On 20 October 2020, ‘HERAS Plus’ Project Team met with the Senior Management of the University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina” (UPHP). The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the Project, and the Project Team, to the newly appointed senior management of the University (UPHP). Moreover, the meeting served as a platform for initiating cooperation and working relationship between the Project Team and the new management of UPHP.
The Rector of UPHP, Mr. Naser Sahiti, welcomed the Project Team and expressed his interest to cooperate with the Project. The new management of the University, noted the Rector, is committed to improving the quality of services offered by UPHP, including the Programs and Research & Innovation. Next, the management is devoted to advancing the quality of institutional management and to maintaining and developing the working relationship with all international donors and Projects including ‘HERAS Plus’. The Rector, further, noted the positive impressions he has about the previous HERAS project, and expressed his, and his team’s interest to know more about the current Project, namely the ‘HERAS Plus’.
Mr. Aqim Emurli, ‘HERAS Plus’ Team Leader, offered a brief presentation of the Project. The Team Leader highlighted that ‘HERAS Plus’ is a continuation of the previous project funded by ADA, and implemented by the three-party Consortium: WUS Austria (Lead), ZSI and OeAD. He further noted that the Project will engage with all public universities, primarily with UPHP as the largest public HEI, in development of capacities for conducting their own baseline assessments, providing support to internationalization and mobility, fostering Human Rights based Approach (HRBA) and Social Dimension, providing an opportunity to benefit from grants and programmatic partnership as foreseen in the approved Project Document.
On the other side, the Rector emphasized that the actual action plan of the new University management of UPHP is strictly based on UPHP Strategic Plan. In this context, the UPHP management will engage in identifying the potential areas of cooperation between the Project and the UPHP. Among other areas, the Rector suggested, could be a potential cooperation on the topic of improving the credibility of performance appraisals process for the Academic Staff, and integrity and reliability of the Students’ Evaluations instrument (for academic staff), which is being implemented at UPHP. In this matter, the management of UPHP would highly appreciate if ‘HERAS Plus’ could step-in to provide some support based on the Austrian experience and utilizing the Austrian expertise.
Another area of potential cooperation, mentioned during the meeting, was to explore the possibility of benefiting from the Project’s support in the area of Research and Innovation. The research activity, undergoing at UPHP, is mainly streamlined towards contributing to academic staff advancement. The new management of UPHP is interested to enrich this experience by investing in research activity that is steered towards developmental projects.
In general, the meeting showed that the senior management of UPHP sees the potential advantage from engaging together with the ‘HERAS Plus’ Project in utilizing the Project expertise and other support and development activities. The Project Team and the University management agreed to remain in close contacts during the coming period to coordinate the launch of the joint activities.