YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The American University of Armenia (AUA) claims to become not only an institution of higher education for the Armenia’s worldwide–but also a regional center of education. This statement was made by AUA President Harutiun Armenian at conference dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the University. At the same time–A. Armenyan stressed that the role of the University is in replenishing the sphere of education of Armenia and not in competition with other existing institutions.
The American University of Armenia prepares students for careers in engineering–law–political science and international relations–public health–information technologies–communication–and the English language. According to the president–it’s important that the University trains entrepreneurs who will work in the international and public frames–moreover that "in Armenia everybody is leaders but there are few initiators."
Parallel to its academic programs–AUA has established the Center for Business Research and Development–the Engineering Research Center–the Center for Policy Analysis–the Center for Environmental Management and Research–the Center for Health Services Research–and the Legal Resource Center to promote research in conjunction with graduate teaching.
AUA admitted the first 101 students into the accelerated English courses on September 21–1991–the day of the referendum of Armenian Independence. Today–902 students have graduated the University. According to Armenyan–72 percent of them–about 650 people stayed in Armenia–and 250 graduates continue studies abroad.
The American University of Armenia became a reality thanks to the steadfast support of the Armenian government and two major institutions in the United States–the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and the University of California (UC). AGBU allotted one million dollars during the first year–then has annually allotted $720,000 since.
The University–which has been declared not only an educational center but also a structure on economic and cultural assistance–conducts researches of the environment–establishes a digital library of the ancient and medieval Armenian literature–cooperates with health centers.
The 10th anniversary of AUA will also be marked in San Francisco and Los Angeles December 7,8. The head of the AGBU Armenia office Ashot Ghazarian said the AUA was one of those many AGBU-supported projects which have proved to be most efficient.