Founded in 1991, the American University is the product of a partnership of the Armenian Government, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, and the University of California. AUA has also received significant assistance from the government of the United States.
Through fostering and advancing knowledge in education, health, commerce, international relations, the sciences and engineering, the American University of Armenia has made important contributions to the growth of the Armenian nation.
Armenia’s future is as a knowledge-based, mercantile economy. This requires a highly educated populace with strong international ties and perspectives. For a knowledge-based economy to be viable, its educational system in general, and its higher educational system in particular must be able to compete with the best in the world. In the global marketplace of ideas and of commerce, international standards and best practices in education are the only ones that really matter.
AUA has had and will continue to have an important role to play in this regard. By introducing American methodologies and standards of education, as well as American accreditation practices for maintaining quality control, AUA has trained a generation of master’s students with international perspectives, while at the same time providing them with an appreciation of the importance of local civic engagement and active citizenship within Armenia. By maintaining a commitment to provide sufficient need-based financial aid to all of our students, we have made this education affordable to all. We remain committed to never losing an accepted student because of inability to pay tuition, and also to a “need-blind” admissions policy wherein acceptance is based on merit alone, regardless of need.
By maintaining these principles, we believe that AUA’s role can only expand in the coming years. Armenia’s need for educated, active citizens is greater now than it has ever been.
In the years to come, we expect that AUA will become more international in character, with a more diverse student body. We expect that it will offer interdisciplinary majors in a variety of new fields and degree programs ranging from the bachelor’s degree to the PhD. We expect that AUA will have more full-time faculty who will involve students in cutting-edge research worthy of publication in refereed international journals of the highest caliber.
In the years to come, we expect that AUA will have an important and ever-increasing impact on Armenia’s educational infrastructure. It will provide unique new opportunities that will stem the feeling among the country’s best students that they have to emigrate in order to receive an excellent higher education. It will also attract many of those excellent students who have already emigrated to return to desirable faculty positions in Armenia.