10.5191/jiaee.2008.15203

 

 

Abstract

The 1999 Bologna Declaration signaled change for Europe’s higher education institutions. Armenia joined the movement in 2004. By the London conference in 2007, 46 ministers of education had signed a commitment to the European Higher Education Area framework with a goal of common educational currency by 2010. During the London conference, ministers voiced a need to include more student views in policy issues. Thus, Armenian State Agrarian University (ASAU) students were asked about curriculum reform issues that influence their education plans. Nine of ten students reported aspirations to study abroad and wrote the USA, France, Russia, the Netherlands, and Germany as top choices—along with 32 other countries. Half of the sample of 801 indicated advancing professional careers as a highly motivating factor for planning study abroad experiences; four in ten were motivated to learn English or another language. Pragmatically, 46% of students noted subject matter specialty as an important factor when selecting study abroad programs. Students perceived the top three challenges were economic—funding their living expenses and studies, affordable housing, and other financial constraints. These findings led to three recommendations around a central theme of engagement and dialogue. One may expect considerable interest when students are involved in meaningful ways to engage in educational policy development. Actions to facilitate student scholarships and loans and to simplify international travel, university admission, and mobility would increase students study abroad participation. ASAU students are natural allies to assist with the university’s emerging transformation into an era of knowledge exchange.

Keywords: Bologna Process, Curriculum Reforms, Student Mobility, Access, Student Perceptions, Study Abroad

 

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