Arevik Anapiosyan, Executive Director at Institute of Public Policy, Serob Khachatryan, education expert, and Ashot Bleyan, Chairman of Educational Complex after Mkhitar Sebastatsi, expressed their points of views during the discussion at Media Center on July 20.
Ashot Bleyan mentioned that before the publication of the results of the admission examinations it was clear that there would be many vacant places.
“The figures are stubborn. According to the official data, the number of graduates who finish 12th grade in 2017 is 19618. The number of registered applicants in the ATC (Appraisal and Testing Center) was 9073, without the intra-university degree. If that is also added, it will be around 10,000. The number of paid and free places in universities amounts to 20,000 according to the Government’s decision. That is to say, from the very beginning it was known that even if the 10 thousand applicants were all admitted, anyway there will be 10 thousand vacant places,” Ashot Bleyan said.
The speaker also adds that the university admissions are legally allocated to the universities and they should organize.
Arevik Anapiosyan says that today we have a situation that the offer of higher educational institutions exceeds the demand. She makes comparisons with western developed countries how the offer is being organized at universities.
“First, there is a clearly-formed demand in the labor market, and some places are distributed in educational institutions with some progressive calculations. The demand for places within the international cooperation is also added,” Anapiosyan said. The latter thinks that in Armenia there is a situation when the right professional orientation is not conducted.
“Why don’t we have any vacancies at YSU Faculty of Law and International Relations? And there are many vacancies in other professions. Universities are now facing a problem to provide themselves financially and add places with payments, hoping that other faculties will also be provided by these fees. You see, there is no free place at the Faculty of International Relations and at the expense of this they keep the Faculty of Physics,” Anapiosyan said.
Serob Khachatryan says that there are many places in the universities for psychological reasons. “There are many places to show that they have so many place that anyone who applies will pass.”
Khachatryan adds that this situation has been created due to many factors.
“First of all, the university system in Armenia is neglected by the state. Today, the state university receives 15-20 percent of its income from the budget. Therefore, these universities are not state but they just survive by their applicants' fees,” Serob Khachatryan said.
“The universities started to lower the bar in order to have income,” Serobyan said.
He also considers emigration as an influential factor, which naturally will have an impact on the number of applicants. Serob Khachatryan also draws attention to the fact that a large number of graduates go to foreign universities today.
The speakers agreed that the university system should undergo radical reforms to heal it and escape with adverse consequences.
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