Erasmus+ National Kick-Off Days 2023 earmarked the launch of 9 HE and VET projects in Armenia
On May 30 and 31, the National Erasmus+ Office in Armenia (NEO-AM) and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia hosted National Kick-Off Days of the new Armenian higher and vocational education and training projects that successfully passed the competition under the Erasmus+ Call 2022.
The two-day event presented the main objectives and expected outcomes of projects to be implemented by the higher and vocational educational institutions that were funded under the Erasmus+ Programme in 2022. These meetings aimed to showcase the ongoing collaboration between Armenia and the European Union through the Erasmus+ Programme, highlighting its significant impact on the field of professional (higher) education and skills development in the country.
The first day focused on the Erasmus+ Programme’s achievements in the field of higher education in Armenia. As part of the official welcome speech, the Head of the EU Delegation in Armenia Ms. Andrea Wiktorin and the Deputy Minister of MESCS Mr. Arthur Martirosyan emphasized the importance of the EU’s Erasmus+ Programme in enhancing cooperation between educational institutions in Armenia and the European Union. The Deputy Minister noted that the Programme plays a crucial role in the development and advancement of Armenia’s higher education sector, aligning with the reforms adopted under the “RA Education Development State Program 2030.”
Remote greetings were also extended by representatives from the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) and the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sports and Culture of the EU Commission Ms. Lucia Ganinni and Ms. Kinga Bereza-Husak, respectively. Next, Ms. Lana Karlova, the Coordinator of NEO-AM, presented Erasmus+ regional statistics featuring such Actions as Capacity Building in Higher Education and Jean Monnet. It was followed by presentations of four new capacity-building projects targeting the development of green skills (T-GREEN), a new curriculum in aquaculture and fisheries (AFISHE), building competencies for international innovation projects (COMPIIT) and strengthening the quality of online education (MEDIA). the “DEGES” Erasmus Mundus Design Measure project, and the Jean Monnet Chair in Law.
The second day focused on capacity building in the field of vocational education and training (VET). The event was opened by a welcome speech on behalf of Deputy Minister Ms. Araksia Svajyan and the Head of the Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Armenia Mr. Frank Hess, and attended by representatives of the VET sector: initial and middle professional vocational institutions, social partners, employers, NGOs and other beneficiary organizations active in VET. Ms. Svajyan emphasized that Erasmus+ supports the quality and internationalization of initial and middle professional vocational education in Armenia, which is a new endeavour. The implementation of “Erasmus+” CBVET projects involves establishing partnerships, developing joint programs, and enhancing educational content. Mr. Hess highlighted the Programme’s focus on the acquisition of entrepreneurship skills, contributing to employability and innovation.
Local beneficiaries of the three new CBVET projects spoke about their objectives and expected results in developing social entrepreneurship schemes (S.E. VET) and micro-credentials (BEM) for VET, as well as promoting VET partnerships for green and smart electricity in buildings (VET4GSEB). A panel discussion moderated by Erasmus+ Higher Education Reform Expert Tigran Mikayelyan involved Q&As with Ms. Tatevik Gasparyan, the Director of National Center for Vocational Education and Training Development (NCVETD), Ms. Gohar Grigoryan, the Executive Director of French-Armenian Professional Education Center Fund, Ms. Marine Jamkochyan, the Director of “Business and Education Partnership” Foundation and Ms. Susanna Petrosyan, a 3rd-year student at P. Terlemezyan College of Fine Arts. Stakeholders also discussed the interrelation between vocational education and skills in line with the theme of the “European Year of Skills 2023.”