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Jacqueline Karaaslanian announces about termination of LUYS Foundation activities

10 May, 2018 YEREVAN, MAY 10, ARMENPRESS. Founding Executive Director of Luys Foundation of LUYS Foundation Jacqueline Karaaslanian has announced about the termination of the activities of the Foundation. ARMENPRESS reports Jacqueline Karaaslanian posted an open letter on the Facebbok page of the Foundation, which runs as follows,

“Nine years ago exactly, then President Serzh Sargsyan and Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan of Armenia offered me the opportunity to head LUYS, their newly created and visionary Education Foundation. The goal was to grow a generation of critical thinkers and innovators to ensure that Armenia will thrive and participate on an equal footing with leading nations.

Giving youth access to the best education meant empowering them to question everything and become agents of change for the country. Our LUYS Website went live on May 9th 2009 and we started granting scholarships to Armenian students accepted at the world’s top universities.

LUYS has been one of the greatest adventures in my life. I began my work in education with the Centre Mondial Informatique et Resources Humaines, a program supported by Francois Mitterrand, France’s President at the time, in order to bring technology education to every citizen in the world. I then joined the founding members of MIT’s Media Lab lead by Nicholas Negroponte along with 12 exceptional world Scientists such as Seymour Papert and Marvin Minsky, the founding fathers of Artificial Intelligence. The MIT Media Lab researchers and scholars are often described as the inventors of the Future obsessed with making the world a better place.

Learning combined with action to create positive change is the MIT Know-how that I brought into Luys. I was blessed to work with the most amazing, daring and diverse group of passionate Armenian scholars and scientists, some 550 of them engaging in building the new knowledge economy of the Republic of Armenia.

Today, I wish to express my deep gratitude to the Founders of LUYS, its Scholars, my incredibly smart and dedicated Staff, the many Advisers and Friends and the community we created together. What an enriching experience it has been to work and continuously learn and grow with you all.

During these past weeks Armenia has been the center of the world’s attention for an unparalleled set of events that lead to a change of government while keeping peace and understanding on all sides. This incredible accomplishment is to be credited to all who now stand together to imagine and build the future of Armenia.

“Armenia rewards the Bold”. This is the best description and tag line that comes to my mind and that I am borrowing from GK Brand Armenia.

Today May 10th 2018 is the day that the Luys Staff and myself have been asked to cease our work serving the LUYS Foundation. I wish to reassure all present scholars and already registered ones for 2018-2019 that their scholarships will be honored. Official communications will issue further information.

Change is growth. It always comes with a shift of mindsets and power. It teaches us to let go, give and create. As the Luys motto would state; Learn, Do, Co-create. LUYS has delivered on its promise during these past nine years. Today a new era is born.

Let us all remember that Knowledge is power and shows the path to prosperity when it is combined with the language of peace and trust. Armenia must continue investing in education.

Investing in Knowledge and Youth is our only way to building a thriving Armenia. I firmly believe that education is the solution to every present and emerging global challenge.

Today, I take leave of LUYS with gratitude to all my fellow Armenians and always with trust in the future ahead”.

ENGLISH: Editor/Translator – Tigran Sirekanyan


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From Light To Bright: Luys Foundation Continues Making Ties Between Armenian Students And Best Universities

EDUCATION | 08.02.13 | 12:57

Photo: Luys Foundation

By JULIA HAKOBYAN ArmeniaNow Deputy Editor

This year, the Luys Foundation for the 5th time will grant scholarships to Armenian students, providing them with a chance to study at any of the world's ten best universities, including Cambridge, Harvard, Oxford, Columbia and UCLA.

Enlarge Photo Jacqueline Karaaslanian

Enlarge Photo

The foundation, established in 2008 under the patronage of the Armenian president, aims to increase the number of Armenian students attending the best universities worldwide, thus establishing a generation of high qualified Armenian specialists with progressive and creative thinking.

Any Armenian (from Armenia or abroad) between 18-40, who succeeds in admitting to a full time degree-granting academic program (Bachelor, Master, PhD) at one of the Luys selected ten universities can apply to Luys Foundation, which would cover up to 50 percent of all expenses.

The Luys ( "light") scholars are obliged to a number of duties and assume some responsibilities, which includes initiating and conducting summer projects with the foundation, run seminars, participate in Develop Armenia Program in Armenia, become mentors to young students in Armenia, join or create an Armenian students association within the university.

Being a Luys scholar however, does not oblige alumni to return to Armenia, a fact that may raise some concerns in the country, where officials themselves express concerns over the high rate of brain drain. In fact Luys is the only Armenia-based organization which does not oblige alumni to come back.

However Jacqueline Karaaslanian, Luys Foundation's Education Executive Director, has another vision on the idea of returning to the homeland and on the advantages of using the acquired knowledge to the benefit of Armenia.

"The idea is that the concept of brain drain does not exist any longer in the world, which develops very fast, creating new challenges and opportunities. Today every country speaks rather of brain circulation.

Its all about knowledge, its about a person and his keyboard and no matter where you are sitting. The real question nowadays should not be "where is your office?" but " are you working with Armenia?," Karaaslanian said.

"If you look at people as 'hostages', nothing good will comes out of this, they will be thinking about how to escape and one day they will.

But if you don't oblige them to return, they will think about how to justify the confidence entrusted to them. Luys's mission is to develop the network of people who acquired the habit of working with Armenia and linking their work and ideas to Armenia. Armenia is the heart of the Armenian society, Luys is a structure, which unites Armenians around education and we make really huge efforts to establish and keep this link. This means wherever you are, you do not go beyond the Armenian world."

Karaaslanian believes that Armenian alumni will become a part of global intellectuals, will become the decision makers, rather than observers, in all areas, from politics to culture to education.

"I believe the real results we will see may be in some 5 years, when Armenian alumni will be at top of powerful organizations, hopefully most of them in Armenia."

Between 2009 and 2012 the number of Luys students and alumni reached 257; 168 of them are currently studying. Over 50 percent of alumni are back to Armenia, the others are engaged in various organizations throughout the world, including such powerful corporations such as Google , Microsoft, Amazon.

One of the Luys's scholars Sahakanush Sargsyan, who obtained Master of Education degree (Comparative and International Education) at Columbia University, says without Luys support she would hardly be able to afford two-year's education at the prestigious university.

Sargsyan learned about Luys scholarship from her fellows, while studying at the Romance-Germanic philology faculty at Yerevan State University.

"Due to my study, I acquired a new profession, and upon returning I found a job where I can realize my knowledge. As for Luys, besides the scholarship, the best thing about it is the idea of Luys network, which unites students and alumni and when you are part of such a system, it makes you feel differerent," says Sargsyan, 26, now an expert at the Yerevan based Bologna Secretariat.

Another scholar, Stepan Khzrtian who obtained a Commercial LL.M degree from the University of Cambridge, said soon upon graduation he got a preliminary job proposal from a company in New York. But he preferred to return and work in Armenia. Eventually he found a job at Luys Foundation and now is guiding alumni in the Armenian labor market, introducing them to potential perspectives, helping to make a proper choice.

"I spent about 3 months seeking for a job which would meet my professional interests. Now, I am supporting our alumni to do the same without the wait," says Khzrtian.

"The education we obtain gives us the opportunity to see the world as a global working field. Luys Students are highly mobile. Regardless of where we are, we strive to connect the best Armenian resources abroad with the possibilities in Armenia."

Another Luys mission, which, Karaaslanian said should not be underestimated, is the Develop Armenia Program- the creation of an environment where students and alumni get a chance to brainstorm together, exchange ideas and eventually to built collective intelligence.

"Luys is not only helping to get good education, it gives the chance to discover each other's strengths, to learn to trust each other and to learn how to work together. What the Luys student is obligated to, is that when they have mastered in the university, they come up with the report, or a project, which they will implement in summer, that should present the most attractive and exiting part of their education experience."

Each summer Luys scholars and their mentees, high school and university students, come together in Armenia for one month to work in groups throughout Armenia and Artsakh. In such environment they try to identify the challenges the local community needs and come up with creative solutions, collective thinking and activities that address those needs.

"The best consolidation today is the unity of Armenian students and knowledge," says Karaaslanian.