The region of Syunik has been famous for being a massive educational and cultural centre of
medieval Armenia. The literary sources confirm that Syunik was the cradle of the most ancient
schools. In the 5th century Mesrop Mashtots opened schools in Goghtn province with Vaghinak
and Vasak Syunis’ support. Afterwards, in the 5-8th centuries the educational and cultural
activity was marked thanks to a number of figures, such as bishop Anania the Translator, poets
Petros Syunetsi, Matusagha, Movses and others, who led the cultural business of Syunik
church. Since the 9th century Syunik has been living an educational and cultural development.
Tatev University was founded, which was considered a ‘’Syunik’s center of education taking its
roots from wisdom’’. Later on it became a Panamanian educational-cultural centre. Gladzor
University, which was called ”The second Athens”, was also prominent. The medieval Armenian
universities have had an immense influence on the history of science and culture, preparing
specialists in various fields of science and arts, who not only created the monuments of the
Armenian culture, but brought a significant contribution to the world civilization as well. Thanks
to the care of the spiritual and secular leaders of the world of Syunik the biodiversity of national
educational institutions has been preserved even in the most severe conditions for centuries.
Unfortunately, later with the collapse of the Armenian statehood, the chain of higher education
was also cut off. After the closure of Tatev University (until 1435) and Gladzor University (until
1340s), the millennial life of the Armenian high school was interrupted for centuries.
Nowadays Syunik is distinguished with its high educational and cultural values, which have
been transferred by previous generations. Goris State University is the second higher
educational institution in ancient Syunik after Tatev monastery and has passed a glorious path.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the University, which is not only a
national and science-cultural jubilee, but also a unique summary of our achievements in the
scientific and educational field. Since the first day of its establishment the university has played
a big role in the educational and cultural life of the region and has gained a stable place among
the republic’s universities.
Owing to the educational centre, the youth of Syunik is at home connected to his land and
water, his national and cultural roots. He is the first nationalist in the region, today’s and
tomorrow’s teacher, economist and lawyer, historian and naturalist, energetic.
Being the creator and the keeper of the best deposits of the higher education in the region, in
pursuit of European university reforms and scientific advancements, the university implements
its strategic plan, the evidence of which effectiveness is our achievements, the ongoing rise of
the reputation of the institution, the competitiveness of our graduates in the labor market, GSU
is the institution where the sequence of generation has been preserved for decades and the
scientific and educational achievements have been multiplied.
From the beginning of the 1960s, Goris faced some problems related to social-economic,
educational reforms. New industrial, construction enterprises and new branches were built to
ensure the employment of the capable population in the region.
At that time superior regional organizations were concerned about organizing higher education
in the region, so it was planned to establish a branch of the Armenian State Pedagogical
University after Khachatur Abovyan in Goris. There was only one goal: to make Goris one of the
educational and cultural development centers in the region and generally in Armenia. Goris is
one of the unique communities of the Republic of Armenia which has rich cultural and
educational history and values. From the 70s of the 19th century The State (royal) regular
collage (founded in 1876), St. Hripsime’s Armenian Church-Parish school (founded in 1890),
The Proximity (founded in 1915),
the Pedagogical Collage and the Agricultural Engineering from the late 1920s were operated in
the state-run Goris .The latter were preparing human recourses for the national economy,
education and health care. It should be noted that 50 graduates of the Pedagogical college
have become candidates of science, and 2 of them S. Bakunts and V. Ghazaryan have become
academicians, famous writers Suren Ayvazyan, Sero Khanzadyan and other prominent
intellectuals and figures have studied at the college.
In the 1950s there were all the necessary prerequisites for the organization of higher education.
Deeply concerned about the establishment of higher education and preparing high-quality
human resources, the patriotic figures actively take actions to establish a higher educational
institution in the region. The local authorities especially the regional party committee greatly
supported the opening if the branch. That difficult but patriotic act required great effort,
dedication and consistency.
The first secretary of the regional committee of the party Christopher Petrosyan and the
chairman of the regional executive committee Aram Harutyunyan made a worthy contribution to
the foundation of the university, who carried out a high mission, especially in the selection of the
staff, the creation and provision of necessary social-economic conditions for them. Since the
establishment K. Petrosyan and G. Harutyunyan have been teaching in the university.
Thus, with the decision of the Council of Ministers of the Armenian SSR on October 1, 1967, to
provide the secondary schools with qualified staff with higher education in the region, the
branch of the Armenian State Pedagogical University after Kh. Abovyan was established in
Goris with specialization in “Physics” and “Mathematics”.
So, for the youth of Syunik the doors for getting university education have been opened. The
branch has turned into an extreme centre that recalls many of those who have left the cradle.
The establishment of the university has been of great satisfaction for the Armenian intellectuals
who are deeply aware and highly appreciate the important role of the centre of Armenian
The establishment of the branch of the Armenian State Pedagogical University after Kh.
Abovyan in Goris was an outstanding historical event. With the creation of the branch, Syunik
intellectuals had a great opportunity to work in the region and to serve their compatriots’
scientific and cultural needs.
The management of the newly established educational institution (director Sh. Sahakyan) and
the teaching staff have been doing considerable work (such as forming faculties, chairs,
opening laboratories, cabinets, renovating the educational building, student dormitory, etc.) with
the aim of making the institution a spiritual smithy for the preparation of national qualified
cadres, science and enlightenment.
The newly established Institute of Goris recruits new academic staff, new students putting
forward progressive goals and objectives. A number of distinguished specialists and academics
come to Goris and among them Sh. Sahakyan, L. Minasyan( the second branch manager) , L.
Shahinyan , F. Harutyunyan , V. Gnuni, S. Hakobyan , D. Sedrakyan, G. Bagsasaryan, H.
Chplaxyan, Yu. Ayvazyan, S. Gabuzyan, R. Movsisyan, S. Karapetyan and others. Condidate of
science, associate prefessior J. Safrazyan comes from Mosco to work in a branch, bringing with
hima large amount of professional literature and valuable equipment . It is worth mentioning that
world-renowned physicist NIS of RA president, a geniuine and honorable member of several
leading countries Victor Hambardzumyan, famous mathematician, Vice President of the
Armenian academy of sciences Sergey Mergelyan, academicians Artashes Shahiyan, Gurgen
Sahakyan and many other prominent scientists, scholars of science and education. With the
support of V. Hambardzumyan and S. Mergelyan in 1971, on November 1 the physicotechnical
department of the academy of sciences of the Republic of Armenia is opened in Goris, with its
sections and branches of Solid Body, Polymer Physics, Bio-Physics, which are engaged in
research of branch on a number of scientific and economic progress issues. This devision of the
Academy was the center of expert research of branch students, the center development of
theoretical thought. There were scientists working at the department, who held special lectures
for students of the branch at the same time . The new higher education institution of Goris
entered a new stage of development in the early 1970s. At that stage about 430 students were
studying at that branch. The department of Physics( dean H. Chplakhyan) and the chair of
petagogy functioned in the branch office as well as the Faculty of Mathematics (dean V. Gnuni)
which united the Chairs of Mathematics and social Sciences. The faculties had 5 laboratories
and there were opened cabinets for pedagogy and physics. Later chairs were organized in
Armenian, Russian and foreign languages, petagogy and sports. In parallel with the permanent
academic staff, the renowned academicians S. Mergelyan, n. Arakelyan, G.Bagdasaryan, A.
Bagdoev, G. Sahakyan, E. Chubaryan, D. Sedrakyan, Yu. Vardanyan, R. Avagyan, P.
Bezirganyan , doctor-professor A. Aghzuntsyan , V. Aslanyan, F. Harutyunyan, L. Shahinyan ,
G. Virabyan , V. Gnuni and others worked in the mother higher education institution. At that
time, serious reforms were taking place in the branch. The logistics base of the facility was
If in 1967-1968 the branch had one educational building with eight auditoriums, then in 1978
every faculty branch had its own newly constructed and comfortable educational building.
Students from Artsakh, Georgia, Russia and other countries were living and studying at the
newly renovated student dormitory and invited lecturers were provided with newly built
apartment cottages. Eight laboratories for physics and mathematics educational workshops for
pedagogy and psychology, gym for sport and physical education as well as library reader which
had approximately 40.000 books at that time.
The Department of Elementary Teaching Methodology along with the Departments of Pedagogy
and Psychology were opened in the branch in(since) 1974-1975 academic year.
Pedagogical work of the branch is getting productive and meaningful. In order to make new
professions, professors of the Armenian State Petagogical Institute after Kh. Abovyan, D.
Davtyan, P. Sahakyan, doctors, professors of Yerevan State University E. Chubaryan,
G.Virabyan, Yu. Vardanyan, V. Papoyan, Yu. Ayvazyan, V. Bagdagulyan, N. Yengibaryan, R.
Avagyan and others were invited to give lectures at the branch office. The Education directorate
also undertook the necessary work to train local pedagogical staff, involving advances
graduates and faculty members. Thus, the member of professors with appropriate qualifications
were increasing year by year( L. Minasyan, M. Melumyan, K. Movsisyan, N. Shapaghatyan, G.
Davtyan, R. Musaelyan, E. Mezhlumyan, T. Ayvazyan and others).
After finishing the postgraduate education in the branch office they continue their scientific and
pedagogical work. A new phase begins at the University with solid and assertive foundation of
science education in the 1980s. Based on the requirements for the development of Syunik
regional industry the requirements of the preparation of engineering personnel, the Council of
Ministers’ Resolution of 1984, by the decision of 382 of June 25 Goris Branch of the Armenian
Petagogical Institute after Kh. Abovyan was recognized into the branch of Yerevan Politechnic
Institute, since 1991 the State Engineering University of Armenia. Having a rich experience in
personnel training the brilliant professorial staff , the new branch successfully continues the
preparation of the highest engineering staff. The first director of the Polytechnic branch was
appointed Associate Professor( now Doctor of Economics , Professor )Artak Sahradyan. His
years of leadership were really beneficial for the progressive , development of the branch office.
It is worth mentioning that under his immediate leadership fie professional audiences are
organize in the branch , whose equipment is supplied from different republics of the Soviet
Three new chairs are organized : General Engineering, Industrial Electronics, Machinery
Technology. In the framework of professional orientation, the branch lecturers were sent to
different regions of the republic and Artsakh for the Selection of the corresponding condidates.
At that time, the scientific and educational links between the branch and mother institution
become more effective and closer and regular lessons and exchange of experiences and
In 1989 Yuri Safaryan a PHD in physical Mathematics , was elected director of the Educomplex
(until 2016). Knowing the activities of the local branch Yuri Safaryan is set to improve the
activities of the Educomplex. In that period the branch is again enriched with the scientific and
technical equipment brought from the main university and the Goris physicotechnical
department. Yu. Safaryan involves young scientists with the direct participation of professional
R. Vardanyan, A. Martirosyan and Y. Bagdasaryan in scientific researches. During his
leadership, qualificative changes have been made in contract research programs. In 1989
there were two faculties in the Polytechnic branch which were subsequently recognized into
Goris State University is developing a new stage in the late 1990s this is why today’s university
is conditioned by many aspects. Serious qualitative changes take place in the branch, dictated
by the labor market again opens the Faculty of Pedagogical Humanities, “Armenian Language
and Literature”, “Pedagogy and Methodology”, “History”professions, with corresponding
subdivisions. The branch is replenished with necessary infrastructures. The newly-formed
faculty collects a new academic staff, new students, putting forward different goals and
objectives. B. g.d. professors Alexander Margaryan, Kim Aghabekyan, p.g.d. professor Gevorg
Stepanyan and others are invited to lecture at the university during those years. B.g.d.
associate professor Nina Hovsepyan, m.g.d associate professor Karen Sahakyan, h.g.t.
associate professor Julieta Tunyan, associate professor Hasmik Tunyan, associate professor
Sergey Hakhverdyan and other benefactors have a great role in the formation of new
professions. For many years, acting in the system of authoritative educational institutions of
Armenia, Goris University is a great school of higher education reforms, accumulating a huge
experience of the university system. From 1997 to 1998, the distance learning department is
organized in the university. Based on a school with vibrant and effective traditions ,according to
the Government decision of October 6, 2005, the activities of the Goris branch of the State
Engineering University of Armenia State Non-Profit Organization terminate, and instead it is
created “Goris State University” SNCO as an independent university with a status of a
university. Suren Khachatryan, governor of Syunik (2004-2016) is elected the first president of
the newly established University Governing Board. Realizing its responsibility to society and
history, the University is launching a large-scale educational reform process, aiming at ensuring
the quality of education that meets the needs of the modern labor market. The multilayered
content changes and the challenges resulting from them are followed, of which today the
university is trying to resist. Establishment of the University was an important strategic project
for the development of the province, which was supposed to obtain a stable state educational
institution in a short time, high level of competitiveness, namely leading position on other
universities in the region a stable and sufficient staff of professors, material and technical base
for educational services; favorable conditions for the development of research activities, etc. In
honor of the university professorial staff, it should be noted, that the university, combined with
the best national traditions and international best practices, provides access to and access to
education, has starved excellence and innovative learning and has progressive development in
line with strategic programs. 2005-2006 academic year is marked by the beginning of a new
educational process for Goris State University. Having a new and qualitative education in line
with international standards GSU, as well as a number of Armenian universities, pass two-tier
educational system. From that period up to now , consistent work is being carried out on the
standards of bachelor and master degree programs, the development and implementation of
standards and regulations related to the improvement of the educational process, Since then
the university faculties and chairs have undergone serious rebuilding. In 2007 the Faculty of
History and Law was also formed, new pedagogical professions are being introduced. External
and inter-university connections are expanding. “Interuniversity consortium” foundation has
been operating in Armenia since 2008 on the initiative of ASPU after Kh. Abovyan. (participants:
Gyumri State Pedagogical Institute after M. Nalbandyan (now Shirak State University after M.
Nalbandyan); Vanadzor H. Tumanyan State Pedagogical Institute (currently H. Tumanyan State
University of Vanadzor), Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture, Gavar State University,
Goris State University, National Institute of Education of the Republic of Armenia), the main
purpose of which was to introduce a coordinated and integrated approach to the basic
provisions of the Bologna Agreement in the Pedagogical Higher Education Institutions. Being a
full member of the Consortium, Goris State University has improved its educational process as a
result of cooperation having new curriculums corresponding to the credit-modular system, new
curriculums, curriculum content, matching the grading characteristics and qualification
requirements. Thus, Goris State University has been producing fruitful activity for five decades
and has done a lot of work to provide general education schools and community with qualified
staff. With the establishment of the University in Goris, providing the region with qualified
specialists with higher education, initially aimed at preventing youth outflow from the
region.Strengthening ties with Artsakh and activating public-political consciousness of the
population. Today, Goris State University is a national and regional educational and scientific-
cultural autonomous institution , that demographic, technological, socio-economic, based on
various and multifunctional cultural factors, reassesses and revises its role and responsibility,
tries to increase its competitive advantages and potential.
There is a two-cycle education system (Bachelor, Master’s Degree) in Goris State University.
The bachelor’s degree programs are organized in 14 specialties with 4 year education. The 2-
year Master’s Degree Programs are composed of 12 specializations.Today Goris State
University has 3 faculties (Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Engineering
and Economics, Department of Engineering and Economics), 10 Departments, 1 Sector, 97
Professors, including 8 Doctors of Science, Professor, 32 Candidates, Associate Professors, 57
assistant and lecturer. About 1400 students study at the University.
On February 11, 2016, by the decree of the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic
of Armenia, the Acting Rector of Goris State University was appointed Doctor of Physical and
Mathematical Sciences, Professor Artush Ghukasyan. On June 9, at GSU Council session,
Artush Ghukasyan was unanimously elected to the rector of the Goris State University. 2017
Since February, the head of the GSU Board is Vahe Hakobyan, Syunik Regional Governor.
During the tenure of Artush Ghukasyan, considerable work has been done to improve the
management system of the University, structural subdivisions, changes in modernization
requirements, specialization re-licensing, introduction of new professions and specializations,
improvement of educational process, regulation of internal legal field, financial stabilization,
internationalization of the university and other areas. Significant progress has been made in all
the components of the university (educational, methodological, research, financial, legal, etc.).
New departments have been created, faculties have been reorganized, all the specializations
have been re-licensed. New specialties (“English Language and Literature”, “Fine Arts”, “Law”,
“Management (by industry)”, “Special Pedagogy”, “Tourism Management” in Correspondence
Education) even a reception was held in 2017-2018.
In 2016 Goris State University had a new logo, a new hymn. The official magazine was re-
established (Newsletter of Goris State University). The GSU had a new website that meets
modern media standards – www.gorsu.am.
New achievements have been gained in the field of international cooperation. In 2016, GSU
participated in the Erasmus + international educational program with Erasmus + LNSS
(“Librarian Network Support Services: Library Network Support Services (LNSS):
modernizing libraries in Armenia, Moldova and Belarus through library staff development and
reforming library services), Erasmus + Heritag (Higher Education interdisciplinary Reform in
Tourism management and Applied Geoinformation curricula). Within the frameworks of these
educational programs, GSU Coordinators and Employees meet with the faculty and university
staff of universities in a number of European countries. The trainings and workshops are being
carried out and are still in the process of modernizing the library business. The result of the
project is the renovated and up-to-date reading hall of the GSU, which already serves the
students with their academic requirements. Today, at the stage of re-evaluating world civilization
values and reforming and upgrading the educational system, the University has undertaken a
great mission and responsibility to modernize its educational content and realistic solutions to
the problems. The University has always been focusing on the development of educational
reforms as a guide to the implementation of the Bologna principles in the higher professional
field of the Republic of Armenia in two directions: the development of theoretical provisions and
practical inputs that have been of continuous nature. Institutional accreditation of GSU through
the improvement of the quality of education is in progress. Quality assurance from the
requirements of modernity is a continuous process and is the main function of the university.
Certainly, in the future, researchers and yearbooks will write more detailed history of Goris State
University and through it the part of the 1600-year history of Syunik’s schooling will be