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YEREVAN. - The Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia is requesting additional funds from the state budget without presenting precise substantiations.  

Prime Minister of Armenia Karen Karapetyan stated the aforementioned on Thursday during the discussion of draft decisions on approving the government orders for state university admissions (tuition free education), places for education with the right to apply partial discount and payment for the tuition fee of bachelor program, lifelong and integrated educational programs, master’s program and PhD for 2017/2018 academic year.

According to the substantiation, the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia plans to offer nearly 2,637 tuition-free places in BA, lifelong and integrated educational programs for 2017/2018 academic year, 1826 of which will fully cover the compulsory military service. 137 of these places will get no additional funding from the state budget but there will be a right of military determent.

Moreover, there will be 374 places with full compensation of tuition fee but with no right of military determent. 1650 tuition-free places will be offered for master’s programs, 1259 of which will offer no right to military determent, while 391 of them will offer such a right. 140 free full-time and 202 extramural places with the right of determent are planned to be offered for doctoral program.

The draft decisions were introduced by Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Manuk Mkrtchyan. The PM asked the Deputy Minister: “Have you conducted a relevant test or do you bring the same lists every day?” The deputy minister said: “The places are formed upon the request of educational institutions,” to which Karapetyan responded:  “The more places, the better for educational institutions. They don’t even look at the market demand. Have you got an analysis?”

Mkrtchyan confessed that the agency has not conducted relevant research. “In this case, why do you want additional funds from the budget? All the more so that you don’t have substantiation,” Karapetyan noted angrily.

The Deputy minister said: “I don’t know whether this is right or wrong but it is certain that this is appropriate in the current situation,” to which the PM said, already laughing: “Interesting answer.”

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