PM familiarized with educational process at Armenian National Polytechnic University
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today visited the National Polytechnic University of Armenia (ANPU). Accompanied by Minister of Education and Science Araik Harutyunyan, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technologies Hakob Arshakyan and ANPU Rector Vostanik Marukhyan, the Premier toured the premises to get acquainted with the educational process and the conditions available at the University.
The Head of Government was first introduced to the process of organizing the admission of applicants’ papers, after which the Prime Minister called at the research labs on robotics, communication, control and automation, embedded systems, accurate measurements, data collection and measurement. Research results and programmatic mechanisms were also presented. Nikol Pashinyan toured the Aerial Robotics Training and Research Center, where he was briefed on the ongoing educational and scientific activities.
The Premier next visited the local training center, which develops automated systems for electricity measurement and control, the laboratories for distribution of high and medium voltage electricity, nuclear energy, energy efficiency, energy conservation and the Regional Nuclear Safety Training Center.
Summing up his visit, the Prime Minister stated: “What we saw here is quite exciting. In fact, this is our preferable model of education. We have repeatedly said on this topic that one of the most urgent tasks of the university system is the transfer of practical knowledge to students. We often have graduates with a specific level of theoretical knowledge who are facing problems with practical knowledge and skills. This is a problem not only for the organization of a person’s life, but also for the country’s economy. For example, a college graduate may spend two years combining his work and training, which is a problem for both the employer and the employee.
Consequently, our universities should try to tackle this most important problem so that graduates might be ready to get a specialized job not only after graduation, but also at a specific stage of higher education. I often pay visits to universities, and my conclusion is that we need to bring educational and research components as closer as possible. These components should go in tune with each other in the modern world. In other words, there is no education without research, and research should be the main component of education. In this regard, what we see is gratifying and testifies to the use of this very logic.
The next crucial point in the concept of our government is the cooperation with the private sector.
The convergence of the practical sector and the university system is as much important, which not only provides practical knowledge to students and graduates, but also creates a platform for further retraining, which may be beneficial for both universities and companies. These criteria and indicators are very important.
I am glad that the University has enough determination to move forward in this direction.
The Government has declared its priorities: we stated that we regard the Republic of Armenia as a technological country. Of course, the National Polytechnic University has to play a unique role in this context, and we consider it as one of our key partners in implementing strategic programs.
In general, our understanding of the university system has undergone some changes. Several functions related to public administration are being delegated to the university system. I think that this is a very correct course in terms of convergence of research with education, and, on the other hand, these institutions will thereby be the bearers of institutional memory, and political changes will not have much impact on changing these systems. For instance, the Agrarian University is beginning to play an important role in the field of agriculture as it has developed concrete solutions for the long-standing issue of the management of water resources in fish breeding industry.
Cooperation to that effect should be established with all universities. State-administered functions should be delegated to universities, where possible. Naturally, we are talking about those functions associated with science, research, which call for scientific solutions.
Thank you for showing me the facilities: I can see that the university has developed an ambitious program. We are making changes to the management system, which should also serve our vision of turning Armenia into a technological country. A new ministry is being formed, and in this regard, the Government’s cooperation with the scientific and educational system is extremely important.
I hope we can implement the reforms aimed at turning Armenia into a technological hub in an atmosphere of cooperation and agreement. And, most importantly, I wish to highlight the Government’s will to take the educational and university systems out of political processes.
The universities’ behavior should not be dependant on political conjuncture and political nuances. Universities should in no way be politicized; they should fulfill their scientific and educational functions. And we are determined to make this a reality.”