ALBANIA: Students flocking to private universities

As students in Albania head back to universities, statistics show that more of them are choosing private institutions, reports Manjola Hala for the Southeast European Times.

According to data from the Ministry of Education, in 2008 about 76% of students attended one of the country's 11 public universities and the remainder enrolled in local private colleges, which have flourished in the past five years. The number of students at private schools ballooned from 983 in 2004 to 12,166 four years later.

Private universities were complementing public education, said Henri Cili, a professor at the private European University of Tirana. Despite the growing number of students in private institutions, he added, most Albanians still pick public colleges because they are basically free. Currently there are about 17 private universities in the country, but only four of them are accredited by the state, and are able to hand out official diplomas.
Full report on the Southeast European Times site