Trent Zimmerman, Dr. Hugh McDermott

AUA Hosts Australian Delegation to Discuss Viable Cooperation

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YEREVAN, Armenia – On September 24, 2019, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted a delegation from Australia comprising Members of the Parliament of Australia, Trent Zimmerman, Tim Wilson, John Alexander, and Dr. Hugh McDermott, as well as other governmental officials. The visit was initiated by the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) and led by its Executive Director Haig Kayserian. The Executive Director of Mining Legislation Reform Institute (MLRI), Yerevan, Varant Meguerditchian accompanied the delegation.

AUA Provost Dr. Randall Rhodes, Vice President of Operations Ashot Ghazaryan, Vice President of Finance Gevorg Goyunyan, and Director of AUA Acopian Center for the Environment Alen Amirkhanian welcomed the members of the Australian delegation at the entrance of the AUA Main Building. They toured the AUA campus and learned about the University’s history, its mission and vision, academic programs, internationalization agenda and growing student body.

The group sat down for a discussion during which Dr. Rhodes presented AUA’s academic programs and research interests. Amirkhanian briefed the guests on the ongoing and past projects of the Acopian Center for the Environment, highlighting initiatives on waste governance, circular economy, forest preservation, and ecotourism. 

Faculty and student exchange opportunities were discussed as feasible areas of future collaboration. The AUA Provost also noted:

“We would like to establish MoUs with commercial enterprises and industries in Australia. Armenians need to be globally minded; therefore, they need exposure to business practices in a variety of different cultures. We would really like our students to gain internship and work experience in Australia. That’s exactly what we need most in a  small state like Armenia.”

Among the assets of AUA that could attract exchange students from Australia, Dr. Rhodes mentioned the affiliation with the University of California and accreditation by the WASC Senior College and University Commission which allows easier credit transfer. VP Ghazaryan added that another advantage is the very affordable tuition fee for international students who are also eligible for merit scholarships.

“The American University of Armenia seems to be doing all the right things that would attract potential for collaboration with universities in Australia. Of course, universities within the American and Australian educational systems already have many collaborations; many Australian students study in the U.S. and vice versa. Therefore, to have a Western style, accredited university here in Yerevan providing a wide range of courses means that the grounds are there for us to be able to take this information and talk to some of the biggest universities in Australia,” said Kayserian summarizing the productive discussion.

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.