The kick-off conference of the “Strengthening Accreditation of Research Institutions and Quality Assurance process at doctoral studies level in Azerbaijan” project was held on the 7th of July. The project is funded by the European Union to assist the Supreme Attestation Commission under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Project is implemented by the consortium led by the “IBF International Consulting”.
The specific objective of the project is to introduce new mechanisms on accreditation of research institutions, and internal and external quality assurance processes at the doctoral studies level in accordance with advanced European experience. The project covers activities in three directions including, drafting Rules on quality assurance processes and accreditation, capacity building, and digitalization of the accreditation process.
This project is implemented under the Financing Agreement (Education for Employment in Azerbaijan) between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Commission of the European Union. “Education for Employment in Azerbaijan” (ENI/2018/041-537) Annual Action Programme 2018 is financed under European Neighbourhood Instrument.
In the opening speech of the conference, the chairman of the Supreme Attestation Commission under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Famil Mustafayev informed the participants about reforms carried out to strengthen accreditation of research institutions and quality assurance process at the doctoral studies level in Azerbaijan.
Head of the EU Delegation in Azerbaijan Mr. Kestutis Jankauskas gave detailed information about the EU support to research and education in Azerbaijan. Mr. Janjausjas stated that: “Education and research cooperation creates an open flow of knowledge and expertise, playing a key role in the development of a prosperous economy and open society and in strengthening mutual understanding”.
The team leader of the project Mr. Ilkin Nazarov presented an overview of project objectives, activity plan, and its aims. The key expert of the project Mr. Achim Hopbach informed the participants of the conference about European experience in the field of quality assurance at the doctoral level and accreditation of research institutions. Mr. Hopbach presented detailed information about relevant practices in Croatia, Germany, and the Czech Republic.
It is noted that currently 104 research institutions are functioning in Azerbaijan and the project intends to strengthen the accreditation process, and internal and external quality assurance system affecting these institutions. Pilot accreditation of some of the institutions is planned to be carried out during the project.