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Armenia

Overview

The Republic of Armenia (Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun) is a landlocked county in southwestern Asia, and is surrounded by Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Iran. The population is 2,968,586 of which 97% are ethnic Armenians, 1.6% Kurds, 0.8% Russians, and 0.6% other. The literacy rate is 99.4%. Armenian is the official language and the language of instruction, although older credentials will be in Russian.

The history of Armenia can be traced back to the Bronze Age. Because of its strategic location, the area of present day Armenia has been invaded by the Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Mongols, Persians, Ottoman Turks, and Russians. In 301, Armenia became the first country to adopt Christianity as the state religion. In the 1500s, Armenia became part of the Ottoman Empire. Following the Bolshevik Revolution, Eastern Armenia became the Democratic Republic of Armenia in May 1918. In 1920, the Democratic Republic of Armenia was invaded by the Soviet 11th Army and, in 1922, it became a part of the Union of Soviet of Socialist Republics/USSR (see Russia) as the Transcaucasian Socialist Federalist Soviet Republic. In 1936, the Transcaucasian SFSR was divided into the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, and the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. Armenia was the first non-Baltic Soviet Socialist Republic to secede from the USSR. On September 21, 1991, Armenia declared independence from the USSR.

Education

Armenia has 1500 years of educational history. Prior to independence from the Soviet Union, the Armenian educational system followed the Soviet model. Russian was the language of instruction; Armenian is now the language of instruction at all schools, and by the end of 1991, schools that taught in Russian were closed. Russian is now the dominant second language taught in schools. Educational reforms in 1999 established new systems that more closely follow Western models for post-secondary education. Currently, Armenia's Կրթության նախարարություն oversees the education system.

Primary and Secondary Education

Education in Armenia is free and compulsory from ages 7 to 14. Elementary school is 3 years and basic (lower secondary) school is 5 years and leads to the Himnakan Yndhanur Krtutyan Attestat. Academic secondary school is 2 years and leads to the Mijnakarg Krtutyan Attestat or the Hasunut’yan Vkayakan.

Vocational secondary school is 2-4 years, depending on the program of study. All programs award the Krtser Masnaget upon completion. A Krtser Masnaget earned at the secondary school level is not acceptable for university admission.

Post-Secondary Education

First Cycle, Academic

Four-year, first-level (undergraduate) programs were established as part of the 1999 educational reforms and lead to the Bakalavri Kochum. Students whose education took place before the educational reforms completed a 5-year Diploma of Higher Education as part of their first-level university studies.

First Cycle, Vocational/Technical

Technical post-secondary programs are 2-3 years and lead to the Krtser Masnaget and require a Mijnakarg Krtutyan Attestat for admission. First-level university programs are 4 years long and require a Mijnakarg Krtutyan Attestat or the Hasunutian Vkaiakan for admission.

Second and Third Cycles

Following the Diploma of Higher Education, students completed a 3-year program leading to the Certificate of Candidate's Minimum Examination. Doctoral programs were 3 or more years following a Certificate of Candidate's Minimum Examination, and, upon successful defense of a dissertation, students are awarded a Gitutyunneri Teknatusu.


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