University of Pittsburgh
March 18, 2003

GSPIA Opens Macedonia Center for Public Policy and Management

Contact:  412-624-4147

The University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) has opened a Graduate Center for Public Policy and Management in Skopje, Macedonia, culminating nearly a decade of joint planning with university, governmental, and business leaders from both the United States and Macedonia. This relationship, unique to Pitt, is one that GSPIA hopes to model in other parts of the world.

"The center provides an opportunity to strongly prepare current and future leaders for positions of public service," said GSPIA Associate Dean David Miller. "At a critical time when countries in the Balkans are transforming their economies and reforming public administrations to better serve their citizens, experienced, knowledgeable leaders are essential to ensure that these changes are based on sound policy."

This venture broadens GSPIA's exposure in the Balkans region and enables Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Serbian, and Romanian students to benefit from GSPIA's nearly 45 years of experience in educating leaders.

"The mix of culture, scholarship, and experience will enrich each student's academic experience," added Miller.

This partnership is enhanced in part because of the sister city agreement between the cities of Skopje and Pittsburgh. "More often than not, universities go in 'thinly' to a new location," said Miller. "When GSPIA was looking for strategic location in another part of the world, we wanted our relationships to be very deep with the city we chose, and we wanted to make a significant and long-term commitment. The sister city partnership helped to get the governments of the U.S. and Macedonia working together to make this center a reality."

"We are gratified by the University of Pittsburgh's long-term commitment to Macedonia, not only with respect to previous initiatives with the Presidency of Macedonia and the Skopje-Pittsburgh sister city program but also with respect to its efforts to assist Macedonia in its transition to democracy, effective governance, and a market economy," added Zoran Krstevski, deputy prime minister for the government of the Republic of Macedonia.

Students may earn either the Master in Public Policy and Management for experienced professionals or a Certificate in Public Policy and Management for students with an undergraduate degree and limited work experience. Courses will be offered in English by a team comprising both GSPIA faculty and faculty from Macedonian universities, using both face-to-face and Web-based instruction.

Thirty-five students are expected to enroll for classes in the fall of 2003.

Students are expected to have English language proficiency as well as a degree or diploma from the equivalent of a four-year American university. Applicants must have a B average and submit an essay with their admission document.

The program builds on faculty and graduate student exchanges as well as the Agreement on Academic Cooperation between Pitt and Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, founded in 1949 and now with an enrollment of 30,000 students. The agreement helped to create a formal linkage between GSPIA and Saints Cyril and Methodius at a higher and more significant level.

The Graduate Center for Public Policy and Management is supported by the Government of Macedonia, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, and Pitt. The center's Web site is www.mk.pitt.edu.

For more information, contact Rachel Mohr Handel at (412) 648-6660 or handel@pitt.edu.

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