Erasmus+ ARMDOCT CBHE Project on Doctoral Education Reform in Armenia has Kicked Off
Erasmus+ CBHE “ARMDOCT” Project (Reforming Doctoral Education in Armenia in Line with Needs of Academia, Industry and Current EU Practices) was launched on 4-5 February 2020.
Under the coordination of Arevik Ohanyan, the Director of Eurasia International University’s Research Incubator, the representatives of 15 universities, including 4 EU and 8 Armenian HEIs, 2 research institutes, as well as the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Armenia, came together to discuss the state-of-art of 3rd level education in Armenia and to refine the national policies, legal frameworks, and institutional procedures supporting integrative and internationally-oriented doctoral studies.
During the opening ceremony the Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Armenia Arevik Anapiosyan welcomed the attendees and emphasized that within the framework of the draft Law on Higher Education and Science it will finally be possible to ensure the full implementation of the Bologna reforms through the development of normative by-laws for doctoral education in Armenia as well as to contribute to the new strategy of Armenia’s transformation, as it is impossible to build a strong economy without efficient doctoral education.
During the first day of the kick-off meeting welcome remarks were made by Dr. Suren Ohanyan, the Rector of Eurasia International University, Prof. Jean-Marc Lavest, the Rector of French University in Armenia, Mr. David Avagyan, the Project Manager of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, and Lana Karlova, the Coordinator of National Erasmus+ Office in Armenia. They emphasized that the vision of the ARMDOCT project fully coincides with the provisions of the draft Law on Higher Education and Science and can significantly contribute to Armenia’s integration into the European Research Area. The toolkit created within the framework of the project will create the prerequisites for fostering innovation in the country. NEO-Armenia representatives urged the ARMDOCT consortium not to disregard the results of other EU-funded projects on doctoral education reforms (Tempus “VERITAS,” Erasmus+ “C3QA”) and to exploit the synergies for greater national impact.
During the second day of the meeting, open discussions were held with the participation of Armenian and EU higher education institutions, education experts, postgraduates, researchers, employers, which raised a number of issues related to admission, management, teaching and quality of doctoral education. Participants highlighted the accessibility of the free of charge doctoral education, but at the same time underlined serious corruption risks. A number of issues were also identified during the group discussions ranging from limited opportunities for interdisciplinary research, lack of clear industry linkages to quality assurance issues during admission, research and defense.
The discussions were moderated by European partners of ARMDOCT project from Portugal, Italy, Lithuania and France, who together with their Armenian counterparts will soon present the best European experience and possible solutions for improving the quality of doctoral education.