Tag Archives: Erasmus+

On 6 September, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, participated in a press conference to launch an Erasmus+ Youth. Information Centre. A network of information centres was established in 2017 and the centres function in six Eastern Partnership countries, as well as the Russian Federation. The Gyumri Youth Initiative Centre (YIC) NGO is in charge of all Erasmus+ Youth. Information Centre activities in Armenia; one organisation in each participating country is selected to coordinate national activities based on an open call.
The main aim of the information centres is to inform young people and youth organisations about opportunities which come up through the Erasmus+ programme, as well as to support stakeholders to implement other projects.
Erasmus+ is an EU programme launched on 1 January 2014. It is aimed at boosting skills and employability, as well as offering more opportunities for cooperation across the education, training, youth and sport sectors. YIC was established in 2008 by five active young people experienced in youth work at the local and international level. The mission of YIC is to develop youth civic activism through promoting inclusive initiatives and active participation in civic life.

ARS_4608Ambassador Świtalski spoke about the EU’s perspective on youth: ‘The Erasmus programme is one of the success stories of the EU. We have spent millions of euros to make it possible for young people all over the world to access European education, to come to Europe, to enrich themselves not only with knowledge, but also culture and personal relationships, and to build strong networks. Erasmus is important as it is about the future. I am very glad that this information centre is being established because I believe that Armenia should be able to participate even more in this programme. The EU is planning to invest new resources in education in Armenia – we want Armenians to talk more about education and to think how the system can be improved. I think European experience, and that of Erasmus, will be very important’.

ARS_4642The Coordinator of the National Erasmus+ Office to Armenia, Lana Karlova, congratulated YIC on being selected to coordinate activities: ‘It is very important that an information centre is opening in Gyumri. We see great dedication to education in the marzes and want to link it with our experience with universities and other organisations. Many people are calling our office for more information and now there will finally be a centre that will give answers to all these questions’.

_V1A0241On 27 May the Europe Day celebrations reached their final stop: Northern Avenue, Yerevan. The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, welcomed the Mayor of Yerevan, Taron Margaryan, to launch the final celebrations and addressed a large crowd in the centre of the city: ‘During Europe Day we celebrate the values, the foundations of the EU which link us with Armenia. We have done a big tour over the last three weeks. We started on 6 May here in Yerevan with the “Europe for Peace” concert. We then travelled throughout Armenia: Gymuri, Vanadzor, Dilijan, Kapan, Goris, and Yeghegnadzor. Today we have a closer meeting with the residents of Yerevan, a beautiful European city. I want to thank our member states embassies, the people involved in the implementation of our projects, and the team who organised these events for their hard work during the last month. We want to demonstrate to you that Armenia is very important to us. We want Armenians to learn what the EU is doing here – we are, by far, the biggest donor to Armenia and we want to make progress together. The atmosphere is good for our relations, for example, a few days ago, the EU-Armenia Cooperation Council took place in Brussels in a very friendly and constructive atmosphere. A very ambitious agenda has been charted for the future and I think it is good for Armenia. The EU will stay engage here and we will work hard to ensure you all benefit’.

ARS_3877The TmbaTa folk band from the TUMO Centre in Yerevan performed the Anthem of Europe to kick off the musical celebrations, while Ambassador Świtalski, Mayor Margaryan and other diplomats toured an information fair divided into several zones: EU4Business, EU4Agriculture, EU4Education, EU4CivilSociety, EU4HumanRights, EU4Youth, EU4Enviroment, EU4Energy and EU4Innovation. More than 50 EU-funded projects and EU member states embassies presented their activities.

_V1A0390Projects which attracted the most attention included the “Stop the Flow of Corruption” anti-corruption awareness campaign, which began on 1 February 2017, launched by the EU Delegation to Armenia. This campaign will continue throughout 2017 to raise awareness of the negative effects of corruption and to highlight the EU’s efforts in fighting against corruption in Armenia. Sergey Sargsyan from Arm Comedy and Marat Atovmyan from the Armenian Lawyers’ Association gave examples of the negative effects of corruption to the attendees.

_V1A1022Alongside the information fair there were award ceremonies for the ICMPD MIMBA photo exhibition, the #EUAroundU contest and the Europe Day Street workout performance. This involved a dance performance by “STRONG CSOs for a Stronger Armenia” project representatives and more performances by TmbaTa and the Armenian Progressive Youth band, as well as UFAR Tempus and Erasmus+ students. The Street Workout team organised a flash mob and invited people to join in their workout. The final concert involved performances by Polish singers Adryan Jan and Cesco, who filled Northern Avenue with nice music and dancing. To finish they performed a special new song dedicated to Armenia to show their love and respect to all Armenians.

What are the key actions of the Erasmus+ programme? When are the calls for the application being announced? How can you find tips on how to apply? When are the deadlines?
A series of Erasmus+ information meetings were organised in Yerevan on 4, 8 and 11 November 2016 as part of a wider Erasmus+ information campaign in Armenia. The aim of these information days is to cover various key actions of the Erasmus+ programme. The events were organised by the National Erasmus+ Office in Armenia, together with Armenian universities. Erasmus+ is an EU programme supporting actions in education, training, youth and sport from 2014-2020.
These events provide an excellent opportunity for all stakeholders to listen and share their experience, support each other, and discuss and try to find common solutions to problems that hinder mobility. On the first day of the event the topic of limited mobility was covered, one of the biggest obstacles to the internationalisation of universities. On 4 November, a presentation on key action 1, International Credit Mobility and Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degrees, was held for the general public at the Armenian State University of Economics.

14915427_1148783361842258_1560300254729326499_nThe Deputy Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Gregory Tsouris, attended the event and spoke about the EU’s priorities: ‘I am very happy to see the high level of interest in this event and the hunger for practical and important information. Education, training, youth and sport are key strategic drivers to overcome socio-economic crises affecting EU countries. Erasmus+ brings together 7-EU-funded programmes and gives opportunites to students, teachers, staff and volunteers to spend time abroad. The EU and Armenia are also working together to improve education in Armenia through different projects’.

Armenian Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan thanked hisEuropean colleagues for the European Union’s support to educational projects in Armenia: ‘The higher education system is developing very quickly. The current trend is moving towards a credit system. There is still a lotto do to establish an educational credit system in our country. Our priority is to ensure internal student mobility between universities in Armenia. If we want to have international educational quality, especially atthe Master’s and Bachelor’s level, we have to combine university databases and create such a platform for university cooperation so that students can move freely acrossArmenia’s scientific and educational institutions andbetterenrich their knowledge’.

On 8 November, the Armenian State Pedagogical University hosted a session on key action img_03052, capacity building in higher education (the former Tempus programme). The event was open to key administrators, managers and academic staff members of Armenian higher education institutions, as well as representatives of labour market and public organisations.Additional information on the Erasmus+ programme, particularly Jean Monnet actions(programme aimed at stimulating teaching, research and reflection in the field of European integration studies at the level of higher education institutions within and outside the European Community), was presented to the Armenian academic community at Yerevan State University on 11 November.

ars_6575These information days brought together managers, administrators, scholars, students and experts from higher education institutions, representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia, and the Delegation of EU to Armenia. In addition to hands-on, practical information on scholarships and grants available through Erasmus+, application tips were presented to participants with regard to the call for proposals launched in October 2016.
More Erasmus+information events will take place on 23 November in Gyumri and on 24 November in Vanadzor.

The European Union Delegation to Armenia invited journalists on 19 February to a press briefing in the frames of a three-day training session organised from 17 to 19 February for staff members of Armenian universities. The briefing took place at the Sargis and Mary Izmirlyan Library at Yerevan State University.
This three-day training seminar, run by three EU experts, involved 30 representatives from 12 different universities in Yerevan, covering writing and learning outcomes; methods and processes for assessing students’ level of knowledge, skills and competencies; formal and informal exams; classroom participation; assignments; self-evaluation; peer evaluation; linking the European credit transfer and accumulation system (ECTS) to different modules.
The training sessions were organised within the framework of the EU twinning project called “Empowerment of Tertiary Level Education of the Republic of Armenia for European Higher Education Area Integration”, which was launched on 1 October 2014. The project’s overall objective is to strengthen cooperation on social development, especially in accordance with EU best practice reforms in training systems, quality assurance, and the higher education system. The initiative has a total budget of €1 million and will last for 24 months.
ARS_1894Borislav Dimitrov, International Aid/Cooperation officer at the EU Delegation, talked about the importance of sharing experience between native and international experts to bring about change in education: ‘Education and training are recognised as key drivers of growth and job creation to foster social equality and inclusion. This twinning project has an EU contribution of about €1 million. It is not a secret that the issue of matching skills to labour market demands is on the EU’s economic governance agenda and is a priority for many EU member states. In this context we are happy that the EU is in a position to help Armenia in its educational reforms. We are sharing experience, know-how and lessons learnt. The twinning instrument opens a sustainable approach for administrative reforms and approximation to the EU standards. This assistance complements Armenia’s involvement in 29 ongoing Tempus projects and 17 Erasmus Mundus projects, as well as the EU’s new education programme Erasmus Plus’.
The project is being implemented with cooperation from the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia. Robert Sukiasyan, Head of Higher Education and Postgraduate Professional Education Department, introduced the involvement of their Ministry in these programmes: “Within the framework of the educational reform, Armenia is actively cooperating with the EU, including this twinning project. Its main goal is the ministry working together with EU experts to draft new legislation on higher education, as well as amendments to existing legislation. The other main topic is ensuring compliance with international quality standards. Another very important factor is also raising of professional skills of ministry employees, who will also undergo training in the near future’.
ARS_1945Karl Holm, Resident Twinning Advisor, spoke on the importance of the quality of education for compliance with the labour market: ‘Everybody is keen on education, which is why we are here. However, this love and passion needs good governance, solid legislation, better capacity, and quality. This is the main reason we are here. For this reason we are working very closely with beneficiaries, like the Ministry of Education and Science and the Armenian National Centre for Professional Education Quality Assurance Foundation (ANQA). This is the last day of the three-day training session for representatives of twelve different universities in Yerevan. We will continue these kinds of seminars – the project will train around 120 experts from Armenian higher education institutions. The essence of this project is that Armenian higher education should be linked to the European higher education area. This can lead to assistance and improvements on many issues, such as quality, legislation, mobility, and more. We are not saying that Armenia is not yet close to this, but we are here to emphasise some additional details to assist Armenia achieve greater higher education’.
The project includes Armenian higher education institutions and the national centre for quality higher education. Over 60 international experts from Finland, Germany and Estonia have been involved in the project and have come to Armenia to share their experiences in education. Indeed, at this seminar, the Vice-rector of Turku University (Finland) made a presentation to journalists about the Bologna process and Armenia’s involvement in it.
After the presentations and speeches, journalists, as well as seminar participants, had the opportunity to ask questions to programme representatives. It emerged that a major challenge for Armenian tertiary-level education system at this stage is to design a holistic system that is capable of preparing highly qualified specialists with transferable skills and the capacity to function in an ever-changing environment.

The National Erasmus+ Office in Armenia, the EU Delegation to Armenia and the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) organised on 11 December an information day for scholars, experts from higher education institutions, students, and representatives of non-governmental organisations. Participants were introduced to the EU Erasmus+ Programme (http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/index_en.htm) and to the launching of actions relevant to higher education from an international perspective.

The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Traian Hristea, highlighted that Armenia had been particularly active in terms of educational reform within the Eastern Partnership: ‘Erasmus+ will replace the Erasmus Mundus programme, and the EU is determined to do even more. Investing in education is the key to human potential, regardless of age and background. We would like to increase mobility among students between our regions and provide greater support to higher education institutions’.

IMG_9725The Minister of Education of Armenia appreciated the fact that the Erasmus+ programme will be available to future students and beneficiary organisations, and expressed the hope that the current level of positive cooperation would be enriched by new ideas and innovation: ‘This is quite an important programme for Armenia, and will help in accumulating, analysing and spreading any kind of information on educational reforms. Next year we will host the European Ministers conference in Yerevan; representatives from 47 countries will gather in Armenia to come up with strategies for the future of European higher education’.

IMG_9833The “Erasmus+” programme is aimed at boosting skills and employability, as well as modernising education, training and youth work. The seven-year programme was launched in January 2014 and will be financed by the EU with a budget of €14.7 billion. The programme shows the EU’s commitment to investing in education and employment. The mandate of partner countries’ national Erasmus+ offices under the Erasmus+ programme covers all support, promotion, monitoring and dissemination activities related to the international higher education dimension of the programme.