In its fifth annual summer program, the Armenian Higher Education Initiative (AHEI) – in partnership with the American University of Armenia and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation – brought together leading experts in political science, sociology, public policy, as well as professionals in related fields in a discussion of post-colonial societies and their respective relationships with their former rulers. The program placed particular emphasis on Armenia’s relationship with Russia, but also examined other states once under the rule of France, Britain, and other empires.
Approximately 20 gifted young scholars in a range of disciplines came together for the intensive summer course. For the first time, a lecturer was brought into the program by Skype, with Armine Ishkanian from the London School of Economics delivering lectures on development and globalization. Other academic and institutional leaders also provided insight into the post-colonial situation through the lenses of their respective specialties. In addition, country representatives of the World Bank and the UN held discussions with the group on strategies employed by their institutions in the national development process. The course theme was particularly timely considering the recent protests in Yerevan and consequent implications for Armenia’s future development path, as well as its relationship with Russia.
Following the completion of the program, participants are conducting group research projects guided by program mentors. Research groups presented their initial ideas at the end of the program in formal presentations, and they refined their plans in lively question and answer sessions with the group as a whole. Participants also joined the active AHEI online community, in which they will share future experiences and opportunities with fellow alumni.
The AHEI looks forward to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional supplementary education to the most talented students in Armenia in order to help guide them in their academic and professional careers, thus further strengthening Armenia’s rich academic tradition.