Professor Avdullah Hoti has been named deputy prime minister, Professor Hykmete Bajrami is education minister, and Dr Lumir Abdixhiku is minister of infrastructure.

Professor Avdullah Hoti has been named deputy prime minister, Professor Hykmete Bajrami is education minister, and Dr Lumir Abdixhiku is minister of infrastructure.

Three former Staffordshire University students have taken up cabinet posts in Kosovo’s new government.

The trio all studied postgraduate level economics at the university’s business school in Stoke-on-Trent and have since climbed the ranks in both higher education and politics.

They have joined the new coalition government in the South European republic, which follows months of political deadlock in the wake of elections back in October.

Prof Bajrami, who completed a master’s degree at Staffordshire University in 2003, already has ministerial experience as she previously challenged the male-dominated Kosovo Assembly as trade and industry spokesman.

She said: “Taking responsibility for leading the Ministry of Science and Education, however hard and complex it may be, is a task that I hold dearly and will conduct with huge accountability. I have always been driven by the dedication to serve my country.”

Dr Abdixhiku, who completed his PhD at Staffordshire in 2013, was an active critic of the previous Kosovan government. He proved popular with the young electorate and polled a high number of votes.

Prof Hoti, who achieved a master’s degree from the business school in 2002, went on to become deputy mayor of Kosovo’s capital city, Prishtina and later finance minister.

Iraj Hashi, emeritus professor of economics, taught each of the graduates. He said: “Seeing three Staffordshire University graduates in high office is amazing and demonstrates our international impact. They are all a credit to the university.”

The trio all received scholarships during their studies in the Potteries, jointly funded by the Open Society Foundation and the university.

Originally published here:
https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/stoke-on-trent-news/trio-ex-staffordshire-university-now-3870326