The Kosovo Academy of Sciences and Arts was founded by a special Law adopted by the Parliament of the Autonomous Socialist Region of Kosovo in October 1975 under the name The Association of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo. The Association was founded as the highest institution of science and arts in Kosovo. At the beginning, it had 9 (full member), 2 correspondent, 8 external members and 1 honorary member. The Association organized itself and began carrying out scientific and arts activities. One of its aims was to develop cooperation with other institutions in Kosovo, in Yugoslavia and internationally. It had to consider the impact of decision making bodies in Kosovo on science and arts, as well as to publish regular, periodical and other editions in the field of sciences and arts. The Association used to have 3 sections (Language, literature and arts; Sciences and Humanities). Initially it published monographs and periodicals, such as: Acta biologiae et medicinae experimentalis (1976), Vjetari-Godišnjak 1976 (Yearbook), Studime-Studije (1980-1988), Kërkime-IstraaÅivanaja (1980-1986).
The Association was transformed to the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo by a special Law on the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo adopted by the Parliament of the Autonomous Socialist Region of Kosovo in 1978. It continued the work in similar conditions and with the aim to stimulate, develop and promote scientific thinking and artistic creativity by direct participation in creating scientific and arts policies; by evaluating existing circumstances and proposing measures for improving them; by organizing scientific and research work through meetings, conferences, exhibitions, concerts, etc.; by publishing periodicals and works of sciences and arts; by promoting internal and international cooperation; by improving the working conditions for its members and by carrying out activities of special interest for Kosovo and its people.
In the years 1988-89 the Government of Serbia started the process of changing political and legal status of the Autonomous Socialist Region of Kosovo as one of the 8 co-founding members of the Yugoslav Federation. The imposed changes, i.e. the annexation to the Republic of Serbia, were illegal and rejected by the population of Kosovo. The Academy has discussed the topic as well, and at the level of its Presidency in 1990 made a Declaration on the rights of Kosovo within the Federation for the status of an independent Republic. The Declaration has served as one of the grounds for members of the Parliament of Kosovo on the occasion of the Declaration of Kosovo as an independent Republic in 1990.
After 1990 the Academy had no more funding. In 1992 the Parliament of Serbia, having abolished the Autonomy of Kosovo, and imposed total apartheid on the Albanian population, adopted a new Law on the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts that abolished the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo and Vojvodina, too. Considering it illegal, the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo, through a written declaration of its members, decided to reject the decision of the Serbian Parliament as illegal and unacceptable, and continued its work. In 1994 the Serbian Government took over by force the premises of the Academy. The Academy and its members decided to continue and organized their work at a private house in Pristine up to 1999.
After the 1999 War the Academy came back to its premises and continued its work. During the decade of the nineties of the last century, the Academy was active in maintaining the spirit and interest on science and arts by organizing different activities, issuing editions and starting new international cooperation. In 1994 it started new periodicals: Studime-Studies and Kërkime-Research, and new protocols of cooperation with the Academies of Slovenia, Croatia and Albania were established. During the next period this cooperation grew. In 1994 the Academy grew from 3 to 4 sections: the Section of Language and Literature, the Section of Humanities, the Section of Sciences and the Section of Arts.
In 2004 the Kosovo Parliament has adopted a new Law on Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo no. 19/2004. According to that Law the Academy has adopted the Statutes of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo dated June 29, 2005. Its actual full name is: Akademia e Shkencave dhe e Arteve e Kosovës – Accademia Scientiarum et Artium Kosoviensis. Its seat is in Pristine. According to the Law on the Academy, new members are elected on the ground of proposals from public scientific and arts institutions and academy bodies themselves, after a period of six months discussion, including a public discussion, at different levels. Final decision is made after a double ballot: at the level of the respective Section and at the level of General Assembly. Elections are held every fourth year. The categories for election are: Corresponding member, Full member (Academician), External member and Honorary member. Corresponding and full members of the Academy are elected from those who are living and working in the country and they constitute the working body of the Academy. A corresponding member can be elected as a full member only after having spent at least 4 years as a corresponding member. At this time, in its four sections, the Academy has 25 full members (Academicians), 3 corresponding members, 21 external members from different countries and 1 honorary member. For the moment there are no female members.
The highest body of the Academy is the Assembly of the Academy constituted by all its full and corresponding members. The Assembly elects the Presidency for a mandate of three years with only one possible consecutive re-election. The Presidency is composed of: the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary General and four Secretaries of Sections. The Assembly meets at least twice a year; the Presidency meets at least monthly, while the Sections meet according to their working programs. Every Section can have regular Commissions composed of members of the Academy and scientists or artists from other institutions in the country. According to the Law on the Academy its budget is guaranteed by the Centralized budget of the Republic of Kosovo. It includes financing for the Academy’s administration (12 persons at this moment), other expenses of the Academy, financing its programs and editions and expenses for the honorariums for its members living and working in the country. The Academy can have other sources for its budget as well. The Academy takes part regularly in international activities through its direct cooperation with other academies and scientific and artistic institutions and through its regular work within the international organizations to which it is a member: ALLEA (Federation of European National Academies), The Union of National Academies of South-East European Countries, the Inter Academic Network for Human Rights, the Global Network of Academies of Sciences (IAP) and other international bodies.
During the period of time 1975-1991 the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo has fulfilled its international cooperation through the Union of the Academies of Sciences and Arts of Yugoslavia and at one time presided over it. At this time the Academy has by-lateral cooperation Agreements and Memoranda with the Academies of Sciences and Arts of Albania, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Belgium (Flemish), British Academy, Turkey, Italy and has direct contacts with the Academies of Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Moldova, the Academy at Goettingen, and many other institutions.