Higher Quality Will Put Armenia’s Universities on Par with Rest of Europe
Second Education Quality and Relevance
November 7, 2013
Kostantine Yenkoyan is a professor of biochemistry at the Yerevan State Medical University. In addition to teaching, he is part of a project aimed at establishing and strengthening Armenia’s quality assurance system for higher education institutions, and putting them more in line with those of other European nations.
“You make the analysis of study research resources that you have, you try to analyze them, and after that you see if they are in line with up-to-date European standards or not,” said Yenkoyan, from a classroom he teaches in.
He and other professors at Armenia’s public and private universities received training in assessing their departments’ educational systems, in part through surveying students and other staff.
The data of their findings is being uploaded and turned into a national report on progress made, as well as on reforms still needed for Armenia’s universities to meet the standards of the European Higher Education Area, or EHEA.
In addition to supporting quality assurance units within Armenian universities, the Education and Quality Relevance Project pays special attention to the professional and managerial qualifications of the academic and administrative staff, and to the policies related to staff recruitment and training.
In addition, this World Bank-supported project focuses heavily on student assessment, teaching and learning methods, and the availability of libraries and research centers.
“It will help us a lot to provide the mobility of the students and faculty and to deepen our cooperation with our European partners, as well as to install some new educative elements in the student exchange program,” said Larisa Avetisyan, Head of Quality Assessment Department at the State Medical University.
As Armenia’s universities increasingly reflect the standards of higher education institutions in other parts of the world, a growing number of EU countries are establishing links with Yerevan, and exchanges of students and teachers.
Esa Tormanen, a student from Finland, came to Armenia’s Pedagogical University to do research for his Master’s program back home.
“Finland is looking to increase the possibilities for educational exports, and Armenia is one of the partners that we have been working with. So for me as a Fin, it is interesting to come and see how the cooperation is handled,” Tormanen said.
By 2014, an estimated 25 Armenian universities will have received project grants in order to further develop their quality assessment programs and to continue with internal evaluations of quality in function of Europe’s new standards, outlined in the Bologna Process.
“Our goal is to join the European Higher Education Area, so that not only faculty of our university but all faculty of higher educational institutions can be aware of what is going on in the world and in Europe’s educational system, in order to reform,” said Mher Melik-Bakhshyan, Vice Rector of Armenia’s State Pedagogical University.
18-year-old university medical student, Heghine Avanesyan, said any reforms toward making her degree equal to those of other nations are welcome.
“Being a doctor, it is important to have the same level of education like in some other European countries,” said Avanesyan, who studies at the Yerevan State Medical University.
She added that soon she hoped to get some experience studying medicine in another university abroad, and that medical students of other nations would come to take classes in Armenia.