By Rasana Gasimova
UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Azerbaijan Baroness Emma Nicholson has praised exchange of experience between London and Baku in the spheres of education and social protection.
Speaking at the international conference hosted by the British Council on October 31, Baroness Nicholson said that the British Council wants to build long-term partnerships through the Higher Education for Employability program, help to make real changes, increase the knowledge and skills of graduates, and develop their global market potential.
“I believe that ensuring the transition of graduates from university life to work is the most effective investment in the future. As part of its partnership with the UK, Azerbaijan is contributing to the successful resolution of employment issues. The UK approves the initiatives of partners in Azerbaijan, particularly, the Ministry of Education and various civil and public organizations,” the Baroness said.
She said that mutual integration of the countries’ educational systems, the use of UK resources and its experience helps build bridges between the countries.
She also recalled her meeting with President Ilham Aliyev, saying it was very fruitful and positive.
Speaking at the event, Samr Shah, the director of British Council Azerbaijan said that the conference aims to explore ways to increase alumni employment, develop employment skills, ensure competitiveness in the local and global business world, and create a continuous data collection mechanism to track results. In addition, the British Council intends to create a platform with partners from the United Kingdom and Azerbaijan to exchange experience and discuss issues related to the monitoring of high school graduates.
He added that the event is a great opportunity to develop further cooperation between the United Kingdom and Azerbaijan and to contribute to the long-term economic development of the country. It will help the new education program gain a favorable position in the current higher education environment in Azerbaijan for the benefit of future generations of graduates.
Speaking at the conference, Education Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said that the employment of graduates and the formation of human capital are the basis of Azerbaijan’s statehood. Azerbaijani government always pays special attention to the education development. He emphasized that the ultimate goal is to strengthen the knowledge-based economy by turning oil capital into human capital.
The minister also said that Azerbaijan’s education system is integrated into the global education system. The young people trained under the “State Program on Education of Azerbaijani Youth Abroad 2007-2015” are currently successfully working in public and private institutions. The Azerbaijani-French University (UFAZ), created at the initiative of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and France, is a vivid example of
Bayramov noted that the Azerbaijani Ministry of Education is always focusing on studying advanced world experience in the educational field, expanding international cooperation in this area, particularly with the UK, implementing various projects together with the British Council. In recent years, more than 10 projects and over 100 events have been implemented with the organization.
“Nowadays, the labor market demands are rapidly changing. It is very important to hold such events, to receive recommendations from international experts in this field, exchange ideas with university leaders, organize roundtables and discussions to better prepare students for the future labor market. The main purpose of today's event is to bring students into the future labor market and increase performance in this area, “the minister said.
The conference participants discussed opportunities for strategic cooperation and exchange of experience between universities and business organizations of the two countries. The British Council's Higher Education for Employability program has also been launched in Azerbaijan.
British Ambassador to Azerbaijan, representatives of UK and Azerbaijani universities, companies interested in establishing partnerships also attended the event.
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