if I squeeze my brain really hard . . . "
If summer is traditionally play time for students
who spend three months forgetting about school,
it is something much different for teenagers trying
to take the next step into university.
It has been a summer of nervousness and stress
for those such as 17-year old Lilit Asatryan.
In the mornings and evenings she is busy with
her lessons and at mid-day, while friends might
be enjoying Yerevan cafes, this girl is surrounded
"Right now it seems to me that this is the
most serious test of my life and the most difficult
period," says Lilit. "I've been studying
for two years to reach my goal and to enter an
institution of higher education. The results of
all of that will become clear this summer."
During these hot and emotional months Lilit,
like thousands her age, is preparing to choose
her life path, starting with a university education.
"I'm going to enter the department of cybernetics
and if I succeed then I will get a very interesting
profession and will have good work, plus, the
education will offer me possibility of having
more interesting and educated company," says
Most are after the same thing: a good future,
or continued study abroad, or a well-paid job.
And for some of the boys, university is a way
to avoid military service. For all, July and August
are months when universities throughout the capital
and neighboring areas turn into centers of nervous
With hearts loudly beating entrants enter examination
rooms while parents impatiently wait under the
shade of buildings outside. And God save those
entrants who are the first to finish exams and
leave the buildings. They face a flow of questions
from those parents, eager for a hint of their
I know I know this one!"
It is a story that is repeated every year and
is the source of conversation and rumors.
This year is overburdened as well, because, despite
all social conditions and difficulties, young
people are heartily preparing, parents are persisting
and the number of entrants is increasing day in
and day out.
According to statistics, 17,180 entrants hoping
to become students of state universities were
registered in the republic this year.
"Every year the number of entrants increases,"
says Vagharshak Khachatryan, executive secretary
of the republican examination commission dealing
with entrance examinations to state universities
of the republic, "this year as always the
increased interest is shown to specific universities
Khachatryan says each era has its popular professions
and department and, correspondingly, the biggest
flow of entrants wishing to enter those specific
departments can be noticed during that time period.
This year the biggest number of entrants was
registered in Yerevan State University, followed
by the State Engineering University of Armenia
and then the Pedagogical Institute of Armenia.
Fourth place is taken by Yerevan State Economic
Observations show that this year professions
related to field of information technology are
very popular and for that reason many entrants
are trying to enter Departments of Applied Sciences
of the Yerevan State University and Department
of Cybernetics of the State Engineering University
of Armenia, which will afford them opportunities
as programmers with a well-paid future.
As it was before, this year as well many entrants
chose traditional departments such as foreign
languages, economics, law, philology and others.
"It is strange enough but comparing with
last year there is a sharp increase of entrants
who chose Pedagogical Institute of Armenia and
Academy of Agriculture," says Vagharshak
Khachatryan. "Such an interest is conditioned
both by new departments opened in those institutions
and by other circumstances."
a summer of cramming for students hoping to
It is encouraging this year, Khachatryan says,
that, unlike previous years, a greater number
of applicants to the Academy of Agriculture has
come from villages, where agriculture is the major
"There are professions that are very much
in demand in villages these days, however, there
are no specialists and young people try to fill
that gap," says Khachatryan. "Of course,
all of that will have positive results in future."
Concerning exhausted profession of pedagogue,
which, especially during past years, was forced
to the background as a result of low salaries
and conditions, these days it seems like things
"There are many entrants to Pedagogical
Institute," says Khachatryan, "the increase
of entrants' number can be explained by the fact
that the interest and care of government shown
in teachers increased. Every year salaries of
teachers increase and there are programs aimed
at improving their social conditions. That's why
these days many young people strive for getting
pedagogical education, which is praiseworthy."
This year also, comparing with other fashionable
professions, the areas of natural sciences such
as chemistry, physics and other such departments
enjoy less popularity.
Of the 17,180 entrants, nearly half will not
realize their education goals, as there are only
9,790 places for new students in the state universities.
Of that number, 4,144 will be given full scholarships,
while 5,646 will pay.
And those entrants who won't manage to enter
universities, will either choose private universities
or will wait until next year's entrance examinations,
when the process will be repeated.