On March 23, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany Hans-Jochen Schmidt, was awarded with the title “Professor Honoris Causa of Russian-Armenian University” as an acknowledgment for his outstanding contribution to the strengthening of the German-Armenian relations, appreciation of the genuine friendship with the Armenian people and cooperation with Russian-Armenian University.
His letter to Russian-Armenian University is published below.
I would like to thank you most cordially for having made it possible - within a relatively short time-frame - to run the 4-week course “World Politics and International Relations”. It was a stimulating endeavour with an active participation of the students. What I very much appreciated: the confidence the Rector and the Professors they gave me to lecture about various topics playing an important role in shaping International Politics and International Relations - and how the system of states functions, and which are the challenges the international community will have to tackle to deal with non-state factors having a more and more important impact on the system of states (the “Westphalian Order” has been put into question).
What has been impressing me at the Russian-Armenian University: the ambition of the students, and how focused they pursue their studies, the “Internationalization” of the University - and how much energy the University invests in bringing in foreign experts and specialists in organizing workshops, in initiating “simulation projects” (to let students play the UN / a Parliament and to work on the advancement of their negotiation and diplomatic skills).
It goes without saying that it is extremely important to attach as much importance as possible in raising the educational standards of a given country (and not focusing exclusively on technical and financial aid).
To bring in foreign experts - under the condition that they are willing and able to integrate themselves into the university system they are supposed to cooperate with, and having an understanding for the politico-cultural environment in which temporarily they take over a certain role and function: an essential complementary support element which needs an adequate budgetary allocation (referring to the aid and development “triade”: technical and financial aid, cultural, language promotion and cooperation and fostering of the educational component: a prerequisite for “producing” manpower able to work in the field of the economy, science and research and to run states’ affairs.
With pleasure I noticed this year: our Goethe-Center is fully operational - situated in the center - therefore easily accessible - and offering excellent language courses and a diversified cultural program. A leap forward: consequence of a political decision taken by our government to be more actively present in the cultural, language promotion field.
And good to know that the DAAD continues its policy to grant a multitude of scholarships and research fellow ship - programs - and to stimulate university - cooperation channels (and the Armenians have been very successful in applying for scholarships and research fellow programs- disproportionally high in comparison with the states of the former SU (because of their competitive knowledge and research program proposals submitted and being considered as promotion inducive).
I am sure that RAU will try hard to make their students as well aware of the possibility to apply for scholarship (and post master) programs.
Looking forward to cooperating further on with you - with the support of the SES to the extent possible.
Wishing your University further success in enlarging its scope of university and cooperation programs/ in raising further on its ranking as a leading university in the South Caucasus/ disposing of the advantage that their diplomas are recognized by Armenia as well as by Russia (consequence of its character as an intergovernmental institution with a bilingual speaking regime).
I remain with thanks and best regards,
(SES Expert/Professor h.c.)