In Yerevan, the French University of Armenia is making a name for itself

In Yerevan, the French University of Armenia is making a name for itself

Flynn exploded, cups tangled together, huge slices of chocolate cake passed from hand to hand, as dozens of young women rumbled around Lucia Hambardzumian, 24. The student has just completed the discussion of her thesis, and she holds a master’s degree in Marketing. On the wall facing the institution from which she graduated, Charles Aznavour’s face smiles sweetly at her. A sentence taken from one of his songs accompanies the singer’s photo: “You have to drink your youth until you get drunk.” An invitation, a promise made for twenty-two years by an emanation of the walled French university in the heart of Kosas, in Yerevan: the French University of Armenia (UFAR).

Armenia, in the 1990s, barely absorbed the fragmentation of the former Soviet Union, of which it had been a republic since 1920. The country was in a near-permanent state of war with Azerbaijan for its acquisition of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. And Yerevan needs CEOs to move the economic and political fabric of the new country and make it prosper. Interested allies will come to the aid of the young independent republic to help it train its elites. The American University of Armenia was established in 1991. Then, in 1997, it was the turn of the Russian-Armenian University to open its doors in response to the American presence. These two heavyweights offer Armenians their educational experiences, one in English and one in Russian. Why don’t the French invite themselves to revive the university?

The Armenian CEO welcomes this new partner to the training ground. France is an old friend, has a strong diaspora, with about 600,000 people of Armenian descent. Both countries are aware of their common interests. “Creation of UFAR on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement between the two countries”confirms Anne Loot, France’s ambassador to Armenia. “It is a question of the impact of being present and participating in the training of future Armenian decision-makers”And the Honoring Mathieu Peraud, Director of Culture, Education and Research at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

French as a working language

The new university, which was inaugurated on July 18, 2000, is an institution under Armenian law. The state provides a five-story building sandwiched between an urban highway and a vocational high school in Yerevan. For its part, France provides the services of a rector, or rather a conductor responsible for importing an educational model, adapting it to the needs of the country, and then ensuring its financial balance. But what should be taught?

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