genc. In June of last year, the United States put Merco on the blacklist of persons who are prohibited from entering the United States. The sanction also applies to Merko's wife, Espresso, and his three grown children, Genz, Nazmiyeh и Drenusha. 

The establishment of the Faculty within the already existing university began with a government decision that was published in the Official Gazette on April 15, during an election campaign.

The government decision was signed by Technical Prime Minister Talat Xhaferi from DUI. It states that this faculty provides two study programs: General Nursing and Health Care Studies, from the first cycle of professional studies (180 ECTS).

The next step is for the accreditation board at the Higher Education Quality Agency to accredit the project submitted by the university.

Furthermore, the adoption of acts for the establishment and operation of the faculty by the parent committee at the university follows, and only then, after the completion of these stages, based on the opinion of a commission for inspection of the fulfillment of the working conditions, within the framework of the MES, the minister for education and science makes a decision on fulfillment of the conditions and permission to start work.


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