Diploma is not a Dowry: Rector of “Gladzor” University

Among the alumni of “Gladzor” University, which works for already 25 years are many prominent lawyers, judges, and high officials in the Government. Iravaban.net – launches the Special Project “Higher Education Law Institutions in Armenia.Iravaban.net conducts an interview with Mr. Zhora Jhangiryan, Rector of “Gladzor” University, Doctor of Law, Professor. He notes that today the world’s best universities are private universities, whereas in Armenian reality the separation of private and public universities still exists, and there are attempts to discredit the reputation of private universities.

Mr. Jhangiryan, please introduce briefly the Law department of your University.

The law department of our university exists from the very beginning of foundation of our university in 1990. This is for already 25 years that we have law graduates, which I think have their place in today’s legal system and this proves that knowledge that our Law faculty provide completely satisfies today’s demands. To prove what I said I have to mention that there are 12 PhDs among our graduates, soon we shall have a Doctor of Law as well. The Former Justice Minister Hrayr Tovmasyan is our graduate as well. We have First Deputy Justice Minister – Arsen Mkrtchyan, 5 judges, prominent lawyers. Ara Zohrabyan, President of the Chamber of Advocates of the RA is our graduate. Our graduates currently work in the Prosecution Office in NSS and other spheres.

We have our own understanding and own demands referring the legal education. The lawyer that I perceive shall have high moral values and be a highly educated person. It is enough to remember that any lawyer deals with human life; therefore, he must respect the human right to life. And all our activities are aimed at the realization of our goals.

“Gladzor” University realizes three educational programs, bachelors, MA course post-graduate studies. We are one of the first universities that have passed to a three-level system of education which provides the students opportunity to start and continue education in the Faculty of Law of “Gladzor” University.

What are the specifics of the Faculty of Law of your university? Why should the applicant choose your university?

In my opinion, in case of any university, it is important to know whether a given education, real, and to what extent is the real knowledge provided, to what extent it contributes to its graduates to realize their knowledge. From this perspective, “Gladzor” university has its own peculiarity. We support the need to prepare thoroughly educated lawyer, I believe the lawyer shall master more than one branch of the law.

On the other hand today life shows that only theoretical knowledge is not enough, they should be supplemented with practice. We have established a legal clinic in “Gladzor” University where students often organize court sessions, which correspond to all judiciary norms. We also decided to add the practice as a part of the curriculum, starting this year we shall organize two practices for the students. Formerly we had only one.

Another feature that I want to mention is that in 1990, when the University was established we were providing diplomas that state “lawyer with knowledge of a foreign language.” That is, we still in those days we realized how important for the specialist was proficiency of foreign language. Today our curricula include the foreign language, which is taught during the whole educational process. The lawyers select one of the three foreign languages, English French or German the one they had studied at school.

It is said that the educational system is one of the most corrupted. How do you fight against corruption?

The matter whether there is bribery in the University or not depends from the work of the management. I declare that there was no bribery at our university and it will never be here. This is a paid university, and a normal person pays to learn. If there are people who pay and do not study and then pay again to get their mark, we have no place for such individuals. The house is clean when it is cleaned. “Gladzor” is also a house, a family.

However have there been such cases?

There were such two cases, about twenty years ago when “Gladzor” has been established. First a lecturer of “Computer Course” made such an attempt, and also a lecturer of economy tried to. In both cases the issue was solved promptly. They do not enter the classroom on the next day. The student also is aware that such things are excluded in ‘”Gladzor”.  The educational curricula in the first course start with the discipline “Theory of Law and State”, which I teach. And just on the very first day I explain to the students that there are no such things in “Gladzor” University.

What would you advice to applicants wishing to become a lawyer and to the young lawyers.

The knowledge was always the primary thing for me and I never pay attention to the fact where when and in which university the person gained the knowledge. My advice is that you have to study in place where you can get a real knowledge, and come out as an individual with high moral values, and not there where you will only receive a diploma. Diploma is not a dowry. Diploma should simply correspond to the knowledge of a person.

Interview: Astghik Karapetyan 

Photos: Aleksander Sargsyan 

Author of the idea: Karen Zadoyan


Other interviews of this series:

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How does Larisa Alaverdyan answer to the Officials who call with Request to put a mark to the Student?

“Firstly Gain a Face, then Present Oneself”. Ruben Melikyan

What`s the Number 1 Problem of the School of Advocates?

Gagik Ghazinyan about the Legal Education and the Factors contributing and hindering to its Development


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