Armenia’s higher education system consists of universities, institutes, academies and conservatories. Armenia has a population of 3 million and a comparatively large number of higher education institutions — there are 26 state universities and 33 private institutions in the country. Four of the universities are international universities. The majority of Armenian students (around 87%) are enrolled in public institutions. International students are generally attracted to Armenia because of the country’s low living costs and the comparatively large number of higher education institutions. It is estimated that more than 7,000 international students from over 40 countries study each year in Armenia. Most of Armenia’s international students come from Russia, Georgia, India and Iran. For further information on Armenian higher education institutions, please see the ministry’s website at http://www.edu.am.
Armenia signed the Bologna Process in 2005 and became a full member of the European Higher Education Area. It has standardised its higher education degrees into Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD levels. Bachelor’s degrees usually last for four years and Master’s degrees last for two years. PhD programmes usually last for at least three years and require students to publicly defend their dissertation. Students can study on a full-time or part-time basis, and distance learning is also available, though most students choose full-time, traditional education. Medical degrees usually last for six years. Medical graduates are required after their studies to spend a year completing a clinical internship and are required to pass an additional qualification exam. Scholarships, grants and student loans are available from the Armenian government. Most courses are offered in Armenian or Russian, though courses in English and French are also available. Preparatory courses are also available for international students who wish to learn the Armenian language. Admission requirements vary according to university and programme, but most require a copy of the student’s passport, copies of all relevant educational diplomas, and a medical certificate.
Tuition fees in Armenia vary depending on the course and the institution, as Armenian HEIs have the right to set their own tuition fees. For example, at the private American University of Armenia, fees for international students are about $7,500 per year, while at the public Yerevan State University, they are about $2,500 annually.
Information for International Students
Most international students will require a visa to study in Armenia. This visa can be obtained from the student’s local Armenian embassy or online. Many foreign nationals are eligible to obtain a visa upon arrival at the airport in Armenia. This visa is valid for 120 days after entry and the student’s institution will provide assistance to the student in renewing their visa once in the country. Most institutions also require international students to sit an entrance examination and language tests in the language of instruction if relevant. International students are advised to check the website of the Armenian Education Ministry for more information.