Arjan Shahini

Italian-Albanian Higher Education Policies and Student Mobility from the 1920s to the mid-1940s

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This essay looks at the Italian patronage of Albania from the 1920s to the beginning of the 1940s. The focus is on the cultural component of patronage. Comparisons are drawn between other relevant periods of foreign patronages to emphasize the path-dependency properties of the historical events narrated here. More specifically, the essay deals with the case of academic exchanges and Italy’s higher education policy in Albania that affected the elite formation there. The essay argues that local intellectuals and policymakers were not passive recipients of Italy’s colonial and imperial policies. The essay takes a multidisciplinary approach. It first aims to examine Albanian student mobility in Italy from a transnational historical perspective. Second, it contributes to the study of the intellectual history of nationalism in Albania as the most important political and social movement to date.


  • Higher education policies
  • Albania
  • Student mobility
  • Academic exchanges
  • Italy


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