ARMENIA: PM omits universities from science speech

In his recent speech at the National Academy of Sciences, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsian outlined his and his government's vision for the development of science and the role of the academy. Shockingly, he did not pronounce the word 'university,' even once, in his speech, writes Aryana Petrova on the Armenia Higher Education and Sciences blog.

Formulated as 'the four theses', Sargsian's speech outlined various stakeholders in the innovation process, even the still non-existent Armenian venture capitalists. Different 'triangles' and 'squares' (the academy, businesses, venture capitalists, the government etc.) were presented to the audience, mostly above 70-years old academicians. Universities were, however, completely left out.

By ignoring the role that universities play, or should play, in the development of science and in the innovation process, and by separating scientific research from higher education, the prime minister discredited his and his government's vision. His speech also contradicted the Strategy for the Development of Science that the State Committee on Science published almost a year ago. One of its eight objectives was "to create a coherent infrastructure combining education, science, technology and innovation" and identified "the foundation of real research universities" as a necessary measure.
Full report on the Armenia Higher Education and Sciences blog