The seminar discussed about Azerbaijani Qualifications Framework (the AzQF). AfQF is a new tool to classify and manage Azerbaijani Qualifications. Qualifications in the international understanding are certificates, diplomas and other awards, formally issued documents that acknowledge that a person has achieved learning outcomes that are described in standards. In Azerbaijan these are normally state educational standards. The Azerbaijani Qualifications Framework (the AzQF) has been prepared in the Ministry of Education with the Ministry of Labour and Social Services and other Ministries and stakeholders. Also international partners like the TWINNING EHEA project and the European Training Foundation (ETF) have been contributing in the process. The AzQF is now prepared so far that it should be adopted this year.
A number of educational standards and curricula clearly define learning outcomes but this will have to change once the AZQF is adopted. Learning outcomes are statements that describe what a person is expected to know and able to due at the end of a learning process. Learning outcomes are the basis for moving Azerbaijan towards a competency based education system. The ways these learning outcomes can be obtained, are verified and assessed is also changing how state educational standards should be used. There need to be more flexible ways of learning, while assessment and certification needs to carefully quality assured.
Moreover, in the future it is important that standards are defined on clearly identified needs. This means that the link with the labour market will need to be improved. Finally, learning outcomes and the AZQF are instruments for comparing qualifications from Azerbaijan with those of other countries in order to facilitate mobility.
The seminar started by looking at the AZQF in an international and lifelong learning context and discussed how all these issues should be developed and implemented once the AZQF is approved. Thereafter the seminar divided into two separate directions. One group focused on the implications for higher education, through the Bologna Process and the integration of Azerbaijan in the European Higher Education Area. The other group of stakeholders focused on vocational education and adult learning with a clear labour market orientation.