Macedonian unis fail to provide right racial mix

August 6, 1999

Universities in Macedonia are failing to observe the ethnic quotas for admissions set by the Macedonian ministry of education, according to the Party for Democratic Prosperity, the main political voice of the ethnic Albanian minority in Macedonia.

According to the PDP, Slavs - Macedonians and Serbs - are being entered on university rolls as "Albanians", but the party questions how students with typical Slavonic surnames "become Albanians overnight". It cites the example of the faculty of economics in Skopje, where out of 74 "Albanians" enrolled, 17 are actually Macedonians or Serbs.

Although Macedonian official statistics put the size of the Albanian minority as 23 per cent, the Albanians say the true figure is almost 40 per cent.

When, in 1994, the Macedonian Albanians set up their own, Albanian-taught university in Tetovo, the Macedonian authorities refused to recognise it.

Acts of persecution against those at the University of Tetovo have included one student killed and more than 200 students and faculty members beaten up or jailed.

While genuine ethnic Albanian students are being kept out of the state system, Tetovo - which pays no heed to government-imposed quotas - has opened its doors to Macedonian students and academics and now teaches in both Albanian and Macedonian.

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