The wrapping up of the successful two-year Estonian-Finnish cooperation project in Azerbaijan

31 August saw the end of a Finnish-Estonian twinning project in Azerbaijan aiming at supporting the Azerbaijani Ministry for Education in advancing the quality of higher education and its integration with the European higher education area.

The project was led by the Finnish assessment agency Kansallinen Koulutuksen Arviontikeskus (KARVI), with EKKA acting as junior partner.

During the two project years 33 experts from Finland and Estonia as well as Germany and Latvia shared their most valuable knowledge and experience with the 602 individual participants in 36 training sessions and 42 workshops, on top of that 14 Azerbaijani higher education experts took part in study visits to Finland, Estonia and Brussels.

With the support provided by the twinning partners, the Azerbaijani higher education legislation was brought up to date, an implementation plan was devised for the Azerbaijani qualifications framework and discussions were held on the possibilities for harmonising principles for the recognition of studies conducted abroad. Standards and guidelines for the assessment of higher education compliant with the respective principles of the European higher education area were devised in cooperation with the newly established Azerbaijani quality assessment agency and higher education institutions participating in the project as well as a pilot round of assessments conducted in three national universities.

The most outstanding project outcome however is the fact that the regulations drafted on the basis of standards and guidelines used in the European higher education area were adopted by the Azerbaijani Ministry for Education and are currently pending adoption by the government.

The closing conference of the project held on 29 August was opened by the Deputy Minister for Education Jeyhun Bahramov and the representative of the EU delegation in Azerbaijan Jeroen Willems. The presentation of project outcomes was followed by a lively discussion, raising, among other things, the question of the sustainability of development activities and implementation of agreements after the end of the project. The Deputy Head of the Higher Education and Research Department of the Ministry assured the participants of the willingness of the Ministry to invest in follow-up activities.  The fact that the Azerbaijani Ministry for Education submitted an application to the EU for the launch of a follow-up project focusing on developing outcome- and  learning-centred approaches in higher education as well as a system for internal and external quality assessment of study programmes, is testament to the effectiveness of the finished twinning project.

More about the project, a few photos on FB

An interview with the Aserbaijani Vice Minister Jeyhun Bayramov: