Higher Education in Armenia


Number of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs): 52
Number of state HEIs: 27
Number of private HEIs: 25
Number of students in HEIs (2018/2019): 69,600

Source: Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Armenia (, Statistical Yearbook of Armenia 2019


The education sector in Armenia is represented by two types of educational establishments: general (Preschool establishment and School) and professional (Preliminary Professional Educational Institution – Technical School; Middle Professional Educational Institute – College; Higher Education Institution (HEI) – University, Institute, Academy and Conservatory). Post-graduate studies are available within HEIs as well as in scientific institutes.

In 2006 Armenia converted to a three level 12 year general education system having the following sequence: elementary school (4 years), middle school (5 years) and high school (3 years). 


The general principles of legislation in the tertiary sector are determined in the framework of Law on Education (LE)adopted in April 1999 and in Law on Higher and Postgraduate Professional Education adopted in 2004. The university or college status as an organizational entity is regulated by the Law on State Non-Profit Entities adopted in October 2001.

Programmes and Qualifications

According to the Law on Higher and Postgraduate Professional Education (LHPPE) and subsequent Government Decree the 2-cycle system (Bachelor – 4 year and Master – 2 year) was introduced in Armenia at the system level from 2005-2006 academic year. LHPPE envisaged “Mandatory implementation of credit system into the higher education system shall start from 2006/07 academic year”, nevertheless, due to actual unreadiness of HEIs, the Ministry of Education and Science shifted the start of introduction of credit system to 2007/08 academic year.

Higher Education Institutions

The following types of Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) are operational in Armenia:
University: HEI providing higher, postgraduate and supplementary education in different branches of natural and sociological fields, science, technology, and culture, as well as providing opportunities for scientific researches and studies.
Institute: HEI, conducting specialized and postgraduate academic programs and scientific researches in a number of scientific, economic and cultural branches.
Academy (educational): HEI the activity of which is aimed at the development of education, science, technology and culture in an individual sphere; it conducts programs preparing and re-training qualified specialists in an individual field, as well as postgraduate academic programs.
Conservatory: HEI preparing specialists in the field of music, providing qualification development and postgraduate academic programs.

Administration of Higher Education Field

The main external stakeholder that claims significant formal power and influence in Armenian tertiary education sector is the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia which is the authorised state body for education and responsible for developing and implementation of state policy/strategy and legislation in tertiary education. 
At present, the right to main decision making within the academic community is mostly reserved to the institutions of higher education. They are autonomous in determining the main spheres of activity, adopting budgets and supervising execution thereof, introducing new majors and upgrading the existing ones, adopting curricula and teaching methods. Rectors and deans are now elected by the academic community of each institution rather than being appointed by the Ministry as was the practice under the soviet regime. 

Among the institutions responsible for the organisation and administration of the HE system are the State Licensing and Accreditation Service – the only intermediate body established by the Ministry by operating in the area of the central accreditation system – and National Center for Professional Education Quality Assurance Foundation (ANQA), established on December 28, 2008, as an independent foundation for promoting quality education at tertiary level.

There are also two main representative bodies in the tertiary education system: the Council of Rectors of State Higher Educational Institutions and the Council of Rectors of Private Higher Educational Institutions, which are advisory bodies to the Ministry.

Quality Assurance

The external review of quality assurance of HEIs is done by the National Center for Professional Education Quality Assurance Foundation (ANQA) – an independent foundation aimed at promoting quality education at tertiary level, being established on December 28, 2008. ANQA is founded and subsidized by the Armenian Government and is projected to be financed through entrepreneurial initiatives. It is governed by the board of stakeholders and is independent of the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) and institutions at tertiary level. Among the objectives of the center are to accredit quality of the educational programmes and provide the decision to the MoES for state accreditation; make academic audit of HEI, evaluate and accredit HEI, provide the decision on accreditation to the MoES for state accreditation of HEIs, as well as evaluate quality assurance systems of HEIs and make recommendations, etc.
The Universities themselves are involved in the development of internal mechanisms for quality assurance. They are becoming increasingly introspective and analytical about their strengths and weaknesses and need to develop a culture of constant improvement through periodic evaluation. 

Accreditation Process

Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions and Academic Programmes in Armenia is carried out by the National Center for Professional Education Quality Assurance Foundation (ANQA) – a full member of European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education(ENQA) and International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE).

Institutional accreditation is a regular mandatory process both for private and public HEIs operating on the territory of Armenia.  Institutional accreditation is a prerequisite for Academic Programme Accreditation.

Academic Programme Accreditation is carried out on the initiative of the HEI, based on voluntary basis, except for medical academic programmes, the accreditation of which is compulsory.

Accreditation is granted for a certain period and guarantees that the institution or academic programme has the necessary capacity to provide education for a definite time span.

Both, institutional and academic programme accreditations are carried out in three consecutive phases:

1. Self-evaluation (a written report of the institution’s internal review) according to State Accreditation Criteria and Standards

2. External review through site visit carried out by an independent external expert panel

3. Decision making on accreditation status by ANQA’s Accreditation Commission

Institutional accreditation criteria and standards include:

1. Policies and practices in accordance with institutional mission, in line with the Armenian National Qualifications Framework (ANQF).

2. Effective governance, administrative structures and practices aligned with the institutional mission and supportive of the governance code of ethics.

3. Academic programmes aligned with the institution’s mission, promoting mobility and internationalization.

4. Relevant student support services.

5. Qualified teaching and supporting staff.

6. Implementation of research activity and the link of the research with teaching and learning.

7. Infrastructure and resources necessary to create learning environment.

8. Societal responsibility for the education and resources offered, as well as for the conducted research.

9. External relations and availability of practices promoting internationalization of the institution.

10. Internal quality assurance system.

Academic Programme Accreditation criteria and standards ensure that:

1. Academic programme design is in accordance with ANQF, national qualifications descriptors, and state academic standards as well as is in line with the institution’s mission.

2. Teaching staff has necessary professional qualifications to realize the goals of the academic programmes.

3. Teaching and learning practices used within the academic programme ensure the achievement of intended learning outcomes.

4. Academic programme provides assessment system that allows ensuring the students’ progress as well as the formation and achievement of intend learning outcomes.

5. Academic programme ensures links between learning and research and creative activities.

6. Academic programme promotes the quality educational provisions by creating an environment conducive to learning.

7. Academic programme has internal quality assurance system that promotes its maintenance and continuous improvement.

With a view to making accreditation results available to public and international organizations, State Accreditation Register is developed in concord with the accreditation policy. The register is sustained by ANQA and provides information about accredited institutions and academic programmes.

Accreditation Procedure:

A HEI seeking accreditation status can apply to ANQA or other quality assurance agencies that are either registered on the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR henceforth) or are full members of ENQA. Institutions implementing academic programmes with non-EHEA countries or branches of foreign institutions can apply to recognized accreditation agencies, the list of which is approved by the RA Minister of Education and Science. Any institution that has applied to an international accreditation organization must notify ANQA of the start of the accreditation process within five calendar days.

Steps for institutional accreditation include:

1. Submission of application and self-evaluation for institutional accreditation

2. Examination of documentation compliance to the set requirements

3. Recognition of an educational institution as an accreditation seeker

4. Payment of the accreditation application examination fee

5. Creation of accreditation expert panel

6. Accreditation site visit and expert panel’s draft report

7. Decision on accreditation by the Board of Trustees

8. Publication of a substantiated decision of ANQA Accreditation Committee and accreditation report by ANQA

9. The decision with the accreditation certificate and supplement forms sent to the Ministry of Education and Science for approval

10. Inclusion of accredited institutions and programmes into the State Accreditation Register

The Board of Trustees can make one of the following decisions: 

– Award institutional accreditation

– Award conditional institutional accreditation

– Reject institutional accreditation

The procedure for the approval or rejection process of applications is adopted according to the Statute on Accreditation.

To undergo the process of Academic Programme Accreditation a HEI must:

1. Submit application according to the respective form developed by ANQA and approved by the Board of Trustees

2. Have an authority to carry out educational activity – licensing

3. Fill in ANQA online questionnaire (

4. Submit the certificate of institutional accreditation (state accreditation)

Terms of accreditation

Institutional Accreditation is awarded for 4 or 6 years. Conditional Institutional Accreditation is awarded for 2 years’ period, and the institution awarded with conditional accreditation cannot apply for the programme accreditation. In case of conditional institutional accreditation, the education institution cannot open a new specialty.

Academic Programme accreditation is awarded for 5 years and in case the shortcomings mentioned in the expert panel report Conditional Programme Accreditation can be granted for no more than 2 years. Upon being awarded with conditional program accreditation, a HEI submits a written report to ANQA once every 6 months on the elimination of the shortcomings. In case of not eliminating the shortcomings within the set period the supplement of state accreditation certificate is repealed.

Duration of the process

ANQA carries out the processes of institutional and programme accreditation within a year after accepting the application. Within one week after accepting the application a service contract is signed between the applicant and ANQA according to Armenian legislation. The date and the schedule of the process launch are clearly mentioned in the contract.

Renewal of accreditation

At least one year before the end of the deadline of the Institutional and Academic Programme accreditation a HEI should apply to ANQA for starting new Institutional and Programme Accreditation processes.

Source: © ANQA