Language Education Policy Studies
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Language Education Policies in Post-War Republic of Kosovo

The newly established country of Kosovo has become the model of multilingual tolerance and additive approaches when it comes to Language Education Policies, despite the persisting ideological and nationalist disagreements between the Kosovar-Albanian majority and the Serb minority.  With a population of 1,883,018 out of which 92.9% are Albanians, 1.5% Serbian, and the rest consisting of Bosniak, Turks, Romani, Ashkali, Gorani ethnic groups (The World Factbook, 2017), the Language Law proposed by the international community and later adopted in the Constitution of Kosovo in 2008, states three official languages; Albanian, Serbian and English (Demaj & Vandenboucke, 2017, p.85).  The policies put forth and implemented are inclusive towards minorities and non-assimilationist, ensuring the maintenance of mother tongues and promotion of linguistic identities of all ethnic groups.

The language policies in place, clearly stated in the constitution, ensure that each individual, student or parent is free to choose the medium of instruction and accordingly select the appropriate school.  Section 19.2 of Article 19 of the constitution states that “Every person has the right to choose, and to choose for their children, their preferred official language of instruction” (Assembly of Kosovo, 2006). The policies explicitly guarantee the right of students (or their parents) to enroll in a school where the medium of instruction is their mother tongue.  Furthermore, in regions inhabited by a particular ethnic group, where neither of the three official languages is a mother tongue of that group, Article 20 guarantees the use of that group’s mother tongue as a medium of instruction in public schools of the region (Assembly of Kosovo, 2006).  In municipalities (regions) where the medium of instruction is not an official language, parents and students are free to study any of the official languages (Assembly of Kosovo, 2006).

In higher education, particularly in public universities, the primary medium of instruction are only the official languages, regulated by internal policies of those institutions; however the Constitution reserves the rights of any person, group, or community to “establish private educational institutions with instructions in the language of their choice” according to the existing policies of higher education (Assembly of Kosovo, 2016).  In some regions of the Republic of Kosovo, students in K-12 learn English as a foreign language (EFL) as one of the official languages, in addition to the mother tongue. These students learn English starting in the first grade of elementary school. 



Assembly of Kosovo. 2006. Law No. 02/L-37 On the Use of Languages. Accessed December 22,

Demaj, U. & Vandenbroucke, M. (2016) Post-war Kosovo landscapes in Pristina: discrepancies between language policy and urban reality, Nationalities Papers, 44:5, 804-825.

Korniza Kurrikulare e Arsimit Parauniversitar të Repubikës së Kosovës / Ministria e Arsimit, Shkencës dhe Tekonologjisë (e rishikuar). – Prishtinë : MASHT, 2016. – 77 f. : ilustr. ; 28 cm.

The World Factbook: KOSOVO. (2017, December 19). Retrieved at


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This information was originally published on the website of the International Network for Language Education Policy Studies ( as

Sadiku, M. (2018). Language Policy in Post-War Republic of Kosovo. In F. V. Tochon (Ed.), Language Education Policy Studies (online). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin—Madison. Retrieved at: (insert link) 

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