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

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17 Apr

Blog on Pilot Evaluations II

About a week ago I was declaring that our Twinning project is making history. That was because our project had started testing whether and how the European criteria and methods of higher education quality evaluation can be applied in Azerbaijani universities and the first of the three pilot evaluations had been implemented successfully in Azerbaijan state economic university.

Now I must confess that I do not know whether I should declare that we are making more history or state that history is repeating itself. Anyway, the second of the three pilot evaluations, in Azerbaijan State Pedagogical University was implemented successfully last week. Again, the international evaluation team was very professional and well prepared. And again, the university people, about 80 of whom were interviewed, were well prepared and actively participating. This was the second time when experience proved that European evaluation methods and criteria can be used in Azerbaijan higher education. And, even more, despite contrary assumptions, student members in the evaluation team proved to be valuable and competent members in evaluation teams!

The last pilot evaluation will take place next week in Azerbaijan Technical University, by a new team but with similar composition (3 + 3, including one student) as the previous teams. It is exciting to see the outcomes. Not only in terms of the final expert recommendations which will be based on the experience from the local universities, but in terms of Azerbaijan higher education and the future reform of its accreditation criteria and methods. The new Accreditation and Nostrification Office (ANO) will face the challenge and a great opportunity of implementation.