Yerevan State University (YSU), also simply University of Yerevan, is the oldest continuously operating public university in Armenia. Founded in 1919, it is the largest university in the country. It is thus informally known as Armenia's "mother university.'' By now approximately 100,000 students have graduated from YSU. From small beginnings, Armenia’s “mother university” is now made up 1660 highly qualified professors and lecturers and 20,000 students, of which 18,000 are undergraduate and 2,000 postgraduate, including 300 students from overseas.
In 1919 on May 16, the Yerevan University was founded by the resolution of the council of ministers of Republic of Armenia. The University started in the academic year 1919-1920 in Yerevan with only one faculty of linguistics and history. But it had to move to Alexandropol (now Gyumri) because there were no proper premises. However, the lessons that started in February were stopped in June. On 21 of June the University had to move Yerevan again. The classes were to begin on 16 of October, 1920 but were cancelled because of the Turkish-Armenian war and restarted only on 24 of January, 1921. In the beginning of 1930s, as a result of reconstruction of University faculties, the medical, agricultural, cooperative-economic, constructional and pedagogical institutes were established.
YEREVAN STATE UNIVERSITY IJEVAN BRANCH
YSU Ijevan Branch was founded in 1994 on the basis of Ijevan Regional College. According to the temporary charter, the college (which was founded in 1991) was called to raise the scientific, cultural, political and economic levels in the North-eastern regions of Armenia, to create a stable, high-quality scientific and cultural atmosphere there, a local intellectual school, to stop youthoutflow from the bordering areas, to prepare well-educated specialists with versatile abilities dedicated to national and universal culture,to promote the continuation of education for the most prominent students during the next steps of the higher education system.
In accordance with YSU programs, the branch trains specialists with bachelor's education. Besides, in October 2020, YSU Ijevan Branch conducted for the first time the interview and the examination of the distance learning admission to the master's program With the "School Pedagogy and Methodology" educational program of "General Pedagogy" specialty. YSU IB now has 1299 students, including 25 students studying in the newly created master's program. The branch has Four Faculty: Natural Sciences, Economics, Humanities, Applied Arts
Data Visualisation about YSU IB
As of 2020, Armenia has 27 state universities (23 in the capital Yerevan and 4 outside the capital.)
Decentralization of education is the cause of new scandals in Armenia. Recently, RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced that there is an idea to put the buildings of Yerevan universities up for sale and with the money received to build an academic city outside Yerevan. This statement made by the Prime Minister is an occasion of heated discussions in Armenia. According to Pashinyan, it is time to build university-academic cities outside Yerevan. However many are against this idea.
We have talked with people who are aware of both YSU and YSU IB universities and their current challenges. We tried to understand what would they say about YSU and YSU IB making comparisons between the education in the capital and outside of it. What are the main differences, advantages and disadvantages in both. What is the main reason students prefer to study in Yerevan? Whether students express distrust or they just want to be in the capital? or maybe the faculty they want to study is not exist in Ijevan. How do they react to the government's decision to reduce the number of universities in the capital and build university cities instead, as is the case in developed countries? And in general, just an opinion on YSU or YSU IB Yerevan student topics?
Arman Matinyan, 27 years old, Historian, Member of Ijevan Council of Elders.
First of all, our educational system, both school and university, is mostly garbage and it must be fundamentally changed, especially in Ijevan. The concept of the state university ("mother university'') should be abolished and that should give a way to private universities which will spontaneously ensure competition and a high quality of education, and will provide more modern, necessary, suitable professions. The same in Ijevan, maybe after those reforms, some investor will decide that a new university can be built in Ijevan.
And the youth goes to Yerevan, because first of all there are not many professions that our today's youth prefer in Ijevan. And second, as it is customary to say, there are simply no entertainment venues. But it is a common practice in the world when significant universities are just cut off from big cities. And in this respect too, we have a distortion of phenomena. I think that this entertainment should be created by the students and the youth themselves.
Erine Gharayan, 25 years old, Specialist in the department of Relationship Between YSU IB Alumni and Stakeholders
The advantages of YSU Ijevan Branch in the region started from the day of its foundation when the young people of Tavush communities did not have to go to the capital to get education, but they had a higher education institution next to their community due to which they received education and worked in local organizations as qualified and demanded specialists.
The graduates of YSU Ijevan branch have become famous all over the Republic as our graduates hold high positions in banking, public and political spheres. We have given prosecutors, deputies, bank managers, directors, politicians.
The branch is the only branch of YSU both in the Republic and in the region. The branch focuses on the youth of the region, the most interesting events and courses. We have 4 faculties, one of them is the exclusive Faculty of Applied Arts, which the YSU "Mother University'' does not have. I should also mention that not only the youth of Tavush region but also from different regions study here. The branch is gaining more and more recognition year by year. At the moment, our master's degree program is also in great demand in the region. As for the challenges, we can mention them in terms of new professions, since in the region there is a demand for other professions as well, but we do not have them yet.
Arthur Ghaltakhchyan, 45 years old, Economist, Lecturer of YSU IB Chair of General Economics.
I think that in general the establishment of YSU IB, as well as all similar branches in our country, has solved the problem of making education accessible for some social classes (relatively less solvent.)
Unfortunately in YSU Ijevan Branch the situation is still the same: Weak teaching staff (not everyone, but mostly), the strong ones have no motivation to waste time reaching the regions, politicized staff, and the lack of a vision for leadership development did not put the university on a new level. The situation changed significantly with the opening of the Training and Research Center of the Central Bank of Armenia in Dilijan. First, the specialists of CB were involved in the teaching work, and as a result, some of the best graduates were hired to work at the bank. A Master's program in Economics of the American University started to operate in the bank, which became available to YSU IB students as well. The student began to feel valued with visible hopes for the future. The CB-trained specialists developed new teaching approaches and, in consultation with the university staff, introduced them to the university (by the way, with the world-famous MIT University program.)
The impression is that all this is only for economists, but other supporting professions followed that example like a locomotive (the number of applicants in the IT department has sharply increased this year.) I do not claim at all that this success is achieved only thanks to the Central Bank, no, many leading organizations have a role to play in this (UWC, IDeA Foundation, AYB School, a number of American University programs, and other international organizations.)
As for the university location, everything must be considered from demand. It is proved today that due to the above-mentioned circumstances, there is a serious demand for economic education in our region. Not only the people of our region but I think the people from Talin, Goris, Ashtarak and Yerevan must come to us as well if they want to become economists and try to find a job in the financial sphere. And why shouldn't a student from Ijevan, if he/she wants to be an artist, go to study in Gyumri, an engineer in Goris, etc.? We know that in developed countries it is not necessary for everything to be concentrated in one place.
Christine M. Harutyunyan, 43 years old, Associate Professor | Chair of English Philology YSU, Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology
Being a devoted university person, I consider YSU ( Yerevan State University) the main educational institution of the Republic of Armenia. YSU Ijevan Branch is an integral part of it for me and I do not see any difference between YSU and YSU-IB in terms of the quality of education. I have been teaching at YSU-IB since 2008. As a difference, I can mention the number of students: Being a student in Yerevan, we meet a larger number of classmates. Another difference is the tuition fee, which is lower in Ijevan, therefore, the salary is also low.
From Tavush region very few students prefer to go to Yerevan to study at the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology, and I consider it the achievement of both YSU Ijevan Branch and our whole team. And I think the reason is that the students see they are taught by the same people as in Yerevan, moreover, the best of Yerevan ( I'm immodest, [she is laughing.] )
And those who are going to Yerevan, are mainly students who want to leave the small towns to be in the capital. It has nothing to do with the quality of education. Every year in Yerevan we have a maximum of 5 students in our specialty from Tavush region. The majority prefer to stay in Ijevan. I think the number of students studying in Ijevan has increased.
Agapi Ghaltakhchyan, 20 years old, 2nd year student at the Faculty of Law of the YSU
First of all I want to say that in these days when Armenia’s financial progress is incomplete, it will be wonderful if our National Assembly agree and accept that bill regarding decentralization. Having university branches all over the country will promote money circulation, will give students chance to get their degree in their cities, and not to move to the other city ( we all know that not every parent has enough financial means for that), etc.
As for my own experience, right now I study in Yerevan State University as a future lawyer. I am from Ijevan (Tavush region), and I moved to Yerevan for my dream profession, but I am 100% sure, if we had that faculty in Ijevan, I would never leave. Since it would have been cheaper than in Yerevan, it would have given me a chance to live with my parents, etc. When I finish my studies I will come back to Ijevan and I will invest all my knowledge to legal industry to make it better and stronger.
By the way, the Yerevan State University has been listed among the 1,000 best universities of the world. It is ranked 801-1,000 in the QS World University Ranking 2022. While the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) continues its record-breaking streak at number one – the ninth year in a row it’s achieved this feat – the big story this year is the impressive gains made by Asian universities. According to the research, 26 institutions from Asia continent now feature in the global top 100, more than ever before.