German scientists to launch Center of Excellence in Armenia to prevent brain drain

German scientists, who have been organizing physics courses for students in Armenia and Georgia for ten years, plan to create a Center of Excellence: one in Armenia at the Yerevan State University and Institute of Physics, and the other in Georgia. The aim of the centers is to offer quality education at the local level to prevent brain drain.

The director of the Bethe Center for Theoretical Physics at the University of Bonn, Ulf-G. Meissner, said that they had already had meetings in both Georgia and Armenia. Here, in particular, they met with the vice-rectors of Yerevan State University and discussed a number of issues, then contracts will be signed between the Institute of Physics and Yerevan State University, after which they will discuss the curriculum, and the first students will appear. We will probably start the course in September 2024.

According to him, these centers want to offer quality master's and postgraduate education, online courses will also be offered to fill the gaps in some areas of education and revive the interest of more students in physics, offer quality education as well as good jobs. prospects so that talented people do not leave the country.

“We hope that the Center of Excellence will solve this problem. We want to offer education at the same level as in good universities in Germany, such as the universities of Bonn, Munich or Hamburg. And we hope that thanks to this we will be able to keep students from Armenia and Georgia in their countries,” he says.

The centers will also offer training opportunities so that students can spend some time in the US or Europe after completing graduate school and then return to their home countries. To this end, a reintegration program was launched in Armenia a year ago, which offers good salaries and some opportunities. “This creates the conditions for young people to come back as scientists and educate the next generations,” Meissner says.

Through these courses, the center also aims to cover topics in physics that are not covered in as much detail here. “Both Armenia and Georgia have very good personnel, but the universities and physics institutes here are not involved in all modern developments. And we want the online lectures at the Center of Excellence to cover these topics as well,” says Ulf-G. Meissner.

Since the Center of Excellence will also be online, students from other countries will be able to participate in the classes, but the main target will be students from Armenia and Georgia. “We want to attract international students as well, but the main idea is to make it easier for local Armenian and Georgian students to get a better education,” he says.

“We offer them education so they can see that they can do something here too. In this sense, reintegration programs are also important because they give them the opportunity to work as professors for several years after returning from abroad and make sure that they can create something here. In my opinion, this will be a big change in this matter,” he says.

“For hundreds of years, Armenia has been a very rich country in culture and science. We try to make our small contribution to its preservation,” adds Ulf-G. Meissner.