World TVET Database - Country Profiles

Armenia

TVET Country Profile
1. TVET mission
2. System
3. Governance and financing
4. TVET teachers and trainers
5. Qualifications
6. Projects
7. Statistical information
8. Links
9. References
Armenia
published: 2012-05-09

1. TVET mission, legislation and national policy or strategy

TVET mission

The Concept on Social Partnership in the Field Of Preliminary (Craftsmanship) and Middle Vocational Education in the Republic of Armenia endorsed in 2009 by the National Government and the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation in the field of TVET (as cited in ETF, 2010) and mutually signed by the Ministry of Education and social partners in 2009, sees future TVET as a modernized system that provides qualified labour force suited to the requirements of employers.

TVET strategy

Reforms that were undertaken in Armenia in the field of education mainly concerned general and higher education, giving little attention to technical and vocational education and training (TVET). Only in recent years a number of documents have been adopted that focus on the development of national TVET with regard to Initial TVET (ITVET), Lifelong Learning (LLL) and social partnership.

The Concept of the Development of Preliminary Professional (Craftsmanship) and Middle Professional Education adopted by the Government in 2008 identifies the following priorities for Armenian TVET:

  • “To optimize TVET financing and to improve TVET governance;
  • To introduce competency- based TVET standards;
  • To increase effectiveness of the TVET system and improve educational outcomes;
  • To modernize quality monitoring mechanisms;
  • To strengthen and institutionalize social partnership” (as cited in ETF, 2010).
Another priority of the Armenian TVET system is the integration into the European Professional Education Area. This is noted in the Concept Paper of the VET Reforms and Action Plan for 2012-2016 that is elaborated by the National Government.

The Education Development State Programme of the Republic of Armenia for 2011-2015 adopted by the Parliament in 2011 defines the following key programme directions of the TVET development: (1) Integration of preliminary and middle vocational educational system into the common European education area:

And (2) Ensuring effectiveness and efficiency of the VET system:

  • Build an efficient system of professional orientation and counselling;
  • Encourage social partnership and dialogue;
  • Build an effective network of VET institutions;
  • Based on economy priorities of the Republic of Armenia, determine priorities of preliminary and middle vocational education professions and introduce an effective system of identification of demand for professionals;
  • Improve the training-material base of VET institutions; and
  • Improve accountability and transparency of institutions’ activities.
TVET legislation

The main principles of Armenian TVET policies and priorities are stated in the following documents:

  • The Government Decree on approving National Qualifications Framework (2011).
  • Concept on Development and Introduction of Competency-based State Educational Standards of the Vocational Education and Training Professions (2010).
  • Sustainable Development Programme (SDP-II) (2008): by making reference to vocational education policy identifies the need to ensure a better-quality education system and to increase enrolment of poor and youth living away from urban centres as priorities.
  • The Concept on Social Partnership in the field TVET system of Armenia (2008).
  • Strategy of National Security (SNS) (2007): points out incomplete/unsatisfactory availability of vocational education for all individuals as a national security threat and declares development of educational system in Armenia a priority.
  • Concept paper on non-formal education in Armenia (2006).
  • The Law On Preliminary Vocational (Craftsmanship) and Middle Vocational Education (2005): identifies state policies in the field of TVET; introduces social partners into TVET system.
  • Concept paper on Adult Education and its Strategy (2005).
  • The Government Decree on the Procedure of formation and approval of state educational standards for professions of professional education (2003): introduced Model of State Educational (Qualification) Standard.
  • The Law on Licensing (2001): introduced the licensing of elementary and secondary vocational education as a compulsory requirement.
  • The Law on State Non Commercial Organizations: reorganized state vocational education institutions as state non-commercial organization (2001).
  • The Law On Education (1999): identifies main principles of the state education policy.
  • The Constitution of the Republic of Armenia (1995): grants everyone the right to education and the right to free and competition based education in any vocational public education institution.
Sources:

  • ETF (2010). Torino Process: Armenia. Turin: European Training Foundation.
  • UNDP-VET Armenia (2009). Lifelong Learning concept for Armenia. Yerevan: UNDP.


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2. TVET formal, non-formal and informal systems

Scheme compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC from information provided by Global Developments Fund (GDF).

Formal TVET system

The TVET system in Armenia can be categorized into two different levels:

  • Preliminary (craftsmanship) vocational education that has the duration of 6 months to 3 years and leads to a Craftsman qualification; and
  • Middle vocational education that has the duration of 2 to 5 years and leads to a Specialist qualification.
Preliminary professional education is offered by 51 state institutions: 25 vocational craftsmanship schools, 20 middle technical colleges, 4 educational complexes and 1 university. At this level of TVET professions related to spheres of services, trade and food industry are the most popular ones.

Middle level professional education is provided by 79 state institutions: 71 middle l colleges, 5 universities, 2 educational complexes, the French-Armenian Vocational Training Centre, and in 13 private middle colleges. Private colleges however are not allowed to issue “state model” diploma, therefore their number has decreased in the past years.

For students entering craftsman school or college after completing compulsory general education (grades 1 to 9) preliminary and middle TVET offers both vocational qualification and a secondary general diploma (Matura), providing therefore the option to pursue higher education.

Even though a number of initiatives with regard to Continuing TVET (CTVET) programmes have been proposed by the outside donors and were welcomed by the National government, in practice little progress has been done in this area. As a result this dimension of TVET is developing rather slowly and no particular structure is assigned to it.

Non-formal and informal TVET systems

Non-formal learning activities are not registered in Armenia (mainly because no license is required for their provision), and no relevant official statistics on them is collected. According to some experts’ estimations, however, tens of thousands of people are involved in these activities.

Nowadays, the Ministry of Education and Science, with the financial support from UNDP VET project, and dvv international, initiated development of procedures/orders to regulate the organization, implementation and approval of LLL programs and the sample-certificates for training course completion run by state and non-state accredited educational institutions. ETF is the other donor supporting LLL development in Armenia.

Sources:

  • ETF (2010). Torino Process: Armenia. Turin: European Training Foundation.
  • UNDP-VET Armenia (2009). Lifelong Learning concept for Armenia. Yerevan: UNDP.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Armenia. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.


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3. Governance and financing

Governance

The Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) bears responsibility for the overall coordination of curricula and learning outcomes for all types of education.

A new division called TVET Policy Making and Strategy was established in 2008 as a result of restructuring of the TVET Department of the MoES. In the same year the National Council for TVET Development was set up as a tripartite body aimed at supervising the TVET reform. Representatives of national government and social partners, i.e. employers and Trade Unions are all participating in the council.

In order to provide methodological support to the TVET system development, e.g. development of standards, improve curricula and learning materials, provide teacher training, the National Centre for TVET Development was established as a part of the National Institute for Education.

National Centre for Professional Education Quality Assurance established in 2008, which is responsible for both higher and vocational education, has been taking the first steps towards the definition of quality assessment standards and criteria.

In 2011 the Government established a National Training Fund with a particular objective to support raising competitiveness of individuals in labour market and reducing the level of poverty through forming vocational knowledge, working abilities and skills.

Overall, the TVET system in Armenia can be considered centralized when it comes to decision-making and fragmented when it comes to distribution of authorities. The fact that the network of educational institutions is dispersed brings out “inefficient management, bureaucratic decision-making, ineffective resource allocation, irrational distribution of specialties in institutions under the jurisdiction of different governmental agencies and the impossibility to develop and implement a comprehensive education policy at the national level” (UNDP, 2008).

In December 2011, 13 craftsmanship vocational schools functioning in Armenia were transferred under the subordination of the MoES. Currently, all 25 such schools are managed by this body.

Resolutions adopted by the national government rearranged a number of preliminary (craftsmanship) and middle level vocational educational institutions. As a result the total number of state educational institutions has been reduced by 11.

According to the 2011-2013 measures adopted by the Government, the middle level educational institutions are to be transferred under the authority of MoES by the following stages: in 2012, 7 colleges managed by Ministry of Agriculture, 1 from the Ministry of Culture and 1 from the Ministry of Energy, and in 2013 – the colleges managed by the Ministry of Healthcare.

When it comes to lifelong learning, the State Employment Service Agency (SESA), acting under the authority of the Ministry of Labour and Social Issues of the Republic of Armenia, provides services all over the country through its network of local employment services including training for the unemployed.

Financing

Public spending on education is very limited and has been decreasing. Despite the fact that the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Economy have recognized TVET development as one of the priorities, the Ministry of Finance has been against any increase in the budget for TVET. Therefore, the main funding of TVET institutions comes from fee-paying students, whereas the funds for modernization and improvement of TVET come from donor organizations (European Union, United Nations, Governments and Institutions of various countries).

Preliminary TVET is mostly free, whereas middle TVET is partly financed by MoES (25%).

The number of free places has decreased putting an even higher financial burden on young people and their families. However, from the academic year 2012-2013, in accordance with the EU budget support conditions, the number of free seats will be increased by 50% (with respect to 2008).

Sources:

  • ETF (2010). Torino Process: Armenia. Turin: European Training Foundation.
  • UNDP-VET Armenia (2009). Lifelong Learning concept for Armenia. Yerevan: UNDP.


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4. TVET teachers and trainers

After Armenia was proclaimed an independent country, professional development courses for vocational education teachers that were previously organized in a centralized manner, were closed down due to the lack of financing. It then became the responsibility of educational institutions and teachers themselves. As a result, in-service vocational teacher education is poorly developed and does not provide necessary training, leaving teachers under-qualified and not able to give students information in line with recent developments in the field taught.

In 2011 81% of the TVET institutions teaching staff have university education and 0.9% holds PhD and higher degree. The student-teacher ratio in Armenia as average including all levels of education is 9.24. At the same time, teachers have a lower salary than the national average and this leads to lower attractiveness and motivation for this profession.

For the implementation of reforms in the field of preliminary and middle level vocational education, 165.223.9 AMD was allocated from the State budget, considering extension courses, activities on standards and manuals development, etc.

The reforms implementation has been significantly supported by various international organizations.

Approximately 4 000 teachers and trainers were trained, tutorials and training-methodological materials, as well as modular programmes for VET have been elaborated.

Sources

  • ETF (2010). Torino Process: Armenia. Turin: European Training Foundation.
  • UNDP-VET Armenia (2009). Lifelong Learning concept for Armenia. Yerevan: UNDP.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Armenia. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.


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    5. Qualifications and qualifications frameworks

Completing preliminary level TVET programme leads to a Craftsman qualification, while middle-level vocational education and training at middle professional colleges grants a qualification of Specialist. Successful middle-level TVET graduates can then proceed to a second year of higher education.

The classifier of preliminary vocational education contains 103 professions (about 350 qualifications) united in 22 groups, whereas middle vocational education – 352 professions making up 29 groups. Nowadays overall 156 professions are offered in preliminary and middle TVET colleges.

Since 2009 up to now for the TVET 100 competency-based state educational standards and modular curricula have been developed, which were reviewed by the Sectoral Committees and approved by the Minister of Education and Science. Of the above mentioned standards 80 have already been introduced at the educational institutions, and the remaining 20 are supposed at the beginning of 2012-2013 academic year.

National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

In 2011, the RA Government adopted “Armenian Qualification Framework” which will ensure the comparability of national qualifications with European qualifications.

Regulations of the State Accreditation of Educational Institutions providing professional education programmes and their professions were also adopted by the national government.

The level descriptors appropriate to national qualification framework are basis for the development of state educational standards. The existing educational programmes are going to be reviewed in accordance with the descriptors of the National qualifications framework.

Quality assurance process is already underway in 3 state TVET colleges: Yerevan Regional State College N 1, Yerevan Regional State College N 2, Yerevan state Armenian-American "Erebuni" Medical College.

Quality assurance

The National Centre for Professional Education Quality Assurance Foundation (ANQA) is an external body monitoring quality assurance in higher education. Following European standards and guidelines, ANQA compiled the Strategic Plan (Transitional Period 2011-2015) which aims to establish a quality assessment culture at tertiary level. Institutional quality assurance is comprises of three phases. In phase 1, self-assessment in conducted by the institution. In phase 2 trained assessors visit the institution. In the final phase, results of the two previous phases are evaluated and published as a report.

There is no information available on quality assurance of the TVET system in Armenia.

Sources:

  • ANQA (2012). External Quality Assurance Processes. Yerevan: National Centre for Professional Education Quality Assurance Foundation.
  • UNDP-VET Armenia (2009). Lifelong Learning concept for Armenia. Yerevan: UNDP.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Armenia. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.


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    6. Current and ongoing reforms, projects, and challenges

Current reforms and major projects

A number of programmes mainly initiated by donor organizations and institutions are in place in order to meet and overcome the challenges facing Armenian TVET, such as:

(1) The UNDP Vocational Education and Training System Project (UNDP-VET), organized in partnership with the Government of Denmark, the private sector and Academic Institutions. The project started in 2009 and has two main goals: (1) The creation of a proper physical infrastructure in the country’s vocational training institutions through up-grading facilities and providing new equipment in the selected institutions; and (2) Ensuring sustainable development of VET System by initiating Policy Dialogue to adjust the system to labour market demand.

(2) The British Council has been engaged in the project “Skills for Employability”, terminating in 2012, aimed at establishing a dialogue between industry, employers, government and training providers;

(3) In 2011 the European Commission (EC) initiated a follow-up project called “Continuation of Vocational Education and Training Reform and Development of an Employment Strategy” helping the national government to increase the quality of TVET. The project is supposed to last until 2013;

(4) 12 experimental colleges have been renovated and re-equipped (inventories, laboratories, workshops, computer labs, etc.) with the help of EU funding;

(5) The European Training Foundation (ETF) has been engaged in Armenia through different interventions implemented as a part of regional projects, such as:

  • Supporting capacity building in the formulation of LLL policies;
  • Supporting exchange of experiences in the field of recognition of prior learning;
  • Continuing to provide support to the EC services in strengthening the institutional capacities of the Armenian authorities in implementing and monitoring the progress of VET reform;
  • Supporting structured and institutionalized social dialogue at national and local level within a policy learning perspective based on EU examples of good practice and experience; and
  • Reviewing labour market and employment patterns in the Black Sea region to promote institutional policy formulation, implementation and monitoring in particular of active employment measures.
(6) The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has organized a project (finalized at the end of 2011), addressed at employment promotion for vulnerable groups such as youth, women, and unemployed persons;

(7) The Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association (DVV International) led a three-year project entitled “Support to development of adult education in Armenia”, finalized in December 2011. Its aim was to establish and develop an efficient structure and network of adult education providers;

(8) Capacity Building International (InWEnt (now part of GIZ)) has organized a project “Employment-oriented qualification in key sectors of economic development of Armenia” with duration of 3 years (2009-2012). The project is supposed to help improve the economic situation in Armenia through capacity building activities.

Challenges

The main challenges the Armenian TVET system is facing can be summarized as follows:

  • To promote VET institutions’ integration in the global educational system;
  • To align current VET qualifications to EQF;
  • To implement credit accumulation and transfer system;
  • To establish an effective system of professional orientation and counselling;
  • To establish network of VET institutions; and
  • To promote social partnership and dialogue.
Sources:

  • ETF (2010). Torino Process: Armenia. Turin: European Training Foundation.
  • Global Developments Fund (2010). Database of the donors and projects in the field of vocational education and training in Armenia. Yerevan: Global Developments Fund.
  • Webpage of UNDP-VET Armenia. Accessed: 01 February 2012.


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7. Statistical information(*)

Population (Million)


2005

2010

3.07
3.09
Average yearly population growth rate 2005 - 2010

+0.17 %


For comparison:
Global average yearly population growth rate 2005-2010: 1.17%
1.64 1.43
female male  
1.65 1.44
female male  

53.33 %

53.46 %



Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC base on UN ESA: World Population Prospects/ the 2010 revision

GDP per capita (currency: US$)


2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010


1 598

2 080

2 995

3 787

2 803

3 031


Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on World Bank database


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8. Links to UNEVOC centres and TVET institutions

UNEVOC Centres

TVET Institutions


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9. References, bibliography, abbreviations

References

  • ANQA (2012). External Quality Assurance Processes. Yerevan: ANQA.
  • ETF (2010). Torino Process: Armenia. Turin: European Training Foundation.
  • Global Developments Fund (2010). Database of the donors and projects in the field of vocational education and training in Armenia. Yerevan: Global Developments Fund.
  • UNDP-VET Armenia (2009). Lifelong Learning concept for Armenia. Yerevan: UNDP.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Armenia. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.
  • Webpage of UNDP-VET Armenia. Accessed: 01 February 2012.
Further reading

Abbreviations

  • ANQA - National Centre for Professional Education Quality Assurance Foundation
  • BMZ - German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • CTVET - Continuing TVET
  • ETF - European Training Foundation
  • GIZ - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German organization for international cooperation)
  • ITVET - Initial TVET
  • LLL - Lifelong Learning
  • MoES - Ministry of Education and Science
  • NQF - National Qualification Framework
  • SDP - Sustainable Development Programme
  • SESA - State Employment Service Agency
  • SNS - Strategy of National Security
  • TVET - Technical and Vocational Education and Training
  • UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • VET - Vocational Education and Training




    Published by: UNESCO-UNEVOC
    Publication Date: 2012-05-09
    Validated by: Global Developments Fund (GDF)



page date 2017-05-05

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