5. Arts and cultural education
Last update: January, 2022
Policy and institutional overview
Following the signing of the Bologna Declaration, the Parliament passed Law Nr. 9741 on Higher Education in May 2007 and amended it with Law Nr. 9832 in 2010; the Law on Higher Education was amended again, with Law Nr. 10307, sanctioning that all four-year university diplomas issued up to 2009 would, by default, be re-evaluated into scientific master's degrees. Those interested could apply for a one-year programme to obtain a professional master's degree, while universities would continue to offer three-year bachelors and two-year masters programmes for all students admitted from 2009.
The Ministry of Culture launched in 2014 the programme "Education through Culture" when the first educational projects were initiated in cooperation with subordinated cultural institutions, mainly in Tirana. This form of approach to increasing the knowledge and awareness of generations about the importance and benefit of art, culture and cultural heritage has seen great interest from participants of different age groups. During 2018 the programme achieved the inclusion of a record number of 55,000 students of different ages from about 500 schools across the country, participating in about 700 activities organized by subordinate cultural institutions.
Specialised vocational training such as Skills for Employability of Tomorrow has led to certification of skilled craftspeople by the National Institute of Culture Heritage.
Last update: January, 2022
Arts in schools
Since 2009, arts are considered one of the nine areas of high school education, with the other eight being sports, foreign languages, the Albanian language and literature, mathematics, technology, natural sciences, social sciences and training for life and careers. 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 the curricula based on student's choice. Those who wish to major in the 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.
Since 1946, the Artistic School Jordan Misja in Tirana has provided art education to Albanians aged 6-18 and most Albanian professional artists are alumni. The building underwent a full reconstruction in 2016, including a new concert hall in 2017. There are other specialized art schools168169 serving young students in provincial regions such as Prenkë Jakova in Shkodra, Jan Kukuzeli in Durres, Onufri in Elbasan, and Jakov Xoxa in Fier, to name a few. Private schools also offer music, fine arts and dance, beginning in the preschool system.
Retired National Circus professionals170 have called for an educational institution for teaching and exchanging with international professionals.
Last update: January, 2022
Higher arts and cultural education
Following the signing of the Bologna Declaration, the Parliament passed Law no. 9741 on Higher Education in May 2007 and amended it with Law nr. 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 masters and professional masters, each obtainable after a full academic year. Finally, in 2010, the Law on Higher Education was amended again, with the Law nr.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.
The Academy of Arts had to face the additional challenge that there were no formally qualified professors for Master of Arts programmes and even the most outstanding artists and long-time professors of the Academy of Arts did not have a degree. The Centre for Arts Studies of the Academy of Sciences had a formally qualified body of professors and could offer both masters and PhD programmes that could produce PhD graduates to be hired as professors for Arts Academy masters programmes.
Until 2009, the Academy of Arts in Tirana was the only higher education institution dedicated to the 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 the "Alexander Moissi" School of Drama, the State Conservatory of Music and the Fine Arts School. In 2004, a new department, dedicated to film and television, was added to the School of Performing Arts.
Renamed in 2011 with a decision by the Council of Ministers nr. 234/2011, the University of Arts was established on the foundations of the Academy of Arts, with three faculties: Faculty of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts, and Faculty of Performing Arts. The University of Arts offers Bachelor Degrees, “Master of Science”, “Master of Art”, “Professional Masters Degree”, “Integrated Masters Degree”, and courses in Music, Fine Arts, and Scenic Art. 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.
In 2009, 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, with plans to offer programmes in theatre arts by 2011. By 2014, the Albanian Council of Ministers approved the decision to revoke the licenses to 18 higher education institutions suspected of selling fake diplomas, including Kristal. Suspension of activities and legal action against another 13 universities was also ordered. This stemmed from a scandal uncovered in 2012 where Kristal University had issued a false degree to an Italian citizen171.
The One UN Joint Programme on Culture and Heritage for Social and Economic Development supported a new Cultural and Resource Management Masters course at the University of Tirana and fully accredited within the public higher education system as of October 2010.
The first film-school in Albania was founded in Tirana in October 2004 by the OraFilm Production Company, with the support of the Albanian Filmmakers Association Lumière, and operates in accordance with the Law on Cinematography Nr. 8096/1996, revised with the Law Nr. 9353/2005. The Academy of Film and Multimedia Marubi is a non-public institution of higher education recognized by the Albanian Government as the Academy of Film & Multimedia Marubi with Special Status, according to the Decision of Council of Ministers Nr.229/2018 and accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency in Higher Education with decisions Nr.227/2008, Nr.111/.2017, and recently decision nr.2/.2020 lasting until 2025. The Marubi Academy of Film and Multimedia offers three-year programmes in directing for film and TV, editing, cinematography and scriptwriting. Since 2008, AFMM is a full member of CILECT (Centre de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et Télévision) after a process of recognition and professional inspections. Lessons are held in Albanian mainly, as well as in English, German, French and Italian.
The Adriapol Institute at Marin Barleti University hosts the Albanian International Forum to promote the Creative Economy and Smart Development. The Forum is attended and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism, Ministry of Innovation and Public Administration, Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth and holds collaboration between Albania, Italy, Greece, North Macedonia and Kosovo.
In June 2005, between the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport of the Republic of Albania (of that time) and UNESCO Director of Division of Cooperation, it was decided to undertake the project “Organization of the Centre for restoration and conservation of the monuments in the framework of capacity building in the field of preservation and restoration of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Albania”. The Regional Centre for Conservation and Restoration for South-East Europe172 was created in order to fulfil the emergent need for raising professional capacities of the cultural heritage institutions in Albania and extended its status to the region of South East Europe. The Ministry of Culture has followed a clear methodology to create this centre based on an agreement with UNESCO, with the main aim to follow the recommendations and guidelines of UNESCO and to fulfil the needs and challenges presented to the South East Europe Region in the field of cultural heritage. During the period 2007-2018, it has organized and implemented 13 short / medium and long term training courses in the above mentioned modules. About 150 young professionals from the Region of South East Europe have been trained on these courses. Nearly all of these courses have been certified by UNESCO.
On 24.1.2018, the Council of Ministers made Decision nr.41, On the Elements of the Study Programmes offered by the higher education institutions173
According to the 2020-2021 report by the National Institute of Statistics on the number of students enrolled in college, university, and vocational courses during the last 3 years, there has been a steady decrease in enrollment for Arts and Humanities, from 14,348 in 2018-2019, to 12,537 in 2019-2020 and 10,277 students enrolled for 2020-2021. (see table below)
Also, in another report on Graduation Statistics for 2019-2020 by the National Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), as in the table below, the number of women graduated in Arts and Humanities had an increase in 2018-2019 to 2930 from 2606 in 2017-2018, as also did increase the total number of graduates in same year, but a decrease to 2,783 graduate women in 2019-2020, as did the total number of graduates decrease the same year, yet the total number of graduates in 2019-2020 is higher than 2017-2018.
Last update: January, 2022
Out-of-school arts and cultural education
Multi-arts centres had offered art classes until 1991 and amateur arts ensembles among working collectives and schools of all levels were common. Since the 2000’s new cultural, multi-disciplinary centres emerged and some parents were able to pay for private lessons for their children, often in music, painting or dance.
Most of the cultural centres are located in Tirana. Also in Tirana, The Italian Institute of Culture, the British Council, the Alliance Française, the Goethe Institute and USIS have opened reading rooms.
Folk groups are active in all Albanian towns and several music associations have been established. The Ministry of Culture finances a nation-wide folk festival in Gjirokastra, in which minority groups can also participate.
In 2016, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education and Sport to promote cultural awareness, expression, creativity and diversity, particularly to the young generation for a comprehensive and sustainable cultural education in Albania. As part of “Education Through Culture”174, the National Art Gallery inaugurated the "Children's Education Atelier" project, the National Experimental Theatre delivered artistic events for children each weekend and other public institutions of culture looked to play an educational role for youth. The Ministry of Culture also organised a reading campaign in 2016, including various literary activities with cooperation from the Ministry of Education and Sport, Tirana Municipality, other cultural institutions, the foreign embassies, as well as University of Tirana’s Department of Literature.
The European Heritage Days programme is annually held in September, connecting Albanian students and citizens with heritage, nature, education, inclusion and more through diverse themes and activities about heritage each year.
Other opportunities are created through the funding of civil society organizations’ projects that often include non-formal educational components such as workshops and training sessions.
Cultural Heritage without Borders project “DON’T GET MAD” is a collection of games adapted to the education of the local cultural heritage for the cities of Albania and is ongoing.
Last update: January, 2022
Vocational and professional training
In 2002, Law Nr. 8872/2002 on Vocational Education and Training in the Republic of Albania was passed and amended in 2008 and again in 2011 with Law Nr. 10434/2011. The National strategy for employment and Skills, 2014-2020 (NESS) came into force through approval by a Decision of the Council of Ministers Nr. 818/2014. The NESS focussed on four sub-strategies: Foster decent job opportunities through effective labour market policies; Offer quality vocational education and training to youth and adults; Promote social inclusion and territorial cohesion; and strengthen the governance of the labour market and qualification system175.
In 2015 Albania became a member of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships, and as an EU Candidate Country committed to the goals of the RIga Conclusions176.
In 2016, Cultural Heritage Without Borders implemented a programme called “Skills for employment” funded by the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Government of Sweden. This was in response to the issue of non-qualification of skills of former workers of “conservation ateliers” in the communist era. The skills of experienced craftspeople were not formally recognized after the 1990s leaving these workers out of the labour force, or working below their abilities. The programme consisted of 5 training modules in the main historical cities of Albania (Durrës, Gjirokastra, Berat and Korça) and by 2020 had certified 230 people (18 master craftspeople and 212 apprentices). Included in the programme were the Institute of Monuments of Culture, the Regional Directorates for National Culture in Gjirokastra, Berat and Korça; the National Directorates of Public Vocational Training in Gjirokastra and Korça and “Stiliano Bandilli” High School, Berat, as well as technical support from domestic and international experts.
Tourism is also a focus of several different vocational training programmes.
In 2017 a new Law on Vocational Education and Training in Albania was passed, and soon after the National Strategy for Employment and Skills 2014-2020 was extended to 2022.