Baku State University plays an important role in the national consciousness, Rector Abel Maharramov said at a ceremony dedicated to the university's ninetieth anniversary this week, the AzerTaj state information agency reported.
"Baku State University has always played an important role in national thought, educational ideology, scientific and educational development, and the systematic study of the Azerbaijani language," Maharramov said.
Even 90 years ago, the university's first Rector Vasiliy Razumovsky said Azerbaijan had opened a new and powerful educational center for the country.
"A new chapter opened in the history of Turkic peoples," Maharramov said. "A new torch was lit on the junction of Europe and Asia. I believe in Baku State University's bright future. From the very beginning to the present day, Baku State University turned these words into reality. After the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic was established in early 20th century, our people have brought the republic's ideology and democratic way of governance to the East."
He added that the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic's most important initiative during its brief existence was establishing the first European-style higher educational institution in the Muslim world.
The leaders of the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic, such as Alimardan bey Topchubashov, Fatali Khan Khoyski, Nasib bey Yusifbayli, Mammad Emin Rasulzade, Ahmed bey Agayev, and Behbud khan Javanshir proposed establishing the university as a way to educate the people.
"I would like to stress that most of these patriotic intellectuals, who earned historical merit by establishing Baku State University, were educated at leading European universities," Maharramov said. "They managed to create an independent higher educational institution here."
The rector added that the latest major stage in the university's development is associated with the life of former President and all-national leader Heydar Aliyev.
"A qualitative new stage in the university's development is associated with the name and activity of all-national leader Heydar Aliyev," Maharramov said.
Aliyev paid special attention to the outstanding temple of science, education and culture as a graduate of the university.
Aliyev knew that education is a powerful tool for advancing society, science, culture and spirituality, Maharramov said. He placed considered education to be a top state priority.