Tag Archives: ministerial

The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) Ministerial Conference and Fourth Bologna Policy Forum took place on 14-15 May 2015 in Yerevan, Armenia. About 500 participants from 47 countries and international organisations, including 20 education ministers, arrived in Armenia to attend the event. Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, also came to Armenia to take part in the conference and join in the Europe Day celebrations.
During the opening ceremony of the conference, Commissioner Navracsics thanked Armenia for hosting the conference, as well as Iceland and Latvia for their chairmanship: ‘The very core of our societies has suffered serious blows this year: freedom of speech and academic thought have been under attack in Europe and beyond. From the shocking attacks in Paris and Copenhagen to the devastating killings of students in Kenya we have all been reminded that to maintain and nurture democratic values and academic freedom we have to work together and engage in constant dialogue. Universities have a vital role to play.
They provide an environment and prospective that enable citizens to think freely and critically, and they nurture open, tolerant societies. Higher education institutions played an irreplaceable role in rebuilding societies in Europe after 1989. Today, higher education and academic values remain crucial for the safekeeping of democratic freedoms. We must acknowledge these values and share commitments we will make here in Yerevan’.
The Armenian President, Serzh Sargsyan, also spoke: ‘Positive and progressive trends have been registered in our higher education institutions with regard to both the application of European quality standards and student mobility. The Armenian culture of education, which originated in ancient times, is an integral part of our country’s ancient history and has made global contributions. To build upon our educational traditions today we need accessible and adequate tools for contact and communication throughout the whole European Higher Education Area. In that context, the Bologna process-driven reforms have significantly supported the founding of a student-orientated system and efforts that provide today’s generation with the opportunity to be well equipped and competitive to respond to current challenges. Although we have not yet overcome all the obstacles, the accomplishments we have already registered and our will to achieve global goals signals a more active stage of dialogue. The important decisions you are going to make in Yerevan will have a positive impact on millions of European students and education beneficiaries, thus paving the way for new progress, economic development and stability’.
After the opening remarks of the chairmen and the Armenian Minister of Education and Science, participants started their discussions, one result of which was the Republic of Belarus becoming a member of the EHEA.
The conference concluded with a communiqué for Yerevan. For the first time in a EHEA ministerial communiqué, the right to student mobility and education in conflict areas was affirmed, a crucial principle in the context of European education policy.
ARS_3109The Armenian Prime Minister closed proceedings, stating that Armenia highly evaluated the participation of such an audience and delegations in Yerevan: ‘The Bologna process is a result of a successful cooperation. It has had a crucial role in the creation of the EHEA model, as well as enabled countries with different cultural and education traditions to create learning environments in line with European standards’.
A press conference attended by all participating ministers was held after the conference. Mārīte Seile, Latvian Minister of Education and Science, commented that the Bologna process was very important for Europe’s competitiveness: ‘The conference was a very clear message that higher education is not only about knowledge and skills, but also values and attitudes’. ARS_3312
The Armenian Minister of Education and Science, Armen Ashotyan, announced that the next conference would be hosted by France in 2018.