CCNY To Help Macedonia’s State University Of Tetovo Create Environmental Training, Research Programs

NEW YORK, November 10, 2005 – The City College of New York (CCNY) has announced that it has entered into a agreement with the State University of Tetovo (SUT) in Macedonia to help create an environmental science and technology program at SUT and to facilitate student exchanges and other collaborative projects.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the two schools, signed by Dr. Gregory H. Williams, President of The City College, and Dr. Nexhbedin Beadini, Rector of the State University of Tetovo, calls for:

Formation of a joint scientific committee to develop a strategy and plan of action to create an environmental science and technology program at SUT that would grant degrees and house an ecological research institute.
The two schools to implement student exchanges at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels.
Scientists from both schools to work collaboratively on environmental science and technology problems of mutual interest.
Both schools to invite members of each other’s faculty and student body to participate in relevant conferences, symposia, meetings and other events.
“This partnership provides an incredible opportunity for The City College of New York,” said President Williams. “We admire what the State University of Tetovo has accomplished in a relatively short period of time and we are pleased to be able to partner with them.”

SUT, which is the second largest higher education institution in Macedonia, was established in 1994. It has grown to 13,000 students and 250 employees organized in six faculties, the equivalent of schools at American institutions. In addition, it is participating in the Bologna Process, a system of accreditation that facilitates acceptance of credit for completed coursework among European colleges and universities.

“Establishing the environmental science and technology program will be vital to Macedonia’s economic future,” said Dr. Reza Khanbilvardi, CCNY Professor of Civil Engineering, who will work with SUT officials to design their program. The country, which was a republic of the former Yugoslavia, must meet European Union (EU) environmental standards to gain admittance to that body and attract foreign investment, he explained.

Of particular concern are the environmental conditions of Ohrid and Prespa Lakes, which straddle the borders of Macedonia, Albania and Greece. Ohrid Lake was declared a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site in 1980.

When Macedonia was part of Yugoslavia, untreated wastewater from surrounding villages was allowed to flow into the lakes, noted Professor Khanbilvardi, who, along with CCNY colleagues, worked with the Macedonians for three years to develop treatment facilities.

The environmental science and technology center at SUT, which would include an environmental research center on Ohrid Lake, would enable Macedonia to develop the expertise it needs to protect its environment, he added. The research center would be modeled after successful environmental research centers at The City College such as the International Center for Environmental Resources and Development (ICERD) and the Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center (CREST).

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