Transformational Leadership Program - Scholarships and Partnerships

TLP-SP Scholars Transform Career Development Services for 50K+ Students

Tackling youth under-employment is a top priority for Europe’s youngest country, Kosovo. Alumni of USAID’s Transformational Leadership Program are teaming up with Kosovo’s premier university, the University of Prishtina, to lead the charge in taking on the challenge of employment.

On October 31st, the University of Prishtina launched two cutting-edge platforms: an e-career platform, that allows current students to connect with potential employers, apply for jobs, sign up for trainings and create CVs; and an alumni platform that connects UP’s large and diverse alumni base with the university and its students, for the first time since the university’s opened its doors 50 years ago.

Ambassador Greg Delawie, Rector Marjan Dema, and Minister of Education Shyqiri Bytyqi spoke to students, faculty, and company representatives, emphasizing the power and importance of the career platform.

“The University of Prishtina is determined to connect the institution, students, and employers with one another. Launching these two platforms is a concrete step that leads us in the right direction,” intoned Rector Marjan Dema.

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University of Prishtinastaff, Elmedina Nikoceviq Kurti,Shkumbin Tafilaj and Besnik Loxha, who led the development of the new tools are graduates of TLP’s Leadership and Change Management workshop. This intensive training challenged University of Prishtina staff to improve their leadership and to demonstrate a higher sense of ownership over their work.

Arianit Pajaziti and Rinor Bytyqi, cofounders of local technology start-up AppBites, developed the two platforms. Both received certificates in information technology from the Illinois Institute of Technology under USAID’s Transformational Leadership Program – Scholarships and Partnerships. Since returning to their home-country, the two have utilized their start-up to digitalize numerous public services in Kosovo.

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“We developed state-of-the-art tools with an objective to digitalize the important work of UP’s Career Development Center,” said Arianit, describing the UP project. The University of Prishtina is the oldest and largest research university in Kosovo, serving tens of thousands of students. Both Arianit and Rinor studied at UP, thus it was all the more rewarding that “this is the first large-scale project undertaken since returning from the United States.”

The tools developed include web and mobile apps for students, a web app and database for the Career Development Center and an alumni page to connect UP’s large and influential alumni base back to their alma mater for the first time in the university’s history.

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The new database houses both student and company information – and allows for easy access to a pool of jobs, career fairs, events, workshops and scholarship opportunities. The complementary mobile app allows students to access the career portal from anywhere, no matter if they own a personal computer. This TLP-SP work product is expected to directly impact the employability of thousands of students.

“We really hope that University of Prishtina students will benefit from this. We’re especially excited that there is now a centralized, at-your-fingertips solution for information on available scholarships. In a way, everyone will be able to learn more, and help share the knowledge after,” said Rinor.

The Transformational Leadership Program - Scholarships and Partnerships (TLP-SP) is a partnership co-funded by USAID-Kosovo and the Government of Kosovo and administered by World Learning. The project, launched on February 24, 2014, will develop a cadre of leaders and equip the abilities of other Kosovars to drive change in priority economic, political, and social areas in Kosovo. Learn more at www.usaid-tlp-sp.org.

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