Higher Education in Azerbaijan
In Azerbaijan, Higher education institutions for all levels of education may be state (public) and private. Educational institutions have equal status, regardless of ownership or founder’s identity. The State ensures the development of all educational institutions, including the private educational institutions, through giving them credits, allocating grants, and granting concessions to state educational institutions in accordance with the legislation.
Establishment and operation of educational institutions, both state and private, is monitored by the Ministry of Education and competent authorities. Any educational institution should receive a special permit (license) from the respective executive authority (Ministry of Economics) under the established legislation in order to provide educational activities. State educational institutions are issued special permanent permits (license). Private educational institutions founded by the individuals and legal entities of the Azerbaijan Republic are issued special permits (license) for a 5-year period.
Following the Recommendation of the European Commission (2006) and adoption by the European Parliament of the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (2007), a Working Group on elaboration of the National Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning of the Republic of Azerbaijan (AzQF) was established in 2010 by the Order of the Minister of Education of Azerbaijan. In 2012 the draft AzQF was submitted to the Council of Europe for expertise. At present, the final version of the AzQF is submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan for approval.
Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning of the Republic of Azerbaijan is a tool for systematizing national qualifications, developed for all citizens - learners, education providers and employers and serves to facilitate the comparability between national and international qualifications.
The AzQF is conceptually developed in compliance with the criteria of the Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area (QF-EHEA) and the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (EQF).
The objectives of the AzQF are the following:
- Improve the quality and transparency of qualifications;
- Provide unified requirements for defining and assessing education standards and learning outcomes related to qualifications;
- Take into account the existing needs of the society and labour market when defining qualifications, and hence improve national economic performance and promote relations between education and training sectors and the labour market;
- Align national qualifications and qualifications levels with the QF-EHEA and the EQF;
- Support and promote the lifelong learning of Azerbaijani citizens, as well as promote non-formal and informal learning;
- Support the national and international mobility of learners and workers through increased recognition of the quality and international comparability of qualifications awarded in Azerbaijan, as well as through improving the competitiveness and mobility of human resources;
- Ensure the coherence of reforms in different sectors of education and training.
Higher education is governed by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The Cabinet of Ministers decides the education strategy, supervises implementation of the Law on Education and the relevant legislative acts and documents, as well as defines the regulations for the establishment, restructuring and liquidation of higher education institutions. Moreover, the Cabinet of Ministers establishes, restructures and closes vocational institutions, as well as approves the list of qualifications, education regulations and rules. It also makes certain proposals on the development of the budget and funds for the development of education and defines state standards for education funding, as well as regulations for scholarship and salary payment.
The Ministry of Education is the central executive body governing the education system of the country. It participates in the development and implementation of the state policy for education.