Armenian Higher Education Initiative completes inaugural summer program
Published: Thursday August 02, 2012
Yerevan - Undergraduate university students of Armenian heritage came together from Georgia, Artsakh, as well as universities in Gyumri, Kavar, and Yerevan for an intensive program in the humanities and social sciences, organized by the Armenian Higher Education Initiative.
The aim of the course was to stimulate critical thinking and provide sound fundamentals in participants' areas of study, as well as to deliver valuable insights into subjects to which they would not otherwise have had exposure. Core courses consisted of methodology seminars in political science and history, and were complemented by lectures in a variety of other subjects given by local specialists. Classroom space was provided by Yerevan State University and Counterpart International.
AHEI staff members Asbed Kotchikian, Hamazasp Danielyan, Gayane Vardanyan, and Arshak Balayan led the program, and visiting lecturers included art historian Lilit Sargsyan, Lara Aharonian of the Women's Resource Center in Yerevan, ethnologist Tigran Matosyan, Artak Kirakosyan of the Civil Society Institute, nationalism studies expert Mikael Zolyan, and media expert Gegham Vardanyan.
Drs. Danielyan and Ara Sanjian led the methodology courses, preparing students for long-term research projects that will take place in the coming months.
The program was sponsored by the Open Society Institute. OSI alumni participated in a debate with the AHEI group, and also gave presentations on their public service activities alongside AHEI final presentations at the end of the course.
Participants had the opportunity to travel to Echmiadzin, where they met with the Cross of Armenian Unity NGO. In addition, students met with members of the Armenian Volunteer Corps/Birthright Armenia, where they shared their respective experiences and agreed to cooperate on issues such as finding host families for one another and exchanging information on local organizations.
Towards the end of the program, students attended a seminar with Gerard Libaridian, University of Michigan professor and former Advisor to President Levon Ter-Petrossian, in which they discussed Armenia's current and future political situation.
AHEI participants expressed overwhelming satisfaction with the course and have already created active online networks with one another. The AHEI aims to create strong bonds between its staff and participants and provide alumni with valuable information and opportunities for future academic pursuits. For more information visit www.armhei.org.