• ATHENA Project

    Fostering Sustainable and Autonomous
    Higher Education Systems
    in the Eastern Neighbouring Area

  • Focus

    University autonomy and funding reforms
    in Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine

  • Objectives

    Transfer of good practice
    Promotion of inclusive approaches
    Capacity building in university management


Regional Benchmarking Forum held in Armenia

On 12 and 13 May about 100 representatives from ATHENA partner universities and ministries gathered together for the Regional Benchmarking Forum in Yerevan, Armenia. The purpose of the event which was hosted by Yerevan State University, was to take stock of the progress achieved with regard to university autonomy, governance and funding in the three partner countries Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine throughout the past three years. The event looked both at policy development at system level as well as the implementation at institutional level showcasing concrete examples from the universities that are part of the consortium.

Thomas Estermann, Director for Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development at EUA presented EUA’s comparative analysis of the three systems based on the methodology of EUA’s university autonomy scorecard. The partners from Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine explained how the project contributed to the ongoing reform processes and facilitated legal changes enhancing university autonomy in different dimensions. Furthermore they showcased concrete examples of how they used the material produced during the ATHENA project such as institutional toolkits to proceed with the implementation.

In addition, representatives from partner universities in the EU provided their perspectives on how to continue the reform processes. This was complemented with panel discussions of representatives from the three partner countries with a view to put the national policy roadmaps developed in the project into practice and propose concrete steps for further action beyond the project duration. It was highlighted that ATHENA helped to create a structured dialogue between the universities and the ministries which was considered invaluable also for future action and implementation.

The programme is available here. Please see the presentations given at the event here.

To read articles from ATHENA partners about the event, please follow the links below:
Report from Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University


  • Yerevan State University
  • Gavar State University
  • State Engineering University of Armenia
  • State Universities Rectors Council of Armenia
  • Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia
  • Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova
  • Cahul State University
  • Free International University of Moldova
  • National Council of Rectors of Moldova
  • Ministry of Education of Moldova
  • Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev
  • Donetsk National University
  • Odessa National University
  • Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University
  • Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine
  • University of Coimbra
  • Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra
  • University of Helsinki
  • Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Amsterdam
  • European University Association