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South East European University
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Response to articles in Lajm by the president of the board of SEEU, Prof. Dr. Dennis Farrington

We operate free of political influence with a strong international presence. Our published employability statistics demonstrate that committed students are able to take full advantage of the knowledge and skills they develop at SEEU.

Personally I support free expression and constructive debate about higher education in the Republic of Macedonia. However, to approach European standards in any meaningful sense requires a much higher level of analysis than is shown in the recent Lajm articles, and South East European University will not be changing its policies to respond to ill-informed journalism simply to increase numbers. Since 2001 our aim has been to provide a well-managed, sustainable, cost-effective, high quality education accessible to all interested and qualified students according to modern European and international standards. We do this in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and most importantly, multi-lingual setting with increasing emphasis on developing useful skills in the English language which for success in Europe today is absolutely essential and in SEEU is delivered by the best-qualified and resourced Language Centre in the region. Our published employability statistics demonstrate that committed students are able to take full advantage of the knowledge and skills they develop at SEEU. We operate free of political influence with a strong international presence in our management and academic staff, and we seek to maintain good relations with all universities in the region; we have never and will not now be drawn into criticism of other universities.

The recent articles in Lajm concentrate on the number of students entering and leaving SEEU each year, with particular reference to the State University of Tetovo as one other institution which students might wish to enter. Potential students make their free choice of institution based on their own concept of what is in their best long-term interest. Higher education is a long-term investment, not simply a matter of picking up a diploma after three or four years. The number of students registering in any particular year at each institution depends on a number of factors, including the increased availability of places at state universities through the policy of dispersal, the general economic situation in the country and availability of attractive academic programmes with long-term relevance to employability. I would argue that simply trying to increase student numbers without concern for quality benefits neither the institution nor the students. Wasting three or four years acquiring dubious qualifications will have obvious consequences.

Students leave universities for a variety of reasons. Not everybody can be successful in their chosen field. If students do not meet the standards required to obtain an SEEU qualification, or wish to change track, they are free to pursue their studies in other institutions and we wish them well. This is perfectly normal and acceptable in all European countries and I fully support the right of students to make the best choices for their long-term future.

SEEU now welcomes applications from all interested students who wish to pursue their higher education in a modern, high quality environment where their interests come first.

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