RA Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Zhanna Andreasyan received today the delegation headed by the Director of the European Investment Bank for Loan Operations in Neighbouring EU Countries Lionel Rapaille.

ESCS Deputy Minister Arthur Martirosyan also attended the meeting.

Zhanna Andreasyan greeted the visitors and emphasized the significance of the vocational education and training program currently under discussion as well as the significant agenda for potential collaboration. The Minister particularly highlighted the extensive work carried out by the European Investment Bank in the Syunik region.

As part of the collaboration with the European Investment Bank, work on the renovation, upgrading, and re-equipment of preliminary and secondary vocational education institutions in the Syunik region is being considered.

According to the ESCS Minister, this is a comprehensive approach aimed at enhancing the sustainability of the Syunik region and qualitative changes of all systems: “I attach great importance to the fact that as part of our joint program, we will be able to expand the possibilities of high-quality vocational education for the Syunik region. In this respect, our partnership with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), a reliable and long-term partner in the field of vocational education, is significant.”

Regarding potential avenues for collaboration, ESCS Minister Zhanna Andreasyan proposed considering the potential for collaborative initiatives within the framework of the "RA Education Development State Program until 2030”.

The ESCS Minister referred to the large-scale construction program of “300 Schools, 500 Kindergartens”. Zhanna Andreasyan reported that the RA Government approved the list of these schools at today's session, and despite the long duration of the work, there is still much to be done.

The next direction, within which Zhanna Andreasyan suggested considering the possibility of cooperation, concerned higher education and science.

“Additionally, the European Investment Bank has extensive experience in working on initiatives that enhance academic and research systems. We are also implementing a large-scale program in this direction, which is related to the formation of new infrastructure and environment for universities and scientific organizations. We are talking about the “Academic City” program. We intend to construct the facilities required for sixteen universities, together with scientific-research facilities on around 700 hectares,” said the ESCS Minister suggesting to consider the possibility of joint activities in this direction.

Director of the European Investment Bank for Loan Operations in Neighbouring EU Countries Lionel Rapaille thanked for the reception and noted that the field of education is one of the top priorities in the context of the EU-Armenia dialogue.

“One of the primary focus of investment activity for our bank is education at all levels. We pay close attention to the field of education and provide not only financial but also expert support,” said Lionel Rapaille and expressed willingness to consider the collaboration opportunities both in the fields of supplementary and continuing education, school construction and in the field of higher education and science.

During the meeting, the sides also discussed other issues of bilateral interest.