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A group of young academics have been demanding an increase to state subsidization of science and education in Armenia. They have created a Facebook group, organized a number of discussions to formulate and put forward their demands.
President of Armenia met the group last year and said instead of demanding an increase of funding, the young scientists should think of better utilizing the funding available to them already. This is surely, a valid statement.
However, a new article in New York Times adds a bit of perspective to the situation with state funding of science and education in Armenia.
According to NYT, Philip Altbach and his colleagues at the Center for International Higher Education have examined academic salaries, contracts and benefits in publicly funded universities in 28 countries, including Armenia.
“They depict a world increasingly divided “into two categories — brain drain and brain gain,” as countries with more resources siphon off academic talent from poorer countries,” the newspaper writes. “In terms of purchasing power, newly hired academics in China ($259 per month, as calculated by this particular study’s index) were the worst off, paid less than colleagues in Armenia ($405) or Ethiopia ($864).”