“Eqrem Çabej” University of Gjirokastra was established based on the Decision of the Council of Ministers Nr. 414, date12 November 1991, on the basis of the High Pedagogical Institution which was opened in 1971(see annex 1). UGJ is the most important educational, scientific and cultural institution of Southern Region in Albania.
Higher education in Gjirokastra dates back before the establishment of the University of Gjirokastra. Previous experience provided the basis for further developments. A Branch of the Economic Faculty of Tirana University (full time system) opened in 1968 and was operational for 11 years.
A year later (1969), Agronomy was started as a Branch of High Agricultural Institute and it functioned for 10 years. In the same year, the 2-year Pedagogical Institute (full time system) opened to prepare teachers of specific subjects such as Language & Literature, History & Geography, Biology & Chemistry, and Mathematics & Physics. In addition, a Branch of Physical Culture of the “Vojo Kushi” Institute, which functioned for 5 years, was also started.
Based on past experiences, in 1971, the 3-year Pedagogical High Institute (full time system), with study programs in History- Geography and Mathematics-Physics was started by the Decision of the Council of Ministers. In 1980, the study program in Biology-Chemistry was introduced.
In 1981, the 3-year Pedagogical High Institute, by the Decision of Council of Ministers, was restructured as a 4-year Pedagogical Institute. In the same year, the program of study which prepared teachers for elementary education was introduced followed by the introduction of the study program in the Albanian Language and Literature by the Decision of Council of Ministers Nr. 255, date 24.07.1986.
Over a period of 10 years, the 4-year Pedagogical Institute was extended with various study programs preparing teachers for different subjects; at the same time it was consolidated and enriched with the necessary teaching materials and facilities. The new corpus was built with the adequate teaching space and the dormitory building. The qualification level of the academic staff increased steadily year after year.
In the academic year 1993-1994, the University of Gjirokastra was further extended offering two new study programs, namely that of Greek Language and Literature which prepares teachers for the schools of the Greek minority and that of the English Language.( by the Decision of the Council of Ministers respectively Nr. 435, date 03.09.1993, and Nr. 300, date 21.06.1994)
In the following years, the University of Gjirokastra was completed with study programs of the First Cycle apart from teaching such as Accounting-Finance, Public Administration, Tourism, General Nursing, Midwife Nursing, and other study programs of the Second Cycle “Professional Master” and “Master of Sciences” and the Third Cycle “PhD”.
Generally, the student contingent came from the Southern Albanian region but it was not strictly limited to that. There were also many students from outside the Albanian borders, especially from Kosovo and FYROM.
Nowadays, the geographical map of students enrolled in our university has extended. There is a large student contingent coming from the Middle Albanian Region, even from Northern Albania.
The admission of students after 1990 up to 2005 was based on competitions/tests organized by the university itself, whereas from 2006 up to the present day, the admission of students in the first cycle, full time system study programs is based on the “State Matura”. In the second cycle part time system study programs “Master of Sciences” and “Professional Master”, admission of students is based on criteria defined from the University itself.
From 1994 to the present, “Eqrem Çabej” University has operated based on departments. (Before they were referred to as branches) According to the Decision of the Council of Ministers Nr. 128, date 27.10.1994, the university started to operate with 3 faculties and 10 departments.
By the Decision Nr. 823, date 05.12.2007 of the Council of Ministers, the Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Education merged and the Faculty of Education and Social Sciences came into being.
Currently, “Eqrem Çabej” University, Gjirokastra consists of three main units: