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 Monday, March 18 2024 15:15
Naira Badalian

Higher school buildings to be managed by international company -  premier

Higher school buildings to be managed by international company -  premier

ArmInfo.There should be no university in the city of Yerevan, and there should be no university outside the Academic City. All universities of the Republic, Armenian, foreign, private, and state, should operate only inside the Academic City, Armenia's Premier Nikol Pashinyan stated at a session of the Economic Policy Council in Dilijan. 

"If we try to certify and license our universities, not a single  university will get that license. In other words, there is  legislation in our country that universities must comply with this or  that standard," the premier said. 

"We said: what to do to make our universities comply with at least  our legislation, which is not the highest standard? And we have seen  that it is not possible, we cannot transform those buildings, etc.,  because in the modern world, obviously the physical infrastructure  must be combined with the content infrastructure, because one without  the other creates a gap. And that's why we said that we have to start  that process from scratch, and that's where the idea came from.

"Moreover, we are getting into international scandals because of  these universities, we are talking about the international reputation  of Armenia, but there were at least dozens of publications in the  international press about how, for example, there are universities in  Armenia that sell fake medical diplomas, fake medical degrees of  various specialties. they sell diplomas, etc. And when we go after  those universities to close them with the logic that they don't meet  the licensing conditions, they make a very legitimate argument, they  say, sorry, let's go and look at the state universities. Very good,  you set that standard, we have no problem, so set that standard for  all universities, both private universities, state universities and  foreign universities. This is where we see that if we are very  principled, all universities should be closed with the logic that  they do not meet the licensing conditions," Armenia's premier said. 

"Therefore, if in the long term we move the universities to the  Academic City, which is, in fact, a mega- project that will require a  billion and more dollars of investment in the long term, the question  arises: what will happen to the old buildings? In the past, the  practice in Armenia was to expropriate the buildings of the old  infrastructure to create a new infrastructure, but we realized that  this is a bad idea. And we are now discussing the following idea,  that all those buildings of the city of Yerevan should be  consolidated into one organization and given to a company with an  international reputation for management as territories. And all the  money generated from there will go to finance the Academic City and  the university system. The question is whether it will go to the  state budget as a revenue or go directly to the accounts of the  Academic City Fund. And this is what we are thinking about today,"  Pashinyan said. 

According to the concept of the Academic Town program, the project  will be launched in 20230. Earlier, the head of the Ministry of  Education and Science, Zhanna Andreasyan, reported that two places  are planned for the physical location of the Academy Town: the  territory adjacent to the 17th quarter of the city of Yerevan, the  predominant part of which is state or municipal property, and the  territory of the film studio "Hayfilm" named after Hamo Beknazaryan,  the total area of which is about 700 hectares. In this case, the main  site will be the territory adjacent to the 17th quarter, and the  territory of the Hayfilm studio will be used if necessary in  accordance with the master plan. According to the minister, up to 16  universities will be located on the territory of Academic Town - up  to 8 state enlarged universities and up to 8 private or international  higher educational institutions. "Currently, the concept describes in  detail 4 clusters - technological, arts, educational and officer. The  academic town is adjacent to one highway; it will be connected to  Yerevan and the railway, part of which already passes through the  main section," the minister said.  

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