The new address of the National Information Center for Academic Recognition and Mobility is Simon Vratsyan Street, 73.
Following the tradition, on December 23rd ArmEnic held the training for the Armenian higher education institutions on “Modern issues of the recognition of the foreign qualifications: towards the future”. 38 representatives of 23 public and private universities participated in the event.
2021 was a significant year for the recognition since the Tokyo Convention for the Asia-Pacific region entered into force on May 1, and the Armenian Parliament unanimously approved the draft law on the ratification of the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications for Higher Education. The training course comprised of two sessions. During the first session, the strategical importance of the recognition and the diversity of the education systems as well as basic principles and procedures related to the assessment of qualifications were presented. The second session was for the first time was held jointly with the American Councils for International Education, and the representative of the organization presented the US higher education system and the qualifications awarded.
A special focus was on the community colleges and their peculiarities. Both sessions were followed by examples and as an exercise, the participants were also asked to evaluate qualifications. The representative of the American Councils for International Education prepared small gifts for the participants. At the end of the training, the participants were given certificates.
A peer exchange meeting on best practices in combatting academic misconduct and fraud in education was organized between ArmEnic and the Joint EU/CoE Project “Quality education for all in Montenegro”.
During the meeting, the participants exchanged information about their country contexts, activities and methodologies, key achievements, challenges and factors of success in ensuring ethics and integrity in education in a sustainable way.
As ArmEnic embarks on a Council of Europe supported project to carry out a study and develop a handbook on “Developments and Detection of Education Fraud: Risks and Responses in the COVID-19 Age”, more exchanges between the two projects will be organized to ensure that learning from each other and good practices are shared further.
On June 22, 2021 at the Armenian State University of Economics (ASUE) the director of ArmEnic Gayane Harutyunyan and higher education specialist Ani Hovhannisyan presented the results of the benchmarking of the “Finance” bachelor’s program. The benchmarking of the learning outcomes was done within the framework of the research program conducted by ASUE, in the focus groups of which ArmEnic is included. Bachelor’s programs from three universities were pre-selected for the benchmarking, the results of which were analyzed by ArmEnic using the UNESCO World Reference Levels digital tool. The graphical profile created as a result of the analysis showed the strengths and weaknesses of the program in terms of capacities, knowledge and skills. A similar analysis will be performed by ArmEnic for ASUE “Economics” bachelor’s program.
On May 1, 2021, the Asia-Pacific Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education, known as the Tokyo Convention will enter into force in Armenia. It took 10 years before the Convention that was signed by Armenia on November 26, 2011, was ratified.
No doubt, that accession to the Tokyo Convention is an important development for Armenia and will facilitate cross-regional cooperation in education and science-based on mutual trust. Moreover, the National Information Center for Academic Recognition and Mobility of Armenia will join Asia-Pacific Network of National Information Centres (APNNIC), which are the official networks of recognition authorities and NICs in the region.
On March 11, 2021, ISEC hosted Gayane Harutyunyan, the Director of the National Information Center for Academic Recognition and Mobility (ArmEnic). The purpose of the visit was to introduce more closely the activities of both Centers, to establish cooperation and to discuss the current problems in the field of higher education.
During the meeting, the Parties agreed to jointly revise the ISEC’s diploma supplement reflecting the credits earned by the students during the international credit mobility and online courses, as well as on holding a new meeting to discuss the final version of the document developed by the working group on “Degree Awarding”.
On January 29, 2021, the Board of Trustees of the National Information Center for Academic Recognition and Mobility (ArmENIC) held a regular meeting at the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia. During the meeting, Arthur Martirosyan, the Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of RA, was elected the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. The Director of the ArmENIC Gayane Harutyunyan presented the ArmENIC’s 2020 annual report and 2021 action plan both of which were approved by the Board of Trustees unanimously.
The ArmENIC’s 2020 Annual report is available here.
On December 23, 2020, ArmEnic organized its annual training. This year was full of difficulties, losses, and challenges that re-evaluated and redefined the importance of education. Despite the difficulties, ArmEnic’s team decided to end the year by uniting the participants of the training for a face-to-face event, keeping all the safety measures of the pandemic, and, unfortunately, limiting the number of the participants. The higher education institutions (HEI) accepted the invitation with great enthusiasm, the total number of the participants was 24 from 18 HEIs and one participant from the Supreme Certifying Committee. Two main topics of this year’s training were the recognition of refugees’ qualifications and the presentation of the results of a recent study conducted by ArmEnic. As every year, the training was summed up with a traditional quiz, and the winners received the presents.
The pandemic situation, evidently, has been affecting economies worldwide, and national governments are looking for innovative solutions to stabilize the situation. Definitely, migrants and refugees can be among these solutions. Although being highly vulnerable, they create more economic value than one may think. They are important for various sectors of the economy, particularly for agriculture and healthcare. They demonstrate willingness and qualification if given an opportunity.
The Council of Europe EQPR is vividly one of these opportunities. This is a unique tool to motivate migrants and refugees and enhance their social inclusion.
The interest in EQPR is also high during COVID-19 pandemic. In June and July 2020 the evaluation sessions were held in Greece and Italy. Two members of ArmENIC namely the Head of the Center, Gayane Harutyunayn, and the Credential Evaluator, Nazani Gevorkyan, participated in 4 sessions together with the colleagues from Hellenic NARIC and CIMEA/Italy. During the sessions, 16 refugees from Somalia, Palestine, Turkey, Iran, South Sudan, Eritrea, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Cuba were interviewed using BlueJeans platform. Some of the interviewees had expectations to continue their studies, while others sought jobs. The majority of the interviewees succeeded in substantiating their qualifications and will be awarded EQPR.
This year the annual meeting of the networks was supposed to take place in Lisbon, in June. This is a major event of a year and national recognition agencies are looking forward to it. Usually, around 150 participants meet to discuss policy and recognition issues in higher education.
Because of the pandemic crisis, the 2020 meeting of the networks was postposed to 2021. Nevertheless, on June 15 a virtual meeting was organized. With about 90 participants the meeting discussed the recognition matters in the created situation. Three members of the ArmEnic participated in the meeting.