Why the Karabakh students prefer local universities
Angelika Zakharyan is a young political analyst. She received the magister and bachelor degrees at the Artsakh University in Stepanakert, not far from where she lives.
“My parents would not let me go to study in Yereven, because it is too far away and expensive,- Angelika recalls. – So I opted for the Artsakh University as the only one in Karabakhhaving the political sciences faculty.
487 students were accepted to the Artsakh University in 2016. They state three reasons in favor of their choice: it is patriotic, safe and cheap.
Let us consider the three points.
Education is cheap in Karabakh
Angelika`s family pays for her education about $530 a year. This is a substantial sum for the family, but educating Angelika in Russia or even in Yerevan would cost much more. Education in the West would cost tens of thousands dollars a year.
4 years of magistracy and 2 years to obtain the bachelor degree have taken over $3 000 out of the family budget. It is a lot by local standards, but fairly speaking, it is a good investment.
Some former and present students, polled in Stepanakert, said money was the crucial factor when choosing the college.
David Pashayan graduated from the Yerevan Conservatory as a military conductor, and this year was accepted to the MesropMashtots University economic management faculty.
“In fact I am learning the second profession paying about $700 a year. I know that this university graduates easily get employed in the neighboring countries or in the West, and this is what matters for me, David claims.
In case he fails to find a prestigious, well paid job in Karabakh, David is ready to move elsewhere.
According to GeorgySaakyan, vice rector for the teaching department at the Artsakh University, the number of applicants for mathematics faculty, communication technologies, IT and applied mathematics has grown in the last 2 years due to high demand.
“82 students have been accepted, twice as much as in the previous year. All of them are likely to find a job in Stepanakert. The specialists of the kind are in demand at the Information Technologies Centre, for instance.
There are 3 universities in Stenakert – the Artsakh State University, and 2 private –MesropMashtots and Narekatsi universities.
There are also medical and agricultural schools and a number of technical training colleges.
All students receive a $10 grant, those who come from the rural areas – $20, and the most gifted ones – the presidential grant of $50.
All Karabakh students are eligible for the benefits for children from large or socially dysfunctional families; the retired officers families; or the families with one or both disabled parents.
It is safer to study in the home town
IlonaArutuynyan, a 5th year correspondent student of the training techniques facultysays, the family was not against her studying in Yerevan, but she made her mind to stay in Stepanakert after finishing school.
Because of the local traditions most families do not let their daughters to go to college away from home. The cases of girls leaving home for education are few.
Bella Agadjanyan, a 4th year student at the National Economy Institute, passed the exams at the Artsakh University brilliantly and was invited to study in Yerevan. Her father was not excited by the perspective but finally agreed to let her go. Bella`s older sister living in Yerevan served as the key argument.
Boys are a different story – the parents care less for them and trust them more.
To study in Karabakh means to support your republic
Alexander Brudyan is a magister student at the MesropMashtots University economy faculty.
“My family was ready to help me getting education elsewhere, be it in Russia or in Yerevan, but I opted for Karabakh. First, I love my homeland and believe it should be developed. Second thing, I didn`t feel like parting with my family and friends. If you are really after the quality education, you can obtain it at home.
Mesrop Mashtots is the first Karabakh private university established in 1997. It boasts of eleven faculties, the last one – the Caucasus studies – was opened this year with 20 students already studying there.
Prices vary from $450 to $800. The students at Mesrop Mashtots are not eligible for grants.
The Narekatsi University with its 12 faculties is alikeMesropMastots with prices varying from $470 to $810.
Narine Petrosyan, an economy faculty student at the Artsakh University says: “I pay nothing, as I have passed the acceptance exams with good results. My family did not object to me going to a university in Armenia, but I chose to stay in Karabakh.
“Some want to get initial education here and then to leave, – the girl says. – I have a different plan. I want to receive the first magister degree here, at the Artsakh University, and the second one in Yerevan. I want to become a qualified accountant and find a job in a company in Karabakh.
The opinions expressed in the article convey the author’s terminology and views and do not necessarily reflect the position of the editorial staff