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Pashinyan's Long-Term Goal: No Universities in Yerevan

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan today announced that his administration must take steps to allow women in the country to both have children and to pursue business careers.

Pashinyan, addressing the Economic Policy Council session in the resort town of Dilijan, didn’t specify what policies should be drafted in this regard.

He confessed that school kids in Armenia, like their peers globally, are becoming overweight and that more attention must be paid to their school meals.

Turning to the country’s higher education sector, Pashinyan said the system, comprised of sixty colleges and universities, is overburdened administratively.

“Sixty universities mean sixty rectors, 120 vice-rectors, several hundred deans, and some 1,000 deputy deans, etc.,” he said.

Pashinyan pointed out that if Armenia were to certify state and private universities according to international standards, not one school in the country would be certified.

He said his administration’s long-term goal is not to have any university in the capital Yerevan and that all higher education institutions must be in an “Academic City” to be built in the town of Ashtarak.

Justifying such a radical policy, Pashinyan said the country’s higher education infrastructure is below par and must be built anew.

He said greater monitoring of the sector is needed give a recent spate of negative press coverage regarding the sale of fake medical diplomas in Armenia.

Armenian Minister of Education and Science Zhanna Andreasyan, last October, announced that the plan is to house eight state and eight private/international universities on the site with dormitories, a sports arena and cinema.

Andreasyan said if all goes according to plan, the “Academic City” would open in January 2030.

While Pashinyan didn’t specify the estimated cost of the planned “Academic City”, he did say it would cost “billions of dollars”.

Pashinyan didn’t expand on how his or future administrations would finance the project.

He said his government is discussing whether to lease buildings now housing universities in Yerevan to an international management company and to use the proceeds to finance the “Academic City”.


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