The session was attended by the members of the commission, headed by YSU Rector Aram Simonyan, as well as the coordinator of the EU funded program “Strengthening Integrity and Combating Corruption in Higher Education in Armenia” Liana Amirbekyan and expert Arevik Anapiosyan. Members of YSU working group on the development of the Code of Ethics were also invited.
The opening speech was made by YSU Vice-rector on Students, Alumni and Public Relations Ruben Markosyan, who stressed on the fact that the main goal in the context of the implementation of anti-corruption measures is the development of the effective ethics codes.
Then the representatives of the program of the Council of Europe presented the already implemented and coming activities in the framework of the development of ethics code. In particular Liana Amirbekyan presented funded by the Council of Europe and the European Union “Strengthening Integrity and Combating Corruption in Higher Education in Armenia” project, focusing on the cooperation with the universities and the anticipated results.
Expert Arevik Anapiosyan noted that the following documents and drafts have been developed and prepared in the framework of this project: “Code of ethics of the actors at higher education institutions”, “Guidance for the preparation of the code of ethics for the field of higher education”, “Code for typical ethics for students, administrative and academic staff of the higher education institutions”.
Five universities have been selected for the implementation of the pilot phase of the ethics model code (Yerevan State University, State Medical University, State University of Languages and Social Sciences after V. Bryusov, National Agrarian University of Armenia, Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts). These partners should undertake activities in 2017 in the direction of development of the following documents: “Codes of ethics for three actors of the universities (students, academic staff and administration)”, “Rules for the ethics commission, conflict of interest policy”, “Academic honesty policy (including policy against plagiarism)”, “Corruption prevention policy” and “Whistleblowers defense policy”.
Following the presentation of the implementation of the pilot phase of the ethics model code participants started the heated discussion.
Members of YSU Commission Coordinating Anti-Corruption Activities asked a number of questions the representatives of the Council of Europe, in particular emphasizing the large scale and short terms envisaged for the activities, as well as contradictions between certain approaches and existing legislation. An opinion was expressed that some of the provisions of the code of ethics should be adapted in our reality.
YSU Rector Aram Simonyan assured that YSU, as a leading side of the university system of our republic, is willing to cooperate and carry out relevant work. He expressed hope that these documents will contribute to the solution of a number of problems. YSU Rector also highlighted the problems of academic honesty in current conditions.
It should be noted that in coming months, the working group, in cooperation with the experts of the project of the Council of Europe, will participate in the development of the Code of Ethics. The wide community of the university will also be involved in the discussion process.