AUA Hosts the Erasmus+ INCLUSION Final Conference
YEREVAN, Armenia – On September 25, 2019, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted the final conference of the Erasmus+ INCLUSION project at AUA’s Alex and Marie Manoogian Hall. The project was coordinated by the State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia (SAFAA) and brought together various stakeholders and representatives of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and Armenia. The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia (RA), Zaruhi Batoyan, RA Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, Arevik Anapiosyan (M PSIA ’08), as well as representatives of the National Erasmus+ Office in Armenia were in attendance.
AUA Provost Dr. Randall Rhodes welcomed the participants and mentioned the major achievements of the INCLUSION project over the past three years. These include developing national level guidelines on the promotion of inclusion within high schools and HEIs, institutional level master plans and resources for inclusive teaching and learning, as well the organization of trainings for HEI faculty and staff and high school teachers.
“Central to this mission was researching and conducting needs assessments in our respective countries to ensure that the outcomes were aligned with local realities. We encountered many challenges and we identified many opportunities. […] It is now up to the participating institutions to work with the ministries and develop implementation plans that will truly affect change and ensure that every child, every student has access to quality education from kindergarten all the way to university,” Dr. Rhodes said.
During three panel discussions, the participants shared their understanding of inclusion, their applications within their respective nations, legislation, policies and procedures, the inclusive education toolkit, assistive teaching technologies, best practices in pedagogy, and quality assurance mechanisms. The consortium members highlighted the significant impact of the INCLUSION project in their communities and the tactics their institutions have implemented as a result of participation in this project.
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.