Armenian Education Minister Rules Out University Transfer Plan

Armenia’s minister of education and science on Friday dismissed the reports about plans for moving Yerevan-based institutions of higher learning to the second largest city of Gyumri.
Speaking at a news conference, Armen Ashotyan said that structural modernization projects are now underway to discuss extra overload issues and merger plans for the universities of Gyumri.

The minister unveiled proposals for moving several universities to the town of Abovyan (Kotayk region) but recommended against considering the issue outside of context. “It is necessary to enlarge the higher education institutions in Yerevan,” he said.

Asked  about a possible transfer of ministries to other cities and towns, the minister replied, “To my mind, we can think of moving the Ministry of Education and Science to the Mother See of St Echmiadzin, returning it to its origins.”

As for the plans for opening a branch of the Lomonosov Moscow State University in Yerevan, the minister dispelled the speculations that it is going to be the second Russian university in Armenia. He said that the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University is an Armenian educational institution, as is the American University of Armenia or the French University.

The minister said he is very positive about the project on opening the branch of a leading Russian university in the country, warning against exaggerating the move as a pro-Russian policy.  “I am responsible for competitiveness and general education; I do not have any favorites, and no institution of higher learning can be said to be the minister’s favorite,” he added.