RESEARCH PROJECTS

Survey on Spirituality in Albanian Higher Education (Completed)

07.05.2014

Project Manager: Dr. Ahmet Ecirli

The project mainly dealt with a national study to find out the level of college students’ search for meaning and purpose carried out by HERI - Higher Education Research Institute Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA- University of California, Los Angeles. The findings as a result of the report involve 112,232 first-year students attending 236 various colleges and universities across the US between the years 2003 and 2007; help us to improve our understanding of the role that spirituality plays in students’ lives and to ascertain strategies that institutions can use to advance students’ spiritual growth. A similar study using the instruments of HERI has been carried out by our research team at Beder University to find out the similarities and differences for spirituality in higher education in Albania. The study was based on data collected in early fall and late summer 2012 from 2360 students attending a national sample of 18 colleges and universities in Albania.

The research tries to search for an answer whether the undergraduate experience facilitates or hinders students’ spiritual/religious quest. This study presents highlights of findings based on data collected in early Fall and late Summer 2012 from 2360 students attending a national sample of 18 colleges and universities in Albania. Students responded to a six-page survey questionnaire that addressed questions about their backgrounds, educational and occupational aspirations, and values and beliefs with respect to spiritual and religious matters.

There are important similarities and distinctions between those students who are strongly religious and those who are highly spiritual. These qualities manifest themselves in a variety of ways related to students’ practices, feelings, self-conceptions, and worldviews. Varying degrees of spirituality and religiousness also translate into significant differences in students’ political and social attitudes. Some of these differences, however, do not correspond to what would be expected in the current national political discourse. Spiritual and religious beliefs and practices also play a role in a students’ psychological and physical well-being.