Support to the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan for Further Adherence of the Higher Education System to the European Higher Education Area

News & Events

13 Mar

RTA Blog on Crucial Moments of the Project

Azerbaijan EHEA Twinning project has now been going on for 18 months. We have made good progress towards the general objective and purpose of the project. Let me remind you again the jointly defined overall objective - to further develop Azerbaijan’s higher education system through integration to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) - and the purpose - to increase the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Education and other key institutions for the development of Bologna-related policies and the implementation of the EHEA objectives and reference tools.

It is not easy to assess and prove the development of a higher education system, let alone the contribution of still on-going project. Much work has been done, in any case, to promote the integration to the EHEA. European, mainly Finnish and Estonian, experts have spent this far 345 days in Azerbaijan working together with local colleagues. Seven Azerbaijani experts made one-week study visit to Helsinki and Tallinn and two officials of the Accreditation and Nostrification Office (ANO), spent two weeks in internships in FINEEC and EKKA. Further on, the establishment of ANO, is an important step in the closer integration of Azerbaijan higher education in the EHEA.

The case of increasing institutional capacity in the Ministry and in the key higher education institutions is easier to prove. The project has this far arranged about 100 meetings (seminars, workshops, trainings and interviews) which have been participated by in total 553 Azerbaijani higher education experts, many of them in several meetings. New expertise is emerging in the Ministry, ANO and the key universities, on quality assurance of higher education and EHEA principles and instruments.

Critical moments of the EHEA Twinning project are still ahead despite almost a half year is left. Three Azerbaijani universities were selected and their staff has been trained for pilot evaluations. The purpose is to test in practice the European quality assurance criteria and methods developed for Azerbaijani higher education. The pilot universities have made self-evaluation reports and evaluation teams composed of local and European experts are now preparing site-visits to pilot universities. They will take place in next month! In June, the Twinning project will arrange a seminar where the outcomes will be discussed between evaluators and pilot universities. Thereafter, the experts will make their final recommendations to the Ministry, ANO and universities.