Young Cell Scheme

Since 2004 the Young Cell Scheme (YCS) is the EU Postgraduate Scholarship Programme for Kosovo, it aims to contribute to the creation of an effective, efficient and transparent public administration in Kosovo at all levels. The general objective of the programme is to build a professional, accountable and apolitical civil service in Kosovo by supporting the public administration through a scholarship programme that aims to improve the professional capacity of civil servants to better service Kosovo citizens and meet obligations arising from the process of EU integration of the country.

YCS program is managed by the European Union Office in Kosovo and implemented by the British Council in Kosovo through a two year EU funded project named “Young Cell Scheme”. The main objective of this project, is to generate a core group of civil servants in fields identified as weak areas for Kosovo, who will be determined to drive and implement reforms in public administration, in particular those required for the SAA implementation. To achieve this, the project awards a number of grants to young Kosovo citizens (of max. 40 years of age) holding a university degree, by enabling enrolment in EU universities in specific MA, MSc and LLM programmes, to respond to the needs and requirements of Kosovo Government. After the completion of their period of studies in EU universities the grantees have a contractual obligation to return to Kosovo and to be employed for at least three consecutive years within the Kosovo public administration.

The selection process of potential grantees is conceived as a three stage procedure inspired by the highest standards of transparency, non-discrimination and fairness:

  • Pre-selection of candidates;
    • eligibility check of applications in conformity with the Rules of Procedure published on the project’s website
  • Written exams;
    • English knowledge test
    • EU knowledge test
    • Verbal and Numerical Reasoning test
  • Oral exams;
    • Interviews of candidates conducted by an international panel composed of 5 EU academics and 1 representative each for the EUO in Kosovo and the Ministry of European Integration as final beneficiary of the project.

The process of selection of candidates is inspired since its very beginning (pre-notice for the call for application) until its very end (publication of final results) by the principles of fairness, transparency and non-discrimination, avoiding any kind of a political approach or influence over the selection procedure. The Young Cell Scheme is open to all sectors of Kosovo society, and it has a non-discriminatory policy encouraging participation from minorities, women and people with disabilities, by ensuring that all special needs requirements are met. For more specific information please contact us with your request or question.

The British Council set up a YCS Secretariat, made up of local and external experts, which is responsible for the overall management of the project in the following stages:

  • selection of grantees,
  • contacts with EU Universities to enrol students,
  • pre-departure and departure of grantees,
  • inception and payment of living allowances and university fees,
  • monitoring of employment within the Government of Kosovo upon return

A total of 262 grants were awarded since its initiation in 10 different EU Countries (Belgium, Netherlands, UK, Germany, Austria, France, Hungary, Portugal, Italy, and Latvia) and in different fields ranging from EU Law, Public Administration and Economics to European Affairs and Public Policy.

Grantees from the previous rounds had the opportunity to specialise in various fields within Economics, Law and Politics of the European Union, as well as in Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Studies, Statistics, Aviation Safety and Regulations, Engineering, Telecommunications, Food Safety etc.

The YCS alumni studied in an array of universities including but not limited to list that you can find on this link.

Out of approximately 250 students who completed the Scholarship Programme, some 80% currently work for the Government of Kosovo at various levels and offices, both in line ministries, with many serving at the Ministry for European Integration, and independent authorities, like the Central Bank. If you are interested to learn more about YCS please