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Why Scientific Research seems impossible for Albanian Universities
Written by SOT.COM.AL 24 Shtator 2022
On the pages of the Albanian portals of a few days ago, but mainly from the news of Top Channel, there were some findings from dr. Taulant Muka for scientific research in universities entitled ``The Rector and Deans of the University of Tirana are "stuck" in scientific research, no serious publication, a well-known finding but repeated by dr. Taulanti (Inside Story/ The Rector and Deans of the University of Tirana "stay" in scientific research, no serious publication - Top Channel (top-channel.tv)). Scientific Research in Universities is really lame and there are few scientific publications in relevant scientific journals with ``Impact Factor''. The Ministry of Education and Sports in terms of publication with Impact Factor or otherwise ``H-index'' asks applicants for titles such as Doctorate, Associate Professor, and Professor, publish their scientific articles in Scopus or ``Web of Science''. This is only one side of the problem. The biggest problems in the realization of scientific works are not the lack of desire to realize scientific articles with impact factor or H-Index. The problems lie in some aspects of the work in our public and private Universities. In the publication, some unsatisfactory conclusions came out, perhaps including this one for the University of Tirana, which is the oldest University and has the most Pedagogues with scientific titles and the best relevant infrastructure. However, it ranks poorly even compared to our modest neighbors in the region. More specifically, the University of Pristina counts 2464 publications with an impact factor of 52, the University of Skopje counts 6648 publications with an impact factor of 93, while the University of Belgrade is far away with a total of 74,725. If you see the results of the international ranking of 2021 and 2022, Albanian Universities Why Scientific Research seems impossible for public and private Albanian Universities occupy the last places: (https://www.webometrics.info/en/europe/albania). The reasons are numerous and I am listing only a few: - The low salary of teachers, less than 700 euros per month for most of them. - Educators seek the academic title to increase their salary and to survive and not like in other countries such as the USA, EU, England, Canada, that the title is required simply for science and not for salary - Lack of relevant laboratories in Universities - Lack of investments for scientific works from the state. In order to publish a scientific article with an impact factor in ``Scopus'' or ``Web of Science'', educators must pay from their monthly salary an amount of 2000 Euro-5000 Euro, i.e. twice the monthly salary - Lack of infrastructure to conduct scientific research in Public universities as well as private ones - A paradox is observed that clearly shows the lack of state support for scientific works. An outstanding teacher like Prof. Adnan Kastrati in Albania was brilliant but received a small salary and had few scientific articles with impact at that time. Today in Germany he is a distinguished professor in medical science. Why? The paradox of the lack of investments in Universities, financial support, laboratory, working conditions and assistance of these lecturers to carry out scientific research is clearly seen. Today in Albania we have one or several professors who have excellent scientific papers in Scopus and Web of Science such as Prof. Edvin Prifti, who was deprived of the right to practice for two years by the court, with aggravated charges, and Prof. Petraq Papajorgji, who, being a pensioner, barely keeps him at the University, giving him a miserable salary under the pretext that he also receives a pension. - In the MAS Guidelines, Lecturers are asked to seek either scientific work at the University or teaching. 90% of lecturers are looking for teaching. Why? Because there is no financial or accommodation support for the scientific research profile. - In Albanian Universities, according to the law of 2015, it is not specified that lecturers must be selected through interviews and that to become a lecturer at the University you must have at least 5 years of work according to the relevant profile. - In Albanian Universities, Faculties are not profiled, but a Faculty may have Departments that are not related to the Name of the Faculty. - In the Albanian Universities, the Heads of Departments are not all of the Profile according to the Program and Curriculum that is applied. Why/ because the Law does not clearly specify; for example, in an engineering department, according to the law, a person with a title but not a profile can be selected. The law does not prevent it because it does not express itself. Some subjects of the program are not necessary, but they are included in the Faculties with the intention of introducing a friend or fellow lecturer to work or to honor them. - The accusations that Rectors and Deans have little scientific work is partly true, but according to the law they should deal with administrative work and less teaching and not at all with scientific work, or put the names in the particles of others.. - Programs and Curricula are not all the same as those of EU, USA, England, Canada universities and in some cases they have essential differences which makes transfers and easy transfers impossible to find a job market. - Elections in public universities are done in the same way as political elections, while in private universities they are done according to the pleasure of the owner. There are many problems in public and private universities, but the important thing is not only the criticism of Taulant Muka, because Taulanti himself is not UFO to present us with the defects of the ex cathedra system, but Taulanti is right that some heads of universities and faculties have since the 90s and onwards who remain leaders or Rectors or Deans, severely damaging and corrupting the university system. Finally, I think that the government should implement some initiatives to improve the situation, such as - The qualitative increase in the salary of lecturers - The establishment of clauses to become a university lecturer - The increase in investments and the support of scientific research in universities - The improvement of the law - The request to include Albanian university scientific journals in Scopus and the acceptance of articles in Albanian journals as quality articles - Financial facilities and financial and accommodation support for Pedagogues engaged in scientific research.