The focus of the meeting was the discussion of the new draft of the law, which was conditioned by the need for a clear definition and provision of the general principles, conditions and requirements of the financial management, financial management of the organization of higher education, academic management of higher education institutions, and financial relations.
YSU Vice-rector on Students, Alumni and Public Relations Ruben Markosyan, Deputy Minister of Education and Science Vahram Mkrtchyan, Head of Higher and Post-Graduate Professional Education Department Robert Sukiasyan were present at the meeting.
The RA Minister of Education and Science stated that discussions had already taken place in the councils of rectors of state and private HEI: "There will also be discussions with NGOs, as well as a public discussions will be held. After the discussions, we will summarize the project and submit it to the government."
According to the Minister, the law contains serious provisions that define or address a number of issues related to higher education: "The student is in the center who will receive his education through a free tour. To collect 250 points (Bachelor's Degree) students are given the choice to collect it either in the long-term or short-term period."
During the meeting, the head of the Department of Higher and Postgraduate Professional Education of the Ministry of Education and Science Robert Sukiasyan presented the main provisions of the draft.
According to the new law, new principles and conditions for organizing the educational process will be introduced, such as a three-level education system, a short cycle of higher education, pre-baccalaureat qualification, a doctorate degree (PhD), etc.
Funding principles and conditions of HEIs will be introduced, and the requirements and mechanisms for ensuring their proper institutional autonomy and accountability are properly balanced.
The new law also outlines the role of the student body of universities and the fixed amount of funding provided by the university.
During the meeting students asked questions and made suggestions.
Particularly, YSU Student Council Chairman Armen Khachikyan proposed to incorporate the concepts of "student council" and "student self-governance" in the "Concept of the draft law" section. Armen Khachikyan also touched upon the involvement of students in the governing bodies of the university: "It is not clear how the change is made, its essence, we should be based on a student-centered approach. I think we have to maintain 25% engagement."
The minister replied that an attempt was made to balance the governing bodies of the university: "When we look at the experience of foreign universities, we see that the councils there are very small and very practical. We have such an example in Armenia as an example of the American University."
The Minister urged students to submit their proposals in written form and promised that they would receive definite answers.