US Embassy in Shkup

Information about Macedonia

Republic of Macedonia
University of Tetova information, presented by Robert Nesimi.

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Albanians live in the western part of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the area bordering Albania in the west and Kosova in the north. According to an EU sponsored census, ethnic Albanians comprise 22 percent of Macedonia's total population of a little over two million. Albanian political parties in Macedonia claim that the number is higher, that Albanians comprise 40 percent of the total population. Nevertheless, Albanians are the second largest ethnic group in Macedonia.

Albanians in Macedonia have considerable rights as far as the use of their own language, national symbols and the cultivation of their ethnic identity is concerned, however, international human rights organizations have many times in the past charged the Macedonian government with discrimination against Albanians, primarily in government representation and education. A recent controversy in Macedonia was the establishment of an Albanian language university in the northwestern town of Tetova. The Macedonian Ministry of Education refuses to accredit this institution and the Macedonian government charged it to be illegal and unconstitutional. Albanian poltical parties and intellectuals argue that the Albanian population is entitled to university education in its own language.

Albanian political parties in the FYR of Macedonia are active in the pursuit of even greater political and national rights for the Albanian minority of Macedonia such as the official use of the Albanian language in local administration, proportional representation in the government and the right to higher education in mother-tongue.



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