Empowerment of Tertiary Level Education of Armenia for European Higher Education Area Integration
Republic of Armenia is one of 47 countries participating in the Bologna Process for the reform of higher education in Europe. Armenia joined the process in 2005 and committed itself to reforming its higher education system to comply with all dimensions of Bologna framework, with a view to becoming a full member of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
At this stage the challenge for Armenian higher education is to ensure a comprehensive system for preparing highly qualified specialists with transferable skills and capacity to function in an ever-changing environment. It has been agreed that all programmes should be designed in terms of learning outcomes aligned to the levels of the Armenian National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
This Project aims at assisting Armenia in fulfillment of its commitments. The overall objective of the Project to ensure that Armenian higher education is compatible with higher education throughout Europe, and that students, staff and graduates benefit from greater mobility, international recognition of qualifications and collaboration opportunities with higher education institutions in other 46 EHEA countries.
The Project is implemented by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and the Republic of Armenia Ministry of Education and Science. Armenian higher education institutions and the National Center for Professional Education Quality Assurance Foundation (ANQA) will benefit from the Project.
The Project is financed by the European Union. The funding amount to around 1.000.000 euro.
The European Union is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achivements and values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.
The Project is implemented through completion of Activities planned under Project Components:
Component 1. Review of Armenian Legislation on Higher Education and Institutional Arrangements for Development and Maintenance of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF)
Component 2. Raising Capacity of MoES Representatives to Sustain the Bologna Reforms and Awareness of Implemented reforms
Component 3. Raising Capacity of ANQA Representatives to Implement and Sustain the Bologna Reforms and Awareness of Implemented Reforms
Component 4. Raising Capacity of Representatives of Universities to Implement the Bologna Reforms
Component 5. The National Qualifications Framework and the Higher Education Institutions of Armenia Meet the Requirements of Employers and Graduates for the Labour Market.
Within Activity 1.1.1 “Reviewing Armenian Legislation on Tertiary Education”, EU short-term experts from Germany and Estonia visited Yerevan to review the Armenian higher education legislation together with Armenian counterparts during December 17-21, 2014. The Armenian legal framework on education was benchmarked against the Bologna principles and a review report was drafted.
Based on this analysis a successive mission took place during January 12-16, 2015, to prepare a gap assessment report. During the mission EU short term experts and representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia, legal experts and quality assurance personnel from Armenian higher education institutions discussed and identified the gaps in Armenian higher education legislation vis-à-vis EU rules. Upon completion of the mission the gap assessment report including recommendations for improvement was elaborated to serve as a basis for amending the higher education legal framework in the upcoming months. The gap assessment was conducted under Activity 1.1.2 of the Twinning Project Work Plan. Two further missions were implemented in April and July 2015 to discuss and identify legislative solutions for the planned new draft law on higher education. Considerable attention was paid to the practice of other countries, specifically Germany and Estonia.
In the frame of Activity 3.1 “Training course on learning outcomes and ESG”, on training session was organized for the staff of the National Center for Professional Education Quality Assurance Foundation (ANQA) in the week of December 15-19, 2014. Three EU experts from Germany and Finland shared with Armenian counterparts their experience of using different tools for assessing learning outcomes in the accreditation process and formulating learning outcomes. During the three-day training session ANQA staff was supported to identify ANQA accreditation criteria regarding learning outcomes and to work with these criteria. All parts of the European Standards and Guidelines and each standard were comprehensively discussed. One full day was dedicated to the analysis of the European as well as National Qualifications Frameworks and to the description of subject-specific benchmarks.
Two one-week missions with participation of three EU short-term experts from Germany and Finland took place in March and April, 2015 under Activity 1.4 “Carrying out a Review of the Current Institutional Arrangement for the Development and Support of the National Qualifications Framework”. Key representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia, stakeholders and active players of the sector joined together to address issues of European Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (ECTS), learning outcomes and student-centered learning, ways of building up awareness of the philosophy behind the NQF, strengthening the involvement of trade unions, etc. Upon completion of the mission models for institutional arrangement have been assessed and recommendations for most suitable arrangement were furnished.
Three-day training was delivered to the designated staff of ANQA in the frame of Activity 3.2 “Training on evaluation of learning outcomes used by universities”. Two EU short-term experts from Germany and Finland shared the models and methods for the assessment of learning outcomes and procedures of FINEEC and ACQUIN in comparison to ANQA methods. Training materials were elaborated and distributed to the participants, recommendations for improving ANQA methodology were furnished. In June 2015 further trainings were implemented for ANQA in the frame of Activity 3.4 to prepare a road map for ANQA’s application to ENQA membership.
In the frame of Activity 4.1 “Training on learning outcomes for universities” three training sessions to raise the capacities of Armenian higher education institutions and their staff in implementing Bologna reforms were conducted in February and March 2015. More than 100 participants received training on writing learning outcomes, methods of assessing students learning and the use of ECTS. Two training sessions focused on higher education institutions based in Yerevan, whereas one mission visited Armenian regions, specifically Gyumri State Pedagogical Institute, Vanadzor State University and Gavar State University.
Another 3-day specialized training were delivered in the field of architecture and design, engineering and music correspondingly at the University of Architecture and Design, Politechnical University and the Yerevan State Conservatory after Komitas.
More than 50 participants were trained during 6 missions accomplished in May-July 2015. In July 2015 another specialized training on learning outcomes for university staff was organized.
Late September was marked by a workshop on ECTS best practices that took place in the Polytechnic University of Armenia. Three experts from Germany and Finland conducted workshops with three groups of university representatives covering topics of quality assurance in education, new teaching and learning methods based on Bologna principles, etc.
In the second week of October 2015 the Agrarian University of Armenia hosted a workshop on development of academic staff in pedagogy. The three-day sessions were a good platform to share teaching and learning experiences from Germany, Finland and Armenia based on principles of student-centered learning.
Under Component 5 a two-day workshop for employers/stakeholders has been provided in July 2015. The university representatives and the employers were able to discuss the needs of the labour market and how the universities can meet the demand for qualified workforce.
Project Leader MS: Ms. Helka Kekäläinen
Project Co-leader MS: Mr. Michael Schlicht
Project Leader BC: Ms. Karine Harutyunyan
Resident Twinning Advisor (RTA): Mr. Karl Holm
RTA Counterpart: Mr. Robert Sukiasyan
BC Project Coordinator: Ms. Tatevik Gharibyan
RTA Assistant: Ms. Hasmik Simonyan
RTA Language Assistant: Ms. Fenya Yepremyan
Project implementation office
Address: Armenian State University of Economics
128 Nalbandyan str., Yerevan 0025, Armenia
Republic of Armenia
Tel: +374 (1) 593 407