The legal governance of online learning and the higher education institutions approach in the developing country

Download This Article

Jorida Xhafaj ORCID logo, Visar Hoxha ORCID logo, Qendresa Beka

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


The purpose of the study is to examine the legal framework governing online learning in higher education in Kosovo and harmonization with accreditation standards, professional licensing bodies, and copyrights laws (Frydenberg, 2002; Davis, Dowd, Poulin, & Silverman, 2020) and evaluate the transformation process from in-campus classes to online classes from the technical perspective within five higher education institutions (HEI) in Kosovo such as faculty support, redesign of learning outcomes, and assessment strategies (Martin, Polly, Jokiaho, & May, 2017; Coates & Lennon, 2014; Johnson, Veletsianos, & Seaman, 2020). The present study uses qualitative research methodology. The qualitative research method analyzes laws, standards, and other by-laws in Kosovo to examine the legal clauses governing the delivery of online teaching in Kosovo. The study analyzes the Kosovo Law on Higher Education, Accreditation Directive, accreditation manual and standards, and strategic documents of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Kosovo. Further, the present study uses discussions and interviews with the homogenous purposive sample of stakeholders within five HEIs in Kosovo. The present study finds that the actual legal framework in Kosovo lacks clarity and standardization and offers liberty for self-governance and independence to universities to decide on online education. Also, results show that Kosovo universities are at the outset of transformative processes towards online education such as faculty support, the adaption of didactics, course redesign, and the adaptation of assessment policy. So, the present study paves the way for better regulation of online learning within the Law on Higher Education and various administrative directives governing the accreditation of HEI and their study programs and modes of delivery. The present paper represents the first qualitative study of legal and institutional governance of online learning in Kosovo.

Keywords: Online Education, Higher Education, Legal Framework, Standardization, Kosovo

Authors’ individual contribution: Conceptualization — J.X.; Methodology — V.H.; Formal Analysis — J.X.; Investigation — J.X. and Q.B.; Writing — Original Draft — J.X. and Q.B; Writing — Review & Editing — J.X., V.H., and Q.B.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Acknowledgements: This research is supported and granted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in Kosovo and the Program for Support of Scientists in Short-Terms Projects.

JEL Classification: K39

Received: 08.09.2021
Accepted: 11.02.2022
Published online: 15.02.2022

How to cite this paper: Xhafaj, J., Hoxha, V., & Beka, Q. (2022). The legal governance of online learning and the higher education institutions approach in the developing country [Special issue]. Journal of Governance & Regulation, 11(1), 223–230.