Armenia's potential to become a regional leader on education

   June 11, 2007 | Yerevan

Can Armenia set an ambitious goal of becoming a regional leader in education? Such high level ambitions first require deeper understanding of the role of education beyond viewing it as an economic activity or an infrastructure that shapes human capital.  Education transmits and  shapes key elements of the cultural identity of a nation and thus sets premises for one's role in the world.

Education is increasingly globalizing with new actors emerging who target global markets. The major drivers are technology, increasing mobility of students, and globalizing business.  Since 2000, the overall number of foreign students inrolled in universities in Armena grew by 41%, comprising a 9% average annual increase, intensifying competition for talent globally. This trend is stronger in science and technology. English spreads wider as an international medium of instruction. The most internationalized subjects are those requiring connections (e. g. business administration) and universal knowledge (quantitative; natural sciences). Armenia can achieve a distinct role in education in this setting through comprehensive assessment of its current capabilities, critical gaps and emerging opportunities. Different approaches are required at general and tertiary education levels. Execution mechanisms shall stress the role of excellence centers and spillover mechanisms to scape up their impact.