Strategic Plan 2017-2022
Department of Economics
Established in 2008, the department is engaged in equipping undergraduate and graduate students with critical thinking and preparing them to face public debates in interdisciplinary fields of study. Economics department offers the three cycles of study as Bachelors, Master’s and Doctorate (PhD) degree programs.
1. Mission: The mission of the Department of Economics consists of three interrelated components: 1.providing the highest quality instruction to our undergraduate and graduate students; 2.conducting leading-edge research in economics; 3.providing leadership and service to our professional communities.
2. Context: Based on the provision of the Law no. 80/2015 “On Higher Education and Scientific Research in Higher Education in the Republic of Albania” and in the framework of the conduct of the Institutional Review (Re-accreditation) of Epoka University as well as the beginning of the preliminary work on the drafting of the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan of Epoka University, Economics Department prepared its Strategic Plan for 2017-2022.
3. Vision: The Department of Economics aims at the qualification of new staff with general knowledge alert to the challenges in economy, and able to work in the administration of local and foreign private companies.
4. Sources: This strategic plan foresees that the department will draw upon the human, financial, and material resources of the department and the University, investing in the improvement of its staff, and exploring grant funding and sponsorship for research and other activities.
5. Achievements from the last period: The Department of Economics has seen a number of achievements since its inception in 2008. The bachelor study program was accredited in 2011 and the master of science and PhD study programs in 2016. The number of students enrolled in the department has shown an increasing trend.
II. Priority Areas– Themes
Theme 1: Provide a high quality environment for teaching and learning.
The Economics Department provides an outstanding education to a great many students, consistently ranking the graduates in the top of the Epoka university ranking. At the same time, almost all the graduates from bachelor programs continue further master studies and a considerable number of them follow a master degree abroad Albania. Rapidly growing application numbers, rapidly growing market need for research, and good position of Epoka University in Albania all speak to the high standing that the department has with external constituencies. Departmental resources, however, are not in line with the current scale and success of our program, nor with our aspirations. The department will need to take some further steps in the next five years to acquire the support it needs to build upon its top-tier status.
Specific goals for the Theme 1
Goal 1.1. Attract highquality and diverse academic staff.
Goal 1.2. Increase the participation of academic staff in trainings in their areas of expertise.
Goal 1.3. Extend the global reach of the department by expanding international activities in teaching, learning, and research.
Goal 1.4. Continue providing leadership at the university level for investments in high-performance computing facilities, visualization and networks.
Goal 1.5. Ensure that our instructional technologies are modern and versatile, particularly when used in an active-learning environment or when used for distance and distributed learning.
Goal 1.6. Increase the productivity of our faculty and staff by making greater use of information technology.
Measures in order to reach mentions goals under Theme 1.
Measure 1.1. Increase the faculty size by minimum two new members until 2022.
Measure 1.2. Increase by 25% the number of trainings received by the academic staff relevant to their areas of expertise.
Measure 1.3. Provide annual faculty development training sessions on active-learning teaching methods for faculty members and graduate teaching assistants.
Theme 2: Recruit, educate and graduate a high-quality and diverse undergraduate student body.
Since 2009 the students’ enrolments for the economic department of Epoka University have substantially increased.Starting form 2013, the department has been involved in students’ exchange. In 2013-2014 academic year there have been 2 incoming students, in 2014-2015 academic year there have been 3 incoming students, whereas in 2015-2016 academic year there have been 1 incoming students and 6 outgoing students. Diversifying the class and creating additional opportunities for international experiences will remain priorities for the department.
Specific goals for the Theme 2
Goal 2.1. Increase by Undergraduate Student Enrollment and Success
Goal 2.2.Increase Retention and Graduation Rates for Undergraduate Students
Goal 2.3.Increase Diversity
Goal 2.4. Equip our undergraduates with skills that will put them in high demand for internships.
Measures in order to reach mentions goals under Theme 2.
Measure 2.1. Open two new profiles under the department of economics.
Measure 2.2. Increase by 25% B.S. degrees awarded
Measure 2.3. Increase by 10 % the annual percentage of students involved in international experiences.
Measure 2.4. Increase by 50% the numberof graduating students who have had a co-op or internship
Measure 2.5.Advisory meetings with interested students on graduate studies.
Theme 3: Recruit, educate and graduate a high-quality and diverse master student body.
Since 2013 the department has recruit some graduate students but their number is not very satisfactory. To draw even with other highly-ranked peers and to support a rapidly expanding research portfolio the department needs to grow its graduate student population, particularly at the Ph.D. level. The department needs to greatly increase its resources for graduate teaching assistantships. As for its undergraduate students, diversifying the graduate student population and creating additional opportunities for international experiences are priorities.
Specific goals for the Theme 3
Goal 3.1. Increase Graduate Student Enrollment and Success
Goal 3.2.Increase Retention and Graduation Rates for Graduate Students
Goal 3.3.Offer research opportunities that feature applications to critical national needs, cross-disciplinary knowledge and global economic skills.
Goal 3.4. Increase our competitiveness for domestic graduate students.
Goal 3.5. Seek more externally funded fellowships for our graduate students.
Measures in order to reach mentions goals under Theme 3.
Measure 3.1. Increase by 10% recruits fromother universities,state and regional public administration, and international institutions.
Measure 3.2. Increase the number of prospective graduate students that visit the open days on campus.
Measure 3.3. Increase by 10% funding available to support students as research assistants.
Measure 3.4. Refine once in two years content and presentation of graduate program to help with recruiting.
Theme 4: Recruit, educate and graduate a high-quality and diverse PhD student body.
Even though the PhD students’ enrolment in economics department started in 2012-2013, their number through years is still modest. In the last year university offered to the PhD students funding opportunities for their research. In the next five years we should do more to attract students and researcher. The department will, unquestionably, be a major contributor to the university's goal of making advancement in the fields of economy and increasing the number of projects, conference participations and research publications.
Specific goals for the Theme 4
Goal 4.1. Engage in interdisciplinary research, especially through the other departments and research centers of Epoka University.
Goal 4.2. Engage in multi-organizational and multi-national research.
Goal 4.3. Encourage faculty, staff and students to be active in their professional communities.
Goal 4.4. Encourage faculty, staff and students to share the results of their scholarship with a broad audience.
Measures in order to reach mentions goals under Theme 4.
Measure 4.1. Include service activities in merit, tenure, promotion and other evaluation deliberations at the department level.
Measure 4.2. Increase by 10% funding opportunities for new and current activities.
Measure 4.3. Continue to provide departmental support for research and creative activities.
Measure 4.4. Increase by 25% common publications and presentations with PhD students.
Measure 4.5. Maintain the strength and breadth of disciplines in the department by recruiting strong faculty in targeted areas of economics.
Theme 5: Provide a high quality environment for research.
Academic staff of economics department has shown a good performance in conference participations, paper publications and other academic activities. There are a lot of published paper and researches by a collaboration of academic staff and the students from the three cycles of study. However, the department needs to make some efforts to support the staff to increase the research productivity and to encourage faculty publication in highly ranked journals.
Specific goals for the Theme 5
Goal 5.1. Encourage and support faculty to increase research productivity and quality.
Goal 5.2. Attract and retain quality faculty and strengthen the reputation of the department.
Goal 5.3. Incorporate the three main pillars, teaching, research and contribution to society by increasing the social activities that include academia, businesses/NGOs and governmental bodies.
Goal 5.4. Orient thesis topics/research topics toward the concrete needs and gaps in the Albanian market and beyond.
Measures in order to reach mentions goals under Theme 5.
Measure 5.1. Recruit PhD qualified faculty and faculty holding academic titles such as “Assoc. Prof. Dr.” or “Prof. Dr.”.
Measure 5.2. Reduce teaching loads by 25% for faculty with high levels of research productivity and graduate student direction.
Measure 5.3. Develop and implement faculty professional development plans for faculty with low research productivity.
Measure 5.4. Increase by 10% faculty participation in research institutes.
Measure 5.5. Increase by 25% faculty participation in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary activities.
Measure 5.6. Continue to support travel to professional meetings and conferences.
Measure 5.7. Increase by 25% the number of agreements with different economic actors such as governmental institutions, businesses, etc.