Iowa Sister States and the Consulate of the Republic of Kosovo in Des Moines hosted a delegation featuring Kosovo's Minister of Education, Science, and Technology, Dr. Arsim Bajrami. The delegation from Kosovo met with leaders from colleges and universities across the state.
Minister Bajrami signed MOUs during meetings with Des Moines Area Community College, Drake University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa. Each agreement outlines potential programs that Iowa colleges and universities could establish with Kosovo, including student and faculty exchanges, professional development activities, and more. Beyond signing MOUs, the delegation visited Iowa State University, met with Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, participated in a roundtable discussion with the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and had a meeting at the Iowa Department of Education.
“We have anticipated a visit from the Ministry of Education for a long time,” said Iowa Sister States Executive Director Kim Heidemann. “All expectations were exceeded during the visit. We worked in all levels of education from policy to administration and from college to early education. We made real progress.”
The bonds between Iowa and the Republic of Kosovo first formed during the military service of several hundred Iowa service men and women that were stationed in Kosovo over the last decade. Building on that, the Iowa National Guard and the Kosovo Security Force were joined via the National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program in 2011. In 2013, State of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad established an official sister state relationship with Kosovo.
Iowa Sister States (ISS) is a non-profit volunteer organization founded in 1985 to manage Iowa’s official relationship with foreign states, as established by the Governor of Iowa, including: Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan (1960), Yucatan, Mexico (1965), Hebei Province, China (1983), Terengganu, Malaysia (1987), Stavropol Krai, Russia (1988), Taiwan (1989), Cherkasy Oblast, Ukraine (1996), Veneto Region, Italy (1997), and Kosovo (2013).
For more information, please contact ISS's Executive Director, Kim Heidemann.