Ambassador Kosnett’s Remarks for U.S.-Kosovo Educational Exchange Board (USKEB), June 17, 2021
Good afternoon. I’m honored for the opportunity to participate in the United States Kosovo Educational Exchange Board Virtual Launch Event. Minister Nagavci, it’s a pleasure to be here with you.
I extend my congratulations to all of you on the formation of the United States Kosovo Educational Exchange Board. The formation of this Board is an outstanding achievement for both our countries. This is the first Fulbright Exchange Board in the world, a new bilateral structure for Fulbright being pioneered right here in Kosovo. It is a testament to Kosovo’s investment in the Fulbright Program, and to the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation’s commitment to improving Kosovo’s education system.
The Ministry has offered tremendous support both financially and professionally to the Fulbright Program, demonstrating that educational exchange opportunities are not financial assistance. This represents a mutual commitment to cooperation in education; to greater cultural understanding between our countries; and to the current and future generations of Kosovo’s students – scholars who will use the technical expertise they sharpen abroad to improve Kosovo’s economy and quality of life after they return.
Just two examples of alumni who have contributed upon their return: Kreshnik Hoti, who was a Fulbright scholar at MIT, and whose research uses AI-based solutions to improve the safety of medication here in Kosovo. And Nora Latifi – the Executive Director of GAP Institute, helping better link local governance to citizen needs, fight corruption, and promote budget transparency.
I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that in nearly any field in Kosovo, Fulbright alumni are involved in bringing positive change. You are a part of that. The U.S.-Kosovo Educational Exchange Board will ensure that civil society, Fulbright alumni, representatives of the academic community here in Kosovo, and representatives from the Ministry have a direct say in the focus and direction of Fulbright. The Board places the activities of Fulbright in your hands. It is a symbol both of cooperation between the United States, and of Kosovo’s increased self-reliance.
Thank you, board members, for the important contribution you are making. Your efforts will make a lasting difference in Kosovo’s higher education system. That system is the foundation for Kosovo’s future success in a global marketplace, and a launching pad for Kosovo’s future leaders. The importance of your work cannot be overstated.