Education in Azerbaijan

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Azerbaijani students studying in Paris in 1920

Education in Azerbaijan is regulated by the Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan.


In the pre-Soviet period, Azerbaijani education included intensive Islamic religious training that commenced in early childhood. Beginning at roughly age five and sometimes continuing until age twenty, children attended madrasahs, education institutions affiliated with mosques. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, madrasahs were established as separate education institutions in major cities, but the religious component of education remained significant. In 1865 the first technical high school and the first women's high school were opened in Baku. In the late nineteenth century, secular elementary schools for Azerbaijanis began to appear (schools for ethnic Russians had been established earlier), but institutions of higher education and the use of the Azerbaijani language in secondary schools were forbidden in Transcaucasia throughout the tsarist period. The majority of ethnic Azerbaijani children received no education in this period, and the Azerbaijani literacy rate remained very low, especially among women. Few women were allowed to attend school.

In the Soviet era, literacy and average education levels rose dramatically from their very low starting point, despite two changes in the script, from Arabic to Latin in the 1920s and from Latin to Cyrillic in the 1930s. According to Soviet data, 100 percent of males and females (ages nine to forty-nine) were literate in 1970. According to the United Nations Development Program Report 2009, the literacy rate in Azerbaijan is 99.5 percent.[1]

During the Soviet period, the Azerbaijani education system was based on the standard model imposed by Moscow, which featured state control of all education institutions and heavy doses of Marxist–Leninist ideology at all levels.

Since independence, one of the first laws that Azerbaijan's Parliament passed was to adopt a modified-Latin alphabet to replace Cyrillic.[2] Other than that the Azerbaijani system has undergone little structural change. Initial alterations have included the reestablishment of religious education (banned during the Soviet period) and curriculum changes that have reemphasized the use of the Azerbaijani language and have eliminated ideological content. In addition to elementary schools, the education institutions include thousands of preschools, general secondary schools, and vocational schools, including specialized secondary schools and technical schools. Education through the ninth grade is compulsory. At the end of the Soviet period, about 18 percent of instruction was in Russian, but the use of Russian began a steady decline beginning in 1988. Today English and Russian are taught as second or third languages.

Education system in the Republic of Azerbaijan[edit]

Education in Azerbaijan is regarded as an area of activity that constitutes the basis for the development of the society and the state, which has a strategic precaution and superiority. In the Republic of Azerbaijan, the educational system has a democratic, secular character and its basis is national and international values. All citizens are entitled to 11 years of compulsory general secondary education. The right to education is the fundamental right of citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan. This was established in the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and in the Education Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Article 42 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan states that the right of citizens to be educated is determined as follows:

  • Every citizen has the right to education;
  • The state grants free compulsory general secondary education;
  • The state controls the education system;
  • The State guarantees the education of talented persons without regard to their material condition;
  • The government sets minimum educational standards;
  • Everyone has the right to education in the framework of the state standard;
  • It is guaranteed that all citizens have the right to education in Azerbaijan irrespective of differences such as nationality, religion, race, language, sex, age, health and social status, activity area, place of residence and political views.


Azerbaijani is the main language of education in the schools of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani is the official language of the country.

Diplomas and certificates[edit]

Graduates who have completed their education and have successfully completed the examinations and diplomas are presented with a uniform state document certifying their profession and their degree. The training document is the basis for starting work and moving to the new step. Documents related to the education presented are: Certificate of scholarship, diploma, professional master diploma, diploma, bakalavr, master and doctoral diploma over the "small expert" category, certificate for increasing specialization, diploma related to re-training.

Education programs[edit]

In Azerbaijan, the education system consists of graduated educational programs, educational institutions networks, the governing bodies of the education system and other institutions dealing with education and training. Management, as part of the function of an excellent system with various characteristics, ensures that some of its structures are preserved, the regime of operation, the program and its objectives are carried out successfully. A system of government agencies and community self-governing bodies is being established to manage education. These organizations operate within the framework of competence set out in the education legislation and are in undertakings with non-binding laws. Educational administration The Education Act is balanced by the rules and programs of appropriate legislation and educational institutions and is based on international experience. The Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Education and the local educational institutions are the main subjects of the administration of the education system. Local government agencies, related scientific-pedagogical communities, professional-creativity associations, societies, socio-political institutions and societies participate in the management of educational institutions. In the management process, the Ministry of Education's mission can be generalized to the following aspects: Identification of the most important problems in the education system, as well as the degree of importance of their resolution, as well as the assessment of the environment surrounding them for analysis and prediction; ensuring that the system is legally documented so that the process is carried out regularly and the quality is improved; The analysis and estimation is carried out, the results are presented to the group of officers who receive the decision; The preparation and realization of the national strategic program related to education and the organization of national education standards; Statistical and forecasting and monitoring of included indicators; to make methodical services, to ensure that everyone enjoys them; Establishment and development of continuous relations with other sectors and states;

Introducing all kinds of assistance to local education branches and educational institutions, new ideas and proposals put forward about their education plans and programs, textbooks and the strategy of educational materials; Making innovation experiences and ensuring positive results, their support and wide-ranging implementation; Gathering information about the entire system, setting up private data banks, identifying deviations and eliminating them in the short run; provision of financing of the education sector (private and state); Taking effective measures to make investments in the system; social defense of the education system associates; Citizens are crammed for uninterrupted education, the elderly are being educated, the right to educate everyone; the application of principles and procedures and other contemporary mechanisms of decentralization in the administration;Continual improvement of the infrastructure of educational institutions, meeting all kinds of needs. Studies conducted in the Ministry serve the following purposes: The responsibilities and objectives of the Ministry of Education, local education branches, educational institutions, parents, community, private sector, government and non-governmental organizations (within the scope of the priority of the country's education system in the area of stock and production objects) Supported; Establishing a mutual relationship between the participants of the various stages of the education system and raising the level of participation according to them, improving the qualifications and improving the relations between the prospective officers and their overseas colleagues; Providing appropriate management, infrastructure and technical facilities for the fulfillment of essential tasks in the education system; censorship of various colleagues from foreign countries for the implementation of recent innovations and the resulting developed experience; continuous assistance to the development of the education system through the strengthening of the knowledge base, analysis systems, liaison channels and development mechanism; Establishment of supportive opportunities and learning of developmental problems; Mobilization of all possibilities to reach the ultimate goals. The ministry's advisory bodies - the Executive Board of the Ministry, the Rectors' Council and the pedagogical publications participate in the management of the education system. Scientific-Methodical Central Responsible for the Ministry's Educational Problems Provides educational and methodological guarantees of the central schools. Azerbaijan Scientific Research Institute of Pedagogical Sciences is operating. This institute plays a major role in the field of education improvement, renovation, and is doing basic research in the field of pedagogical sciences. There are "Education Councils" at local educational institutions and branches and scientific and pedagogical councils at educational institutions.


E-Learning Room at Khazar University.

There are 36 state-run and 15 private universities in Azerbaijan. The ministry-released reports state that in 2009 20,953 undergraduate students and 3,526 graduate students entered in universities nationwide. Currently, there are 104,925 undergraduate and graduate students, studying in higher education institutions, excluding the specialized higher education schools. Universities employ 11,566 professors and 12,616 faculty members in the country.[3] Because Azerbaijani culture has always included great respect for secular learning, the country traditionally has been an education center for the Muslim peoples of the former Soviet Union. For that reason and because of the role of the oil industry in Azerbaijan's economy, a relatively high percentage of Azerbaijanis have obtained some form of higher education, most notably in scientific and technical subjects.[4] Several vocational institutes train technicians for the oil industry and other primary industries.

The most popular institutions of higher education are the Baku State University, Azerbaijan State Oil Academy (ASOA), Qafqaz University, Khazar University, Azerbaijan Technical University, the Pedagogical Institute, Mirza Fath Ali Akhundzade Pedagogical Institute for Languages, Azerbaijan Medical University, Uzeyir Hajibayov Baku Academy of Music. Much scientific research, which during the Soviet period dealt mainly with enhancing oil production and refining, is carried out by Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, which was established in 1945.

Baku State University (the University of Azerbaijan, established in 1919) includes more than a dozen departments, ranging from physics to Oriental studies, and has the largest library in Azerbaijan. The student population numbers more than 11,000, and the faculty over 600. The Institute of Petroleum and Chemistry, established in 1920, has more than 15,000 students and a faculty of about 1,000. The institute trains engineers and scientists in the petrochemical industry, geology, and related areas.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Human Development Report 2009" (PDF). United Nations Development Program 2009. Retrieved 2009.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ "Education in Azerbaijan, The Challenges of Transition". Azerbaijan International. Retrieved Winter 1996.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ "ALİ VƏ ORTA İXTİSAS TƏHSİLİ SAHƏSİ ÜZRƏ 2009-CU İLDƏ GÖRÜLMÜŞ İŞLƏRƏ DAİR HESABAT" [Report on Works in Secondary and Higher Education Sector in 2009]. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  4. ^ "Azerbaijan: A Country Study, Education, Health, and Welfare". Country Studies. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website

External links[edit]