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ATHENA Benchmarking Forum on University Autonomy in the Framework of Tempus Programme Held in Yerevan

Yerevan State University hosted a Benchmarking Forum in the framework of Fostering Sustainable and Autonomous Higher Education Systems in the Eastern Neighbouring Area (ATHENA) project on 12-13th May, 2015. Among its participants were staff members from the European University Association (EUA), the EU partner universities – University of Helsinki, University of Coimbra, Politechnic of Coimbra, University of Amsterdam, and national delegations from Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova. The Ukrainian delegation was headed by Inna Sovsun, First Deputy Minister of Education and Science. In her speech, the official outlined the most pressing issues of higher education in Ukraine related to the implementation of a new Law on Higher Education. The official focused on the setting up of National Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, positive achievements in the field of University academic autonomy, comprehensive assistance and support of Ukrainian Universities by the Ministry of Education and Science.

 Professor Larysa Zasiekina presented the main steps taken by Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University towards academic, financial, staff, and organizational autonomy. The speaker also highlighted the progress and concrete stages of introducing the new Law into the University activity, in particular:

  • inviting external members to the EENU Supervisory Board;
  • the EENU Academic Council’s readiness for nostrification of foreign Ph.D. diplomas;
  • constructing the University student campus at the expense of our scholars’ intellectual property and external investors;
  • carrying out state budget projects, patent activity, paid services aimed at integrating science and society, science and business;
  • inviting foreign professors, Fulbright Scholars, Peace Corps volunteers;
  • holding lectures in English, opening language courses;
  • attracting foreign students;
  • EENU’s participating in international consortia.

Thomas Estermann, Director of EUA Governance, Funding, and Public Policy Development Unit, thanked all EENU programme participants for their great contribution to the project implementation and expressed his willingness to visit our University with the purpose of fostering further collaboration between EUA and EENU.

 Professor Larysa Zasiekina 

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