Universities in Azerbaijan have significant need for American academics in priority disciplines to assist in curriculum development and to share their knowledge of current teaching methodologies. Applicants should have at least three years of university teaching experience or the professional equivalent (about six years of professional experience if not in academia). The academic year consists of two four-month semesters, which usually begin in mid-September and mid-February. Grantees are placed at both public and private universities in Baku, Ganja, and Sumgayit. Conversational Azerbaijani, Turkish, or Russian is recommended, but not required.
Background on Education in Azerbaijan:
Azerbaijan has a multifaceted history, including two periods of independence bracketing seven decades in which it was part of the Soviet Union. Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, it shares borders with Russia, Georgia, Iran, Armenia, and the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan is a secular constitutional democracy, in which the President holds ultimate executive authority and Parliament serves as an administrative power with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Cabinet of Ministers governing the centralized education system. While educational strategies, amendments and legislative matters regarding education are controlled by the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Education is the primary entity responsible for development and implementation of state-wide educational policies.
In Azerbaijan, “university” refers to a four-year entity offering a Bachelor's (Bakalvr) as well as Master’s (Magistr) degree, while “colleges” offer two-year vocational education, and “institutes” are four-year education bodies only offering a Bachelor’s degree. Management responsibilities within each higher education institution are divided between appointed rector, vice-rector and departmental deans.
Higher education in Azerbaijan is based on the Soviet model, and many of the institutions still have structures and operations based on the Soviet system, despite almost 30 years of independence. Top-down management and corruption within universities have impeded progress. Efforts at engaging in the Bologna process and Erasmus have aided student mobility to Europe and many institutions are building partnerships with European universities. Universities are highly interested in international partnerships.
Language of Instruction: Most public universities have departments and programs in English. All private universities have English as a main language of instruction.
Recent changes in the higher education system:
In 2013, a new minister was appointed to the Ministry of Education in Azerbaijan. The same year, the Ministry adopted the new Government Strategy on the Development of the Education System of Azerbaijan. As part of this strategy to improve the low quality of teaching and education at the public universities, the Ministry established a new program called “SABAH” in the eleven higher education institutions in Azerbaijan. Over 2,500 students enrolled in this special program for talented Azerbaijani students with specially trained teachers and professors and a special curriculum offered exclusively to SABAH students. Several groups are taught in English (SABAH students typically have stronger English-language skills). Many departments in public universities, following the example of private schools, opened departments and groups with primary teaching in English. Recent changes in the administration of large public universities have led to large-scale reforms on campuses to modernize curriculum, fight corruption, and bring international expertise to improve instruction.
Information on the education system of Azerbaijan
Ministry of Education
Higher Education Institutions of Azerbaijan