The USAID Private Sector Partnerships to Strengthen Higher Education Activity aims to strengthen partnerships between the private sector and academic institutions, and support development of market-oriented and experiential learning approaches in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Agriculture sectors in Kosovo.

The Private Sector Partnership to Strengthen Higher Education Activity will be guided by the Iowa Consortium, led by the University of Iowa (UI), with collaboration from Iowa State University (ISU) and the Kosova Education Center (KEC). The Activity’s objectives and interventions will ensure that Kosovo university students have curricular and applied experiences that translate to professional success for themselves and their employers. A centerpiece of this Activity involves deepening connections between industry experts and partner universities, with a focus on ICT and agricultural study programs to meet the needs of the labor market.


Objective 1: Increase the universities’ analytic capabilities and access to labor market data in partnership with the private and public sector.

The interventions under this objective focus on integrating and expanding the use of labor market and university data to inform decision-making regarding matters such as academic study program effectiveness and outcomes, and how universities and companies implement field experiences for students. Companies, professors, and university staff will improve their capacities for managing, using, analyzing, and interpreting relevant data so they are utilized as a key source for continuous improvement and as a strategic asset for industry-university cooperation.


Objective 2: Strengthen partnerships with the private sector to enable the universities to develop/revise curriculum according to market demand.

The Activity will facilitate a sustained dialogue between ICT and agriculture professors with the companies who seek to employ talented university graduates. The interventions will (re)structure curricular reform and revision practices to ensure that companies have a prominent role in identifying the competencies needed for career success in their industries. Interventions will also assist professors in routinely updating course content, assessment approaches, and experiential forms of learning to best reflect the evolving career competencies in line with market demand.


Objective 3: Enhance interconnectivity and effectiveness in student experiential learning.

The Activity will improve the overall implementation of students’ experiential learning. Interventions will guide the universities in better supporting the recruitment, placement, and administration of student field placements in industry, which includes enhancing the existing e-career platforms.  Interventions will also empower youth to take a direct role in their career development by providing opportunities and pathways for career exploration, professional growth, and mentoring. Additionally, interventions will improve universities’ administration of career services through better cooperation with Kosovo’s private sector and sustained mentorship from career professionals affiliated with the Iowa Consortium.


Objective 4: Strengthen partnerships between universities and the private sector to enable demand-driven applied research.

USAID Private Sector Partnerships to Strengthen Higher Education Activity will enhance the universities’ capacities for implementing demand-driven research. Interventions will engage the private sector to strategically prioritize a common set of research priorities that reflect pressing needs for greater expertise in the ICT and agriculture sectors. Kosovo’s ICT and agriculture professors will interact with colleagues from the University of Iowa and Iowa State University to enhance their capacities for strategically responding to industry problems and challenges. ICT and agriculture students, and professors, will receive training and support aimed at collaborating on research initiatives to better connect industry problems to student learning and solution-development approaches.



  • University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina”
  • University of Peja “Haxhi Zeka”
  • University of Prizren “Ukshin Hoti”
  • ICT and agriculture private sector companies
  • Implementation period
    17/01/2023 - Ongoing
  • Personnel
    Eli Gashi
  • Donors and Partners


  • Research