5. Arts and cultural education
Last update: January, 2011
Following the signing of the Bologna Declaration, the Parliament passed Law no. 9741 on Higher Education in May 2007 and amended it with Law no. 9832 six months later. Nevertheless, the implementation of the Bologna Declaration turned out to be a hard task, especially with regard to higher arts education. The amendment suggested the creation of a two-level system for master's degrees, namely the scientific master and professional master, each obtainable after a full academic year.
But the big question was: if one can get a bachelor's degree after three-year studies and a master's degree with an additional two years, what would be the qualification of the enormous mass of those having a four-year university diploma issued from 1957 (the year of establishment of Tirana University) to 2009? Furthermore, would those people be offered a chance to get a master's degree, and, if yes, how would this be applied in a fair way to balance the huge number of potential applications with the very limited offer of admissions? To much pressure from all sides was placed on all public universities and it became a political crisis, while private universities felt very comfortable to offer master's degrees of both levels. This lead to speculation in the media that the Ministry of Education was discriminating against public universities on purpose, to allow private universities expand their share of the market.
Finally, in 2010, the Law on Higher Education was amended again, with the Law no.10307, sanctioning that all four-year university diplomas issued up to 2009 would, by default, be re-evaluated into scientific master's degrees and those interested could now apply for a one-year programme to obtain a professional masters degree, while universities would continue to offer three-year bachelor's and two-year masters programmes for all students admitted from 2009.
If other higher education institutions were simply challenged to re-shape their curricula to offer three-year bachelor and two-year master programmes, the Academy of Arts had to face an additional challenge. There were no formally qualified professors for Master of Arts programmes. The issue arose due to the traditional attitude of the Ministry of Education, which had never in the past asked for professors at all levels of arts education to obtain degrees, as arts education was not considered a scientific discipline. Even the most outstanding artists and long-time professors of the Academy of Arts did not have a degree. That made it possible for the Centre for Arts Studies of the Academy of Sciences to play a role in this. Since the centre has a limited but formally qualified body of professors, it can offer both master's and PhD programmes. It seems as if the Academy of Arts will have to wait for the first generation of PhD students to graduate from the Centre for Arts Studies, to hire professors for its master's programme.
The National Library is the centre for professional training of Albanian librarians. The first 2-year part-time training course was opened in this library in 1969, and continues to attract new librarians today. In addition to providing the basic skills to future librarians, the course publishes and distributes various training handbooks, classification tables, and other professional materials, including the journal Buletini i bibliotekave (Library Bulletin) which is published twice a year.
Last update: January, 2011
The recent reform of Albania's education system has affected high schools. Since 2009, the elementary school system lasts for 9 instead of 8 years, while high school lasts for 3 instead of 4 years. For the first time, arts are considered one of the nine areas of high school education, with the other eight being sports, foreign languages, Albanian language and literature, mathematics, technology, natural sciences, social sciences and training for life and career. High school students must make their choice of two subjects out of a total of six comprising: music, dance, theatre, visual arts, history of art and history of world art. Before graduation, each student must have taken at least 105 hours of arts lessons.
Arts have their share also in the part of curricula based on student's choice. Those who wish to major in arts can take an additional 105 hours in two subjects of their choice, but different from the two they have already chosen as part of their mandatory curricula.
Also, since 2006, Albanian cultural heritage is one of the four mandatory high school diploma exams, no matter what their major field is.
Last update: January, 2011
Until 2009, the Academy of Arts in Tirana was the only higher education institution dedicated to arts. The Academy was established and located at its current site in 1966, under the name of the "High Institute of Arts", by the fusion of "Alexander Moissi" School of Drama, the State Conservatory of Music and the Fine Arts School. These three schools still remain the pillars of the actual Academy, namely the School of Performing Arts, School of Visual Arts and School of Music. In 2004, a new department, dedicated to film and television, was added to the School of Performing Arts.
The Academy has not yet launched masters and other post-graduate programmes, though it has reshaped its bachelor programmes which now last 3 instead of 4 years. The School of Performing Arts offers degrees in directing for film & TV, directing for theatre, stage and costume design, choreography and acting for theatre. The School of Fine Arts offers degrees in painting, monumental painting, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and fashion, graphics, and multimedia. The School of Music offers degrees in musicology, composition, conducting, piano, violin, violoncello, viola, tube, bass, flute, clarinet, oboe, horn, fagot, trombone, canto, and classical guitar.
The Academy of Arts remains very popular due to its long tradition and almost free admission. However, the private Kristal University launched its School of Arts in 2009, offering degrees in classical string and brass instruments, canto, composition and conducting, and also textiles and fashion design. Sources from Kristal University say they have plans to offer programmes in theatre arts starting from 2011.
A relatively older and more consolidated professional school is Marubi Academy of Film and Multimedia, offering three year programmes in directing for film and TV, editing, cinematography and scriptwriting. Following the implementation of the Law on Higher Education and its amendments, Marubi Academy will offer bachelor degrees.
Both the Academy of Arts and Centre for Art Studies, a department of the Academy of Sciences of Albania, have announced they will be offering masters and PhD programmes from 2011.
The private Kristal University launched its School of Arts in 2009, and plans to offer programmes in theatre arts from 2011.
Last update: January, 2011
Multi-arts centres used to offer art classes until 1991. This good practice is gone now, along with the equally good tradition of amateur arts ensembles among working collectives and schools of all levels. Since the fall of Communism, the government no longer supports amateur arts organisations, except for occasional (and very rare) individual projects.
Since the 2000's however, some parents, depending on their social and economic status, occasionally pay for private lessons for their children, especially in music instruments. In collaboration with the state television TVSH, a former theatre actor and TV director has established an acting school for elementary school pupils. Their shows go on air via TVSH.
The "Star Academy" and "The Little Genius" are two season shows of the national private TV Klan, in which amateurs competing for the awards of best singer, musician, dancer and actor, are offered classes by professionals.
The only institution that offers continuous training in the arts is Robert Radoja Academy of Arts, located in Tirana.
Please find the available information on this subject in 5.3.