Virginia Tech students may soon be able to take courses at the Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU) in Yerevan, Armenia, after a meeting in Blacksburg strengthened ties between the universities.

During a visit with Virginia Tech President Tim Sands, university Rector Arshaluys Tarverdyan said ANAU could be a “partnership hub” for Virginia Tech and gateway to the Caucasus and Central Asia regions as Virginia Tech creates new travel and study opportunities for students and faculty members.

In affirming the relationship’s importance, Sands said that in Virginia Tech’s Beyond Boundaries visioning process, students expressed the desire for more opportunities to travel while continuing their programs of study.

Tarverdyan's visit came through the Innovate-Armenia five-year grant program funded by the United States Agency for International Development. Under the program, Virginia Tech is working to improve the competitiveness of Armenia's agricultural workforce.

The memorandum of understanding between the universities ensures that the relationship will continue even after the Innovate-Armenia project ends in June 2019. The project is led by Virginia Tech’s Office of International Research, Education, and Development, part of Outreach and International Affairs.

Also a member of the Armenian delegation was Vardan Urutyan, director of Armenian National Agrarian University's International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education Foundation. In discussions that included Karl Markgraf, associate vice president for international affairs, and Van Crowder, executive director of the Office of International Research, Education, and Development, the leaders made plans to institute student and faculty member exchanges and create a dual degree.

Written by Merrie Winfrey

Share this story