YEREVAN — The opening of the Ministerial Summit of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the Fourth Bologna Policy Forum took place in Yerevan today, May 14.

The two days 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.

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian took part in the opening of the gatherings held at Yerevan’s Karen Demirchian Sports and Concerts Complex and spoke about the importance of the event for the European Higher Education Area.

“The higher education is, obviously, the pillar upon which the knowledge-based societies are built. In this context, the Bologna reforms transformed the nature of the European higher education ensuring student mobility and establishing wide diversity of educational opportunities,” he said, according to the presidential press service. “It is also obvious that it is impossible to guarantee a competitive educational system without overcoming systemic problems both in Armenia and in the European Higher Education Area.”

Sarkisian reminded the delegates to the summit and forum that Armenia acceded to the Bologna process back in 2005 and by that it “designed a new platform of cooperation opportunities with the European area and attained new mechanisms to take advantage of the best international practices.”

“Current economic and social issues are, meanwhile, serious challenges to the European Higher Education Area, and its common goals presuppose joint efforts and active engagement. For the developing societies, at this stage of advancing information technologies, it is more than important to apply compatible standards in order to address positively the labor market demands, as well as productive cooperation of the beneficiaries in the area of education,” the Armenian president said, in particular.

Sarkisian also pointed out that “the European education system represented by the Bologna process has made a significant contribution to the reforms carried out in various other regions of the world through numerous education projects, political and institutional dialogue.”

“Assumption of the Bologna Secretariat by Yerevan back in 2012 had been an achievement for the Armenian education system, one that envisaged both responsibility and privilege. It provided the Armenian higher education institutions with an opportunity to share and practice European education values and get better integrated into this process,” he added.

EHEA is a platform where the differences of national values and diverse beliefs will facilitate to face the challenges of a new age, it is a platform where minorities are integrated members of societies with equal opportunities, and creates accessibility to all who are qualified by ability and attainment to pursue knowledge, understanding and determination to develop democratic societies.

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