On October 6-8, Goris State University hosted a hybrid workshop on “Hybrid Combined Annual Steering Group Meeting and Training” under the Erasmus + Capacity Building project “Support for Innovative Methodology, Approaches and Tools for Teaching through the Medium of English in order to improve Educational Yield, Sustainability and Internationalization” (SMARTI). The event was attended in a face-to-face mode by project representatives from the Dresden University of Technology, Liverpool John Moores University, Riga Technical University, Ogarev Mordovia State University, Petrozavodsk State University, Certification Association Russian Register, Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia, Vanadzor State University after H. Toumanyan, Armenian National Agrarian University, Nalbandyan State University of Shirak, Goris State University (Armenia), National Centre for Professional Education Quality Assurance, and other program members from Catholic University of Portugal, Irkutsk National Research Technical University and Kazan Federal University were present in a distant way.
The workshop was opened by the Rector of GSU, Artush Ghukasyan, who welcomed the present and online participants of the project on behalf of the teaching and administrative staff and students of the university. He noted that the content of the project and the planned activities are very impressive and extensive, it implies the prioritization of the main problems of University education, its improvement, efficiency, sustainability and internationalization through the introduction of the innovative methodology of EMI. According to him, the above-mentioned are all priorities for any university and its strategic development. Touching upon the partner universities and organizations within the framework of the project, and emphasizing the importance of the involvement of European and Russian universities in these and other similar projects A. Ghukasyan mentioned that good experience and the way they have gone will have a very instructive impact on the Armenian HEIs and research institutions, in terms of the improvement of the quality of education and success in the field of internationalization. He also spoke about the activities of the NEO-Armenia, within the framework of which many Armenian universities are regularly involved in international projects, gaining experience, new partners, exchanging good practices, improving the educational and communication environment, enriching their material-technical resources, promoting the students, researchers and staff mobility.
Rector of the Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia, Khachatur Ghazeyan made a welcoming speech as well. He thanked the leadership of GSU, represented by the Rector A. Ghukasyan, for hospitality and organizing the workshop in such epidemic conditions. Kh. Ghazeyan noted that this workshop is another opportunity to establish new, efficient cooperation and capacity development.
Tereza Khechoyan, the project coordinator in Armenia and the vice-rector of the Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia, and Natalyia Burenina, the program coordinator in Russia, gave a brief welcoming introduction introducing work packages and the main task for completing. Gerhard Cullen, the project coordinator, presented the activities of the three-day meeting.
On the first day of the workshop, the participants spoke about the conducted monitoring in Russia (June 2021) and upcoming monitoring in Armenia (October 15, 2021) carried out by National Erasmus+ Offices, as well as field and desk studies hold within the framework of the project.
Then, each project partner institution focuses on feedback on EMI materials and the organization of the educational process through the credit system in their HEIs. A methodological seminar followed. The day ended with a traditional Armenian reception.
The second day of the workshop was dedicated to the discussion of several problems related to the operation of the EMI centers, the purchase of equipment and financial issues, as well as the selection of candidates to participate in the training in Riga by determining the level of English proficiency through an online test.
On the third day, the participants discussed the conducted and planned activities devoted to the dissemination of the project.
This was followed by a training course for publicity officers. At the end ImpactDigital.Berlin, the website provider, presented all the sections of the project website, emphasizing the importance of the activities aimed at their content enrichment.
It should be noted that within the framework of the three-day workshop, the participants made historical visits to the Tatev Monastery complex and the best places in Goris.