There are 51 universities in Azerbaijan, 36 run by the state and 15 private. Currently there over 100,000 undergraduate and graduate students studying at universities there. Universities employ over 11,000 instructors. Azerbaijani culture’s respect for learning has led the country to be a center of learning for the Muslim people. As a result, a reasonably large percentage of Azerbaijanis have obtained some sort of higher education, typically in scientific or technical subjects, often oil industry technologies.
The more significant universities include:
- Baku State University,
- Azerbaijan State Oil Academy (ASOA),
- Qafqaz University,
- Khazar University,
- Azerbaijan Technical University,
- Mirza Fath Ali Akhundzade Pedagogical Institute for Languages,
- Azerbaijan Medical University,
- Uzeyir Hajibayov Baku Academy of Music, and
- Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences
Baku State University (the University of Azerbaijan) was established in 1919 and offers coursework in over a dozen areas, from physics to Oriental studies. It is also home of the largest library in the country.
According to the Azerbaijan Ministry of Education, Students from over 50 countries worldwide are currently studying for Bachelors, Masters, Postgraduate and Doctorate degrees in the country’s educational institutes.
Ministry regulations covering those wishing to study at universities of Azerbaijan are implemented within several contexts:
- intergovernmental agreements, cultural and scientific cooperation plans between Azerbaijan and foreign countries;
- agreements signed between the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan and education establishments and public organizations of foreign countries;
- direct agreements signed between education establishments; and
- scholarships established by non-governmental and charity organizations.
The study of international students at state expense may be arranged within student exchange agreements between university and education establishments of foreign countries based on the notification from the ministry, committee and head of establishment that the relevant institution is subordinated to. The tuition fee of overseas students is defined and approved by the Ministry of Education in accordance with proposals of universities.
Because the majority of international students who want to study in Azerbaijan are not fluent in both Azeri and Russian languages (the main languages used at university), students are admitted to the relevant school only after submitting a document certifying their completion of language preparation courses preparing them for study.
At the end of their language preparation study, students take exams resulting on successful completion in a certificate. From that point on, students can study at the university level either on a fee-paid basis or at state expense in accordance with notifying the Ministry of Education.
Areas of Study
According to the Ministry, international students typically choose specialties such as international relations or international economic relations, Azeri language and literature, Russian language and literature, international business, and development and exploitation of oil and gas well, oil and gas engineering, etc.
The Ministry says international students are studying in the universities of Azerbaijan in the following specialties needed for their countries:
- Medicine: 15%
- Economics and Management: 11%
- Culture and Art: 3%
- Agriculture: 1%
- Engineering – Technical construction: 33%
- Humanities (international relations, international law, regional studies, European studies, history, political science, sociology, philosophy, journalism, foreign language): 19%
- Pedagogy: 18%