The final conference of the Erasmus+ BOOST project (Boosting Armenian Universities’ Internationalization Strategy & Marketing) was held on October 12.
The start of the project funded by the European Union was announced in 2016. The coordinator of the project is Armenian State Pedagogical University after Khachatur Abovyan (ASPU). The Armenian partners of the project are American University of Armenia, Shirak State University, Yerevan State Conservatory after Komitas and Vanadzor State University after H. Toumanyan. The participation of the Armenian side was ensured by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia and the National Information Center for Academic Recognition and Mobility. The European partners are the Universitat Politecnica De Catalunya (Spain), Universitat Rovira I Virgili (Spain), Tallinna Tehnikaulikool (Estonia), Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan (Sweden) and Instituto Superior Técnico (Portugal).
The objective of the Project was to foster and promote further internationalization of Armenian Higher Education through development of national and institutional policy framework and tools.
The conference was opened by Artur Martirosyan, Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, who spoke about the challenges in the education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He stressed that the Ministry and educational institutions are making every effort to realize the right to education, to ensure the continuity of education, laying special emphasis on the BOOST project which is aimed at internationalization of higher education. The Deputy Minister added that the achievements of the Erasmus+ BOOST project are significant in terms of improving the quality of higher education and the internationalization of Armenian universities, and added that the Ministry is committed to ensuring the continuity of the project.
It is obvious that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the internationalization of higher education, Mr. Martirosyan stressed. By changing the form of internationalization priority will be given to the “Internationalization at Home” component, rather than to the widely used mobility.
Lana Karlova, Coordinator of National Erasmus Office in Armenia, Robert Sukiasyan, Head of the Department for Higher and Postgraduate Professional Education at the RA Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, and Ara Yeremyan, ASPU Vice-Rector for Personnel and International Cooperation, also delivered welcome speeches. They stressed the importance of internationalization, especially against the backdrop of current challenges.
Marianna Harutyunyan, Coordinator of the Erasmus+ BOOST project, Head of the ASPU International Cooperation Unit, presented the current phase of the project implementation. Afterwards, the participants watched a video about the work carried out within the framework of the project and discussed the achievements.
Anahit Ordyan, Assistant Vice-President at the American University of Armenia, and Tatevik Gharibyan, Chief Specialist of the Department for Higher and Postgraduate Professional Education at the RA Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, presented the five-year strategy for the internationalization of higher education developed as a result of the project and the action plan for its implementation. Gohar Dokhoyan, a representative of the Vanadzor State University, and Raisa Avetyan, a representative of the ASPU International Cooperation Unit, presented the results of the other work packages of the project, namely the procedures of internationalization of universities, the www.studyinarmenia.am website and the video “Study in Armenia”. The video and the website created within the framework of the project will further increase the visibility of Armenia in terms of education and will stimulate the flow of international students to our country. At the end of the conference, the participants heard the speeches of the EU partners.
A regular coordination meeting with local partners took place on October 13. Issues related to the implementation of the final report of the project and dissemination of the project results were discussed during the meeting.