On the 4th and 5th, I attended the quality conference at the american university of Armenia. The conference was in armenian and english, but we got translators. The conference was organised by the Anqa organisation (http://www.anqa.am/en/).
After the welcome speech made by several people (prime minister, minister of education, president of Anqa, rector of university), there was a panel discussion on the following topic: the impact of quality assurance in the development of higher education system: expectations and outcomes.
Some of the topics of the conference are similar to what we discuss in Malmö (life long learning, education connected to research, education that produces professionals needed by the society, and other topics). One of the differences is that in Armenia, they (Anqa) do not only evaluate the education programmes but the whole university (the teachers, the organisation, the facilities, the research and other things). The universities get some kind of certification after they have performed the accreditation process.
Another main difference with Sweden is that Armenia is a post-soviet country where there are few companies, therefore it is difficult to have people from companies or society interacting with the universities. Also the feedback of the students to the education system is low because (according to Lilit who works with quality) students are afraid to give their own opinion. The general impression is that both the people working on Anqa and the university people work a lot with quality but the universities are a bit detached from the needs of the society and the students.
During the conference I met several people, one teacher working on economy who would like to come to Malmö for staff exchange. Another person, the chancellor of the “YEREVAN UNIVERSITY AFTER MOVSES KHORENATSY” needs an external quality expert for peer reviewing their self evaluation. I may do it, they will check the formal requirements with the minister of education.
After the conference me and Lilit went to a cafe and it was very very interesting to hear from her about Armenia and Yerevan, and the conditions they have lived the past 20 years.