The end of the year generates a need to summarize the year in a retrospective glimpse as well as address the activities and events that were accomplished during the year. This tradition is also a good occasion to fill the gaps during the next year, adjust the tasks and greet the New Year with positive expectations and feelings.
As matter of rule, this time as well the passing year had started in a positive note at our University. The year 2017 started with the news from France. It became known that the Armenian Architect’s Diploma issued by our University is again recognized in France as equivalent to the French State Diploma for five years.
Collaboration with Europe is one of the key directions of our University and, without doubt, our cooperation has a solid foundation. We are strong and competitive due to our international relations, our cooperation agreements with the best world universities, our bilateral visits and our awards. Thus, the year began with the agreement signed between the NUACA and the Polytechnic University of Valencia, according to which exchange programmes for students and professors will be realized, hence giving an opportunity to obtain a two-tier educational qualification in projects’ management related to the spheres of cultural heritage and geoinformation technologies.
More cooperation prospects were also discussed with the Częstochowa Technological University in Poland, where the NUACA Rector Gagik Galstyan and the Head of Urban Construction Chair Zara Mamyan went during the year.
The most important agreement of the year, however, was the agreement signed among the NUACA, the Armenian State University of Economics and Polytechnic University of Valencia in September. The agreement was the startpoint of the “Project Management” Master’s degree program in the field of tourism and real estate on the basis of the agreement already signed among one international and two local universities. The RA Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan was also present at the solemn ceremony. By the definition of the Minister the initiative was unprecedented as it involves two Armenian universities and a foreign university. According to him, that project was the proof that Armenia continues to be in the line of leading promoters of education.
The year has been generous in terms of prizes and awards obtained on international platforms. Rector Gagik Galstyan, Heads of the NUACA Chairs Mher Sedrakyan and Vardges Grigoryan were awarded diplomas and departmental medals by order of the RA Minister of Defense for the zealous cooperation between the University personnel and the Ministry of Defense. The NUACA Vice Rector of Academic Affairs Arkadi Barkhudaryan and the Emeritus Artist of Armenia and a Professor at our University Hrant Tadevosyan joined the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences as its foreign members representing our homeland. In the same year, Hrant Tadevosyan also received the Fridtjof Nansen Gold Medal. On the occasion of Architect’s Day, Sargis Tovmasyan, the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, received the gold medal of the Mayor of Yerevan for his long-term management and his scientific and educational contributions in the fields of Architecture and Urban Development.
Throughout the year success also accompanied our students. We returned with 1st and 2nd rank prizes from the annual International Competition оn Architectural Design known as “Zolotaya ArkhIdeia” held at Tyumen State University of Architecture and Construction of the Russian Federation. Our architects and designers returned with 23 first-class diplomas, 13 second-class diplomas and special prizes from the 26th International Exhibition of Architecture, Design and Art held in Yekaterinburg.
Students at our University were also appreciated at their own University. Rector Gagik Galstyan announced the scholarship on behalf of our University’s former student and the hero of four-day Artsakh war Adam Sahakyan. It was decided that the scholarship will be awarded to three students who served in the Armenian army or participated in the four-day war. The names of the winners were announced in May. They were Taron Hayrapetyan, Hayk Gevorgyan and Vahan Harutyunyan. In summer it was also announced the name of the monetary award-winning student. The award was named by the Lithuanian art historian, art critic Yurgis BALTRUSAÏTIS in the framework of “Preservation and Restoration of the Historical- Architectural Heritage” initiative jointly carried out by the NUACA, “Petros Aloyan” Foundation and the Lithuanian Embassy in Armenia. The bursary was awarded to Shogher Khachatryan from the NUACA Department of Architecture.
In the framework of the 9th International Conference оn “Architecture and Construction – Modern Problems” our University delegation visited Batumi. After Jermuk, Beijing, Częstochowa, St. Petersburg, Ostrava and Yerevan, the 9th gathering of scholars and field experts was in Batumi, at Shota Rustaveli State University.
The year was particularly important for the creation of the Architectural Universities’ “Belt and Road” Consortium at the Beijing Engineering University in the presence and direct input of the NUACA Rector Gagik Galstyan and the Vice Rector on Financial and Economic Affairs Marine Ghazaryan.
We are always ready to welcome. We also had many guests, proposals and master classes hosted at our University during the passing year. In fall we welcomed Ali Maher from Rutgers University, New Jersey State University professors Mohsen Jafari, Vahan Tanal, David Mikaelayan and Matthew Jokayts, who delivered series of lectures for the large group of professors and students in the framework of cooperation among our University, “The Armenian Relief Foundation” and “the Association of Engineers and Scientists of the Armenians of America”. We also welcomed the members of the Ukrainian delegation, who presented the international conference entitled “1030th Anniversary of the Adoption of Christianity in Russian Kiev” and the international symposium entitled “Saint Sophia Cathedral of Kiev”. The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Armenia, Eiji Taguchi, was also hosted at our University and acknowledged the possibilities of the cooperation with our University. Ambassador Taguchi noticed that he felt not only the breath of the architectural heritage that is Armenian but also the architectural spirit of the entire region is represented in Armenia, which is an interesting momentum for further cooperation.
Besides the achievements and success stories, the University had a great loss. A distinguished architect, designer, painter, sculptor and the head of the NUACA Chair of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture Albert Sokhikyan passed away at the age of 69. The students, to commemorate him, organized a exhibition of photos on the birthday of the master, where each photograph told about the life of the artist, the days spent at the University and the experiences shared with the students.
The last month of the year was marked by another significant event. On December 15, after two months of hard and dedicated work, the construction company “Horizon-95”, under the direct supervision of the NUACA Rector, the President of the RA Builders’ Union and the CEO of the construction company “Horizon-95” Dr. Gagik Galstyan completed the first stage of the free economic zone construction in Meghri. The RA Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan, the RA Minister of Economic Development and Investments Suren Karayan, the Minister of Agriculture Ignati Araqelyan and the Regional Governor of Syunik Vahe Hakobyan attended the inauguration ceremony of “Meghri” free economic zone highlighting the importance of the area in the context of economic development. They acknowledged that the idea became a reality in such a short period of time due to hard work and zealousness of the eminent builder Gagik Galstyan.
Thus, with achievements and losses, every day and every next year gives birth to something new – to a new life and new success stories. We celebrate the New Year with this attitude, hopeful that the next year will be better than the last, more peaceful and more prosperous than the one we record as a history.
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