It is my extraordinary honour as the Minister responsible for higher education in Armenia to host the Ninth Bologna Process Ministerial Conference together with the Fourth Bologna Policy Forum on 14-15 May, 2015 in Yerevan and this is really a momentous occasion for our country.
Education has been a treasure of unequalled value to Armenia: in the manuscripts of Agathangelos, the fourth century historian, there is a proof that Terdat, the Armenian King gave orders to train Armenian children in the literary arts and in 405 AD Mesrop Mashtots created Armenian alphabet which became the turning point for opening schools throughout the provinces of Armenia. In the Middle Ages Armenia became famous for its universities.
The foundations of contemporary education were laid down during the first years of the first Armenian Republic and subsequently developed in the Soviet era which allowed the Soviet Armenia to turn into one of the most educated Republics with one hundred per cent literacy of the population. Encompassing pre-school, vocational, secondary vocational and higher education subsystems, it ensured the country’s social-economic, cultural and scientific progress. Education was one of the primary focuses for the small Republic which gave world-famous astrophysicists, doctors, artists, musicians.
Since its independence in 1991 Armenia has been actively reforming its higher education system.
The Ministerial events will bring together 47 EHEA delegations, the European Commission, as well as the Bologna Process consultative members and partners. As a result of the 16 years of intensive work the EHEA became a reality and proved that in this globalized and competitive environment education is the key for sustainable development of the European societies.
Firstly, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the trust and confidence that you placed in Armenia in 2012 by voting to be the host of the next Ministerial Conference. Secondly, I would like to express my huge appreciation for the unwavering support throughout these 3 years.
On behalf of the Government and academic community of Armenia, I’d like to extend our warmest greetings to visiting Ministers, the European Commissioner, Heads of delegations, delegates and all our guests.
Among other issues the 2015 Yerevan Ministerial Conference will attempt to identify the best ways to reinforce the Bologna Process in future and beyond 2020 and simultaneously strengthen the dialogue within and outside the EHEA. I stand by the principle that the EHEA is a platform where the differences of national values and diverse beliefs will facilitate to face the challenges of a new age. The EHEA was and should remain the platform where minorities are integrated members of societies with equal opportunities, and last but not the least that EHEA should be accessible to all who are qualified by ability and attainment to pursue knowledge, understanding and determination to develop democratic societies that we need. Moreover, looking at the map of the EHEA there are still unrecognised territories where people are not exercising the advantages of the European education. This is an important issue since education should be without any discrimination and should provide solutions to the conflicts as a unique tool for the reconciliation and people to people relations.
We look forward to fruitful discussions and further cooperation. Welcome to hospitable Armenia!
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