On October 5-9, 2021 a number of meetings and discussions were held in Armenia within the SMARTI Project with the participation of the representatives of the institutions of some of the Project Consortium member countries: Armenia, Russia, Germany and Latvia.
On October 5, Gerard Cullen, the Project Manager and representative of the Project grant-holder, Dresden University of Technology, Tereza Khechoyan, PAARA Vice-Rector for Foreign Relations, Local Coordinator of the Armenian partner universities, Olga Safonkina, the representative of Ogarev Mordovia State University and Local Coordinator of the Russian partner universities, had a meeting with Lana Karlova, the Program Coordinator of the National Erasmus+ Office in Armenia, to discuss the activities carried out in the frame of the Project, its current state and challenges.
On the same day, a meeting on the quality assurance issues in the frame of the Project was also held in ANQA (National Centre for Professional Education Quality Assurance Foundation), which was attended by the representatives of Dresden University of Technology, Riga Technical University, “Russian Register” Certification Association and ANQA.
On October 6-8, the three-day hybrid SMARTI Project Steering Group meeting took place at Goris State University. The meeting began with the opening remarks by Artush Ghukasyan, Acting Rector of Goris State University, and Khachatur Ghazeyan, Acting Rector of Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia.
During the meeting, Ara Amiryan from Armenian National Agrarian University and Alexey Kupryakhin from Petrozavodsk State University (Russia) presented the results of the surveys and desk and field studies conducted within Work Package 1 according to countries, pointing to the issues and the ways of resolving them.
Each of the participating universities presented their reviews on the strengths and weaknesses of the Headway online resources selected for the ESP self-study, as well as the similarities and differences of the universities with regard to the ECTS Guide for quality assurance in higher education. Tatevik Movsisyan, Head of International Cooperation and Foreign Relations Department, made a relevant presentation on behalf of PAARA.
Within the meeting, the Consortium members had the chance to introduce the dissemination events held in their universities and their results, as well as the planned ones.
PAARA Vice-Rector for Foreign Relations Tereza Khechoyan, as a representative of the local coordinating university in Armenia, made a presentation on behalf of the Armenian partner universities, and Olga Safonkina, as a representative of the local coordinating university in Russia, made a presentation on behalf of the Russian partner universities.
Other representatives of the Project Consortium member universities also made online speeches during the meeting. In particular, Adam Shore from Liverpool John Moores University reflected online on the EMI descriptors in line with the EHEA Qualifications Framework and the planned ESP training. His colleagues introduced “Rosetta Stone License” language learning possibilities for the Project participants.
Eduardo Cardoso, Project WP 1 Manager from the Catholic University of Portugal, online addressed the EU’s best EMI practices, the strategies developed, as well as the importance of the student-centred learning methodology in terms of EMI teaching.
In his online presentation, Leandro Oliveira from the Catholic University of Portugal addressed the dissemination issues within the framework of the Project, in particular the newsletter design, social media conduct, and Project website promotion.
Franz Kaplusch, the Project Financial Manager from Dresden University of Technology in his online presentation referred to the financial reporting, procurement of equipment, as well as the key financial questions raised by the Project participants.
Valeria Racheeva, the Project website creator and provider, online presented the functioning website of the Project, its sections, content and the improvement issues.
During the three-day meeting, the issues regarding the establishment of EMI Centres in the Armenian and Russian partner universities and the acquisition of the relevant equipment were also discussed.
In addition, online English language level audit testing was conducted for the Armenian and Russian partner universities for the selection of the EMI teachers to participate in the upcoming training within the Project.
The meetings in Armenia concluded with the final one on October 9 in PAARA which was attended by PAARA Acting Rector Khachatur Ghazeyan, Vice-Rector for Foreign Relations Tereza Khechoyan, Head of ANAU’s International Relations Department Garik Hambardzumyan and Project Manager Gerard Cullen, the representative of Dresden University of Technology. During the meeting, the results of the meeting of the Armenian universities, the current challenges and the roadmap to tackle them, as well as a number of technical issues were wrapped up.