Degree of Deception?: Students still waiting for diplomas in controversy over suspended university

The Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia and the management of Yerevan Galick University continue voicing mutual accusations over the issue of 51 students, who are deprived of receiving a Bachelor’s diploma. The issue, as the management of the university has stated, will soon be transferred to the judicial field.

Even though 51 students of the university’s Management Faculty have passed the state final exams, it is already more than six months that they cannot take their diplomas, because they have found out that within the recent one year they have studied at a faculty, paying a tuition for it, the license of which was suspended by the Ministry of Education and Science in 2010. (Tuition fee is 182,000 dram -- $500. The University insists that the ministry has suspended the license of the faculty for certified specialists who study five years, and not of the Bachelor’s degree of the Management Faculty, with four years education).

Deputy Rector of Galick University Gevorg Harutyunyan says that they have not received the decision of the ministry within the defined timeframe, under which the Bachelor’s license should have been suspended, and according to the law, in this case the suspension of the license is automatically considered to be removed.

The ministry in its turn insists that they have responded to all the inquiries and applications made by the university within the defined timeframe, simply the rector of the university has ignored the ministry’s decision, and continued providing education at the faculty, in order not to lose the tuition fees.

Within the recent two years the Ministry of Education and Science has closed more than 30 institutes of higher learning or faculties, and during that period students who studied there have been transferred to other institutions which offer the same fields of study. Properly managed, those 51 students would have also been able to continue their education in another institution.

At a Thursday press conference, Minister of Education and Science Armen Ashotyan referring to this issue stated, “The case of Galick is shocking with its impudence.

“They are ready to play with the fate of 51 young people, aiming to take tuition fees from them, and then to collect money from them for diplomas. Anyway, if they really decide to appeal to a court, I personally will attend some of the court sessions. Besides, I am ready to make some other details public.”