AUA Executive Team Visits Regions of Armenia and Artsakh
Recently President of the American University of Armenia (AUA) Dr. Karin Markides made her first official visits to Shirak, Syunik, and Tavush regions of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh. She was accompanied by AUA Vice President of Operations Ashot Ghazaryan.
The visits sought to strengthen ties with the regions and Artsakh by learning about their unique profiles, their needs for capacity building and continuing education, while creating opportunities for high school students to learn about AUA and apply. To this end, Dr. Markides and VP Ghazaryan met with governors Tigran Petrosyan, Shirak, and Hunan Poghosyan, Syunik, as well as municipal officials and learned about the characteristics and strategic priorities for the development of each region. In Shirak and Tavush Dr. Markides also met with members of the regional offices of AUA Turpanjian Rural Development Program (TRDP) and Turpanjian Continuing Education Program (TCEP), who briefed her on the ongoing projects.
The trip to Syunik region was particularly well timed, as AUA plans to establish a new center in Goris to provide equal opportunities to potential AUA applicants from this region, to facilitate lifelong learning and capacity development while bolstering the presence of the University in the south of Armenia. To that end, President Markides and VP Ghazaryan met with Artashes Grigoryan, the resident representative of ContourGlobal, and with officials of the local municipality to discuss areas of collaboration for the implementation of the new Open Education project to be piloted in Goris. ContourGlobal will be in charge of the renovation of the Goris Cultural Center allocated to the Open Education project by the municipality. The project proposal has been presented to potential donors. More information will follow.
In Artsakh, President Markides and VP Ghazaryan had meetings with the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh, Ashot Ghoulyan; State Minister of Artsakh, Grigory Martirosyan; Minister of Culture, Youth Affairs and Tourism of Artsakh, Lernik Hovhannisyan; Minister of Education, Science and Sport of Artsakh, Narine Aghabalyan, and others. Ghoulyan expressed confidence in the continuation of the established collaboration between AUA and Artsakh. As stated in the press release by the National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh, he highlighted “the importance of the work done by the American University of Armenia to provide Artsakh students with the opportunity to become part of modern educational models.”
AUA has been entrusted by philanthropist Gerald Turpanjian and the Government of Artsakh to monitor the construction of the Artsakh State University’s (ArSU) new main building and lead the structural changes within ArSU to advance the university in meeting Western educational standards, to enable the adoption of modern educational tools, as well as to undertake joint research projects. For this purpose, Dr. Markides and VP Ghazaryan held discussions with Minister of Urban Planning of Artsakh Karen Shahramanyan and ArSU Rector Armen Sargsyan.
“With the aim to have an impact on the growth and transformation of Armenia, AUA is offering continuing education that is accessible and instrumental for enhancing development in the regions. This AUA Extension network will extend further to provide advanced education and research in the intersection of regional strength and stakeholder interests,” noted Dr. Markides.
She reflected on the trips as follows: “I am visiting the regions to observe and listen to the leaders about their views on their own capacity profiles and challenges, followed by a dialogue on the role of AUA today and tomorrow. So far, I made visits to Tavush, Shirak, Syunik and the Republic of Artsakh. Diversity of natural resources, like forests, minerals, climate, biodiversity, and fertility of the land provide complementary strengths for the different regions to attract people and business development. At the same time, similarities in their needs for management skills, focus on service skills and transforming the mindset for capacity building including private, public and university co-production provide opportunities for joint effort. Education in basic science and technology, and application of forefront knowledge in information technology, business and leadership development are examples of skills needed to transform local business opportunities in, for example, wine or cheese production, and tourism or forest industry into impact for each region, Armenia, Artsakh, and beyond.”
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.