On 8 June 2009, a round table discussion on “Quality Assurance System in Armenia” was held in ANQA with the participation of Ara Avetisyan, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia, representatives of the World Bank and the state HEIs, as well as international organizations related to education projects in Armenia. The purpose of the round table was the introduction of the current situation in the country in regard to education quality assurance, projects being implemented by different organizations and the identification of the possible collaboration provisions.
According to the agreement signed between Armenia and the World Bank within the framework of APL2 “Education Quality and Correspondence”, the professional education reforms will continue, particularly in regard to education quality assurance and improvement. “Certain steps are already implemented in the field: working groups designed in line with the reform directions are operating in the Ministry; quality assurance centre was established in December 2008. HEIs together with international organizations also took certain measures towards quality assessment internal mechanisms. The procedure consists of numerous components and, I believe, in the near future, we will succeed in defining clear criteria and framework for all these fields so that each of them is able to execute its functions effectively”, A. Avetisyan, the Deputy Minister said.
While introducing the new components of the World Bank APL, Sachiko Kataoka, the World Bank representative noted that the project promoting the measures taken towards education quality assurance in Armenia, which is being launched in September, is envisaged to supporting not only ANQA’s activities but also professional education institutions all over the country. In order to provide transparency of professional education system, HEIs will be supported in enhancing and installing information technologies. Besides, there will be projects for student support as well.
Ruben Topchyan, the Director of ANQA, introduced the current activities, issues and goals of the Centre. He highlighted that the Centre had already organized and taken part in a number of meetings with local and international institutions and has attached importance to the collaboration with them. The possible cooperation was noted with TEMPUS, Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation-Armenia and United Nations Development Programme. The Centre has applied for the primary membership to the European Quality Assurance Agency. The representatives of the Centre had visits to Great Britain and the Ukraine.
The donor organizations and the HEI representatives also expressed satisfaction on the meeting held with ANQA noting that there are still lots of gaps in the sphere in regard to the clarification of criteria and procedures. However, the willingness to cooperate towards solving these issues was highlighted.
Considering this meeting to be efficient and useful, the participants expressed hope of such meetings to be organized on a systematic basis, as the coherence of steps taken in the field is a necessity.