An Annual Steering Group Meeting and Training of the SMARTI Project held at Goris State University, October 6-8, 2021

On October 6-8, 2021, a 3-day annual steering group meeting and training was held at Goris State University (GSU) in a hybrid format. At the beginning of the meeting welcoming speeches were made by Artush Ghukasyan, Acting Rector of GSU, by Khachatur Ghazeyan, Acting Rector of the Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia (PAARA), and by Gerard Cullen, the SMARTI Project Manager and the representative of the Project grant-holder, Dresden University of Technology (TUD). During the meetings, the Armenian and Russian PC Universities succinctly presented the activities carried out so far, more specifically, the strengths and weaknesses of the ESP self-study manual “Headway”, the mechanisms and strategies of the ECTS system implemented in their HEIs and the extent to which they are similar to or different from the guidelines and key features described in the “ECTS Users’ Guide”. From Vanadzor State University (VSU) a presentation was made by Lusik Vardanyan, the SMARTI Project local coordinator, the Associate Professor of the Chair of Foreign Languages and Literature. Gayane Kanaryan, the VSU publicity officer of the SMARTI Project, the Associate Professor of the Chair of Mathematics and Informatics was also actively involved in these three-day discussions and a dissemination training organised by the Catholic University of Portugal (UCP). The other VSU representatives, the key persons of the VSU SMARTI working group(Arine Danielyan, Assistant Professor of the Chair of Foreign Languages and Literature, Nune Khublaryan, Associate Professor of the Chair of Mathematics and Informatics, Anna Khachatryan, Acting Head of the Quality Assurance Centre, and Gohar Dokholyan, International Relations and Grants Promotion Specialist) participated in the meetings online.

The ARM And RF country presentations on conducted and upcoming dissemination activities were made by Tereza Khechoyan, the local coordinator of the Armenian partner universities, Vice-Rector for Foreign Relations of PAARA and by Olga Safonkina, the local Coordinator of the Russian partner universities, the representative of Ogarev Mordovia State University (MRSU). The participants of the meetings also discussed some important tasks and issues related to the launch of the EMI Centres with procured equipment in the PC HEIs.

During the meetings there were also online presentations: Eduardo Cardoso, the leader of WP1, the representative of UCP elaborated on the EU inventory of the best practices and emphasized the importance of SCL (student-centred learning) in EMI teaching; Adam Shore, the representative of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), UK, introduced the ESP training program and his colleagues from the same University highlighted the importance of “Rosetta Stone” license in improving the EMI teachers’ English language proficiency level; Valeriya Racheeva presented the SMARTI website and raised some crucial steps that are to be taken to improve the website in terms of its structure and content.

In order to be eligible to participate in the upcoming training the ESP teachers from PC Universities took an online “English Language Audit Test”. Our subject teachers Nune Khublaryan and Gayane Kanaryan successfully coped with B1 and B1+ levels.