Over 35 academics, policy-makers and practitioners from Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Macedonia met in Prishtina to forge relationships and facilitate in the development of the Shared Education (SE) Model in Kosovo. Based on an established body of research on intergroup contact, the Shared Education Model fosters collaborative partnerships between schools separated along ethnic or religious lines, affording young people the opportunity to engage in shared, sustained learning experiences. With research establishing its effectiveness, the model has now been mainstreamed in Northern Ireland.
With the support of Center for Shared Education and Centre for Identity and Intergroup Relations at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), Northern Ireland, this strategic network of key educational stakeholders was hosted by RIT Kosovo faculty member and researcher at LEAP Center, Edona Maloku, an advocate of reconciliation in the country. The initiative in Kosovo has been endorsed by Her Excellency Atifete Jahjaha, President of the Republic of Kosovo (2011 - 2016) and Chair of the Board of Directors at Jahjaga Foundation, as well as the mayor of ethnically-mixed municipality of Kamenica, Qëndron Kastrati, where the model aims to be piloted. Partners in Kosovo will continue to collaborate with the Queen’s University Belfast as well as other key educational stakeholders in Macedonia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, to share expertise on adapting this peacebuilding model for each of the contexts.
The seminar was funded by United Kingdom Research and Innovation – Global Challenges Research Fund.