BOOST Dissemination Conference Held in Yerevan

YEREVAN, Armenia – On January 21, 2020, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted a dissemination conference on the internationalization of higher education in the framework of the Erasmus+ BOOST project – Boosting Armenian Universities: Internationalisation Strategy and Marketing.

AUA Provost Dr. Randall Rhodes and Head of the Erasmus+ Armenian office Lana Karlova welcomed the participants to the conference. Dr. Rhodes noted that AUA President Dr. Karin Markides has identified internationalization as one of the priorities for the University, “And that means not only internationalizing our student body, as well as our faculty and staff, but also reaching out and collaborating with partners in the development of curricula and research, not just from this region, but from around the world.”

Dr. Rhodes highlighted the importance of providing high-quality education in Armenia. He expressed confidence that the quality of education, teaching, research, and development would be attractive to international partners. Central to this endeavor is that Armenian Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) advance their pedagogies, modalities of instruction, and curricula “to make Armenia a higher education destination globally.”

“Through dedicated work, Armenia is the third among the Eastern Partnership countries in the number of student and staff mobilities. In fact, we are in first place by the success rate of applications. But, of course, we can achieve more,” mentioned Karlova in her welcoming remarks.

Erasmus+ BOOST project coordinator Marianna Harutyunyan presented the achieved outcomes of the project: the benchmarking analysis conducted on internationalization practices; the development of a comprehensive national strategy for internationalization and action plan; the development of the national model for study-abroad programs; the establishment of international cooperation offices and service-oriented centers at Armenian HEIs, among others.

Tatevik Gharibyan, specialist on higher education policy development from the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Armenia (RA) and Gayane Harutyunyan, director of the National Information Center for Academic Recognition and Mobility presented the internationalization strategy for Armenian HEIs. The conference participants had the opportunity to discuss the important role of the presented strategies and make their input. Also, members of the project partner institutions shared their lessons on best practices learned during recent training sessions and international weeks organized by European partners of the consortium.

The representatives from Instituto Superior Tecnico (Portugal), KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia), and University Rovira I Virgili (Spain) presented the experience of internationalization at their home institutions, development of the process as well as the challenges and achievements.

During the dissemination conference, representatives of Erasmus+ capacity building projects in Armenia, HARMONYMINERVA, and SMART led an inter-project discussion. The conference was followed by the consortium management team meeting the next day. The agenda included the remaining tasks to be completed in five months until the end of the project. The consortium management team decided to hold the final BOOST conference on July 1, 2020.