YEREVAN—On June 30, 2014, the American University of Armenia (AUA) launched the first phase of the “AUA for Syrian Armenians” campaign, which aims to raise money to provide valuable educational resources to the displaced Syrian-Armenian population in Armenia through the AUA Extension program.
In 2012, AUA launched this assistance program, which allows Syrian-Armenian refugees to take up to two AUA Extension courses free of charge. The program’s popularity has since grown at an unprecedented rate, proving that it provides a valuable resource to the Syrian-Armenian population in Armenia. Since the program’s inception, AUA has already offered over 1,000 course slots free of charge to over 500 Syrian Armenians. Many of these individuals have referred others to the program, returned to take additional courses, or enrolled in AUA’s degree programs. However, due to a lack of financial resources, the program has been put on hold until enough money is raised to continue it.
AUA President Dr. Bruce M. Boghosian shares, “It is both a moral and humanitarian imperative at this juncture to do everything we can to ensure that Syrian-Armenian refugees feel welcomed in Armenia, and that their resettlement be facilitated to the greatest extent possible. The American University of Armenia is proud to offer assistance in the form of courses specially designed to help with the resettlement process, to provide training for Syrian-Armenian professionals, and to enable Syrian-Armenian students to apply for university admission in Armenia.”
Through the assistance program, all courses in AUA Extension are open to Syrian Armenians who arrived in Armenia in or after April 2012, when the crisis in Syria escalated. Course offerings include language instruction, professional trainings, and preparatory courses for the standardized tests that are necessary for applying to many universities, including AUA.
The director of AUA Extension, Dr. Arpie Balian, explains, “Supporting the AUA for Syrian Armenians campaign means contributing to something that has been proven useful. This is an investment in a Syrian Armenian’s future. Our program is particularly helpful for those Syrian Armenians who have chosen to stay here in Armenia. For those who will eventually return to their homes in Syria or go elsewhere, the program helps alleviate anxiety while teaching them English language skills and other knowledge and skills in management that will be beneficial wherever they go. It appears that most of the Syrian Armenians that have come to AUA Extension are those who will stay in Armenia. We are helping them get back on their feet through courses that will contribute to building their future here.”
The AUA for Syrian Armenians campaign is a crowdsourcing campaign that aims to gather a large number of donations of any size. Contributions of any level will have an impact. To support the AUA for Syrian Armenians campaign, please click here.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.