President of Kosovo to be honoured by University of Leicester

Posted by pt91 at Jul 15, 2015 11:55 AM |
Former student to receive honorary degree of Doctor of Laws

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 15 July 2015

Photo opp: 11am on Thursday 16 July at De Montfort Hall, Leicester

Contact to request images.

A former University of Leicester student who rose to become the President of a European nation is to be honoured.

Her Excellency Mrs Atifete Jahjaga graduated from the University of Leicester in 2007 – and four years later she was President of Kosovo.

She will now return to Leicester to be lauded by her former institution and conferred with the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

H.E. Mrs Atifete Jahjaga will be awarded the degree on Thursday 16 July at 11am at a ceremony in front of academic and civic leaders as well as students and their families from around the world.

H.E. Mrs Atifete Jahjaga said: “I am very honoured to be back again here at the University of Leicester - this institution of science, research and discoveries that has helped to build the vision of the future for each of its students.

“I am especially honoured by the title and the honour bestowed upon me by the University, continuing in this manner the close connections not only with me personally but with people of Kosovo as well. My years at the University of Leicester are more than just an inspiration to me and to my work in service to the citizens of my country; they are more than just lessons because at this institution of knowledge each individual becomes a master of themselves and of their future.

“These are the years which have given to me the strength of knowledge and fortified my soul in order to build and preserve the highest values of humanity and have provided me with the courage to be led by them for my nation’s highest ambitions.

“I am honoured that the University of Leicester, a university in the United Kingdom, a historic friend of Kosovo even during my country’s most difficult periods, is becoming the accelerating force in creation of close relations between our nations in times of peace as well.”

H.E. Mrs Atifete Jahjaga is among 12 distinguished personalities being honoured by the University of Leicester.

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle said: “We are delighted that the University will be awarding honorary degrees to candidates who have made impacts in a wide range of unique ways. Our awards this year honour contributions to international politics, science, medicine, education and music, and many of these individuals have strong links to the University, the City and the County.  As we celebrate the achievements of our own graduates it is fitting that they have this opportunity to see how they can aspire to be future leaders in their chosen field.”


Atifete Jahjaga was born in Rashkoc-Gjakova, Kosovo.  She was studying Law at the University of Pristina when the Kosovo War broke out; when she graduated in 2000 she completed her training to become a police officer.  She rose through the service, seeking training opportunities as she did so.  In 2006 she came to the University of Leicester, where she completed the postgraduate certificate programme in Criminal Justice and Police Management.  She has also received extensive professional training at the George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies in Germany, and the FBI National Academy and elsewhere in the United States.   In 2009, a year after her country gained its independence, she became the Deputy Director of the Kosovo Police, and in 2010 served briefly as acting General Director.  She enjoyed a high reputation as a police commander of integrity, and on 6 April 2011, she was announced as the consensual candidate for President of Kosovo by the Democratic Party of Kosovo, the Democratic League of Kosovo and the New Kosovo Alliance.  She was elected President of the Republic of Kosovo on the following day. As President, her external focus has been on enhancing the image of Kosovo internationally and establishing its credentials as a future member of the EU and the UN. Internally, she has strengthened the country’s democratic institutions, helped to build bridges between ethnic groups and taken strong measures to fight corruption and economic injustice. She has paid particular attention to the participation of women at all levels; women now hold 30 per cent of the seats in Parliament and many of the senior positions in government.

President Jahjaga is not only the first woman President in the Western Balkans but she is also a revolutionary in Kosovo politics. As a consensual candidate she has brought together her young country around values and ideals of equality, justice and inclusivity. She is a champion of women rights and an advocate for victims of sexual violence in conflict.

Share this page:

Older press releases

For press releases issued before 4 October 2010, please visit the old eBulletin site.

Get in touch

T: +44 (0)116 252 2160

The Press Office is open 9.00am-5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

For general enquiries about the University, contact the main switchboard on +44 (0)116 252 2522.