“The main problem now is that the Bologna reforms are carried out from up to down which contradicts the aim of the reforms,” said Samvel Karabekyan, adding the vertical approach has led to misinterpretations for many. “The reforms have not reached the classroom,” he said.
The Media Center held a discussion on the impact of the Bologna educational reforms on the higher education system in Armenia since 2005. The speakers included: Hranush Kharatyan, education expert; Samvel Karabekyan, education expert; Erik Vardanyan, student, Armenian Student Association; and Arevik Anapiosyan, lecturer at the European Studies Center, YSU.
Karabekyan believes the poorly developed awareness raising policy at higher education institutions has spurred misinterpretations and lack of information regarding the mechanisms and content of the education reforms.
“Apart from well-developed awareness raising policy, the institutions must have self-government we are discussing this much. They, though, have no self-government at all. We are here carrying out reforms which don’t have the required support; it is being fulfilled with methods and tools that oppose the idea of the reforms,” the expert said.
The complete establishment of the Bologna system, the experts believe, will make it possible for Armenia to fully integrate into the European education system. The system will bring about new education mechanisms and content.
“Now there are new mechanisms – fixed in the signed documents – that are introduced and operate efficiently. But actually, these mechanisms lack content. And the success of the system generally depends on the professionalism of the faculty – lecturers who are not engaged in scholarly activities and need training,” said Hranush Kharatyan.
Any education reform, Kharatyan stressed, cannot have an instant output since it takes some time. “An education reform can hardly be carried out rapidly as it is connected with human resources. Let’s take scientists, it takes 20 years for them to become a renowned professional,” the expert said. The disadvantages of the reforms will have their further impact on all sectors from education to economy to the overall development of the country.
Arevik Anapiosyan said the reforms aim to provide high quality education to the customer, namely student to make him competitive on the job market. “Thus, lecturers must be provided the necessary methodology which will ensure new education content. Now lecturers are more engaged in the education process as such. There are no conditions, they don’t have time for self-improvement and science,” Anapiosyan said.
The majority of students have a vague idea about the Bologna process, Erik Vardanyan said. “The survey the Armenian Student Association has recently conducted documents the main part of respondents have superficial and general comprehension of the system,” Vardayan said.
Arshaluys Mghdesyan, Editor-Coordinator
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