Education, youth and politics - Being minister of Education in Albania

a conversation with Besa Shahini, former minister for education, youth and sport in Albania

Our distinguished guest for this event was Besa Shahini who until recently has been the Minister for Education, Youth and Sport in Albania. This revealing discussion with a visionary politician and eloquent speaker touched upon the topic of education policy and how to successfully transform visions into policies. Besa Shahini was a refugee at a young age and ended up having a very international upbringing. As a child she grew up in Kosovo. Following the escape from the war in the 1990s she continued her education in Canada before eventually going back to Kosovo. For many years she was working as a researcher, writing reports and setting up her own think tank. She gained expertise in development issues and education. After receiving Albanian citizenship she became Albanian Minister of Education in 2019.
During the event, we discussed: How can one achieve positive change in the field of education? How does one go from being a researcher to becoming a minister? What skills does one need to be a successful politician? How difficult is it to translate a vision into changes in society? What does a typical day of a minister look like? What are the most frustrating and rewarding elements of the job? Is it different for women to be in Balkan politics?
This debate enabled students to get behind the facade of the life of a minister and to learn more about education in the Country with one of the youngest populations in Europe - Albania.