Number of Azerbaijani students abroad revealed
By Fatima Hasanova
Many remember with nostalgia the times when higher education was completely free and available to anyone who had the necessary knowledge and was ready to work hard. Now, despite the growth in the state-funded quota, most students go to fee-based universities.
As figures of the State Examination Centre for 2021-2022 reveal, 21,856 school leavers (including 920 sub-bachelors) received the right to education under the state quotas, and 23,005 (including 5,890 sub-bachelors) - on a paid basis.
As part of the state program for studying abroad, over 500 students currently study at foreign universities. Students study mainly in priority specialties for the country. In total, over 10,000 students study outside of Azerbaijan under state and intergovernmental quotas.
Today in Azerbaijan, under the state quota, there are two forms of education abroad. The first type of study abroad is carried out by the Ministry of Education, i.e. at the expense of scholarships allocated to citizens of Azerbaijan on the basis of bilateral agreements on cooperation in the field of education. The second form is education abroad within the framework of the "State Program for the Education of Azerbaijani Youth in 2022-2026", approved by a presidential decree.
Currently, under this quota, over 572 Azerbaijani students study abroad. In addition, 789 students study on the basis of bilateral agreements on cooperation in education. Azerbaijani students study in such countries as Turkiye, China, Russia, the UK, Germany, France, Canada, Netherlands, Korea, Sweden, Australia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Singapore, etc.
The reason why Azerbaijanis prefer to study abroad is not only the desire limited to our compatriots but universal one to get competitive knowledge to define his/her future and be conducive to their countries. However, it is believed that if some representatives of Azerbaijani youth prefer to study abroad, this is not a consequence of the supposedly low level of education in the country.
Today Azerbaijan has a significant number of universities where education is carried out at the European level. The interest of Azerbaijani students in going to foreign universities is caused by simple curiosity, that is, they want to get acquainted with the living conditions of foreigners, their customs, and traditions. We can say that this is purely human psychology. On the other hand, parents of students often complain that the cost of education in Azerbaijan is too high, while in some other countries, it is more affordable, which motivates students to study abroad.
Speaking about faculties Azerbaijani students, who prefer to study abroad, the options are very different. We must bear in mind that there is the desire of the students themselves coupled with plans and plans of the state. If we refer to the preferences of the state, the Education Commission under the President of Azerbaijan stated that those students, who chose specialties in the fields of medicine, chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics, will have an advantage in admission to foreign universities.
As for the desire of representatives of the Azerbaijani youth, 80 percent of students prefer to study humanities and social sciences. Basically, 26.9 percent of Azerbaijani students study medicine abroad, 15 percent study humanities and social sciences, 8.6 percent study information technology, 5.6 percent study science, 2.4 percent study in the service sector, two percent in agriculture and construction. It should be noted that when entering foreign universities within the framework of bilateral agreements on cooperation in the field of education, Azerbaijani students are allocated a hostel for living, they receive a scholarship, and once a year they can use air transport for free in order to fly to their homeland. The cost of food is covered by the students themselves at the expense of the scholarships they receive.
As for students studying under the "State Program for the Education of Azerbaijani Youth in 2022-2026, all their expenses are covered by the Azerbaijani Oil Fund (free education, accommodation, insurance, etc.)
Some 6,100 foreign students study at universities. They are citizens from 47 countries - Turkiye, Russia, Iran, China, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, India, Georgia, Egypt, South Korea, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Finland, the Philippines, Japan, Croatia, and Saudi Arabia. Foreign students study in Azerbaijani, English, or Russian languages.
The largest contingent of foreign students is at the Azerbaijani Medical University. 1,142 foreign students study at this educational institution, 920 students at the Institute of Construction and Architecture, 831 students at the Baku State University, about 600 students at the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy, and over 500 students at the Azerbaijani State Economy University. At the same time, it should be noted that foreign students do not show interest in technical specialties.
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