Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 5 / Trend A.Akhundov /
Azerbaijan and Turkey continue to successfully cooperate in education as part of the bilateral agreements, protocols, and commission meetings, Turkish National Education Minister Nimet Cubukcu said in an interview with Trend.
Since the academic year 1992-1993, roughly 5,118 seats have been allocated for Azerbaijan at Turkish universities under the "Great student project". About 3,936 of these seats have been used, 1,476 students having already graduated."Currently, 635 Azerbaijani students continue to receive education in 26 universities in 15 provinces of Turkey. 26 of them are trained for the Tomer program - Turkish and Foreign Languages Research and Application Centre, 8 undergo preparatory training in high schools, 317 are enrolled in a bachelor degree, 83 are registered for a master's degree and 201 for their doctorate," Cubukcu said.
According to her, Azerbaijan's quota for the academic year 2010-2011 is 156 places, whereas last year it was 125 places.
"The country provides the same opportunities for students, continuing education at the expense of the Turkish state," she said.
Cubukcu further said that undergraduate students were provided funds for residence in the country, travel in some provinces, health services, home visits, with the TÖMER preparatory course and baccalaureate providing 270 lire (about $176) , while graduate students are given 340 lire (about $221) and doctoral students are allocated 400 lire (about $260).
Annually, 180 lire (about $117) are allocated for books and stationery for students at all levels, along with 160 lire (about $104) for clothes, 139 lire (about $91) for a certificate of residence and twice a year 100 lire (about $65) for university tuition fee. In addition, students living in university dormitories and campuses are given coupons to buy food amounting to 120 lire (about $78).
Turkish Anadolu Lyceum, elementary school and training center for the Turkish language in Azerbaijan was opened through the Turkish Education Ministry, Cubukcu said. At the beginning of academic year 2010-2011, 64 teachers had been working in these institutions, with 925 regular students and 622 course students enrolled. According to the data given at the end of the academic year 2009-2010, till now 224 people have graduated from the Turkish primary school in Baku, 640 people fromTurkish Anadolu Lyceum and 1,340 people have received certificate of ownership of the Turkish language at the center of learning the Turkish language.
Cubukcu said that under agreements signed between the Education Ministries of Azerbaijan and Turkey during 1992 and 2010, about 298 Azerbaijani teachers participated in the seminar "Progress and cultural exchange in education" on the topic of learning Turkish language and acquiring knowledge about Turkish culture and information and national education system. The forum is held annually in the summer months.
"All the needs in Turkish textbooks of educational institutions opened by the Turkish Educations Ministry in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani schools are fully satisfied within the existing capacity," she said.
Turkey assisted Azerbaijan in the printing of textbooks, providing it joint language support after transitioning from the Latin alphabets. In this regard, 466,300 Azerbaijani-Turkish dictionaries and textbooks on the subjects of "Turkish language" and "Reading", and 250,000 tons of paper for printing have been sent to Azerbaijan.
"To build and strengthen relationships between schools, teachers and pupils of the two countries, acquaintance with the cultural, historical and touristic values of countries, maintaining mutual aid in providing the necessary literature and equipment, establishing friendly relations between students and exchange of information, 91 schools in Turkey have been announced twinned with schools in Azerbaijan," Cubukcu said.
She said moreover that 4,100 Turkish citizens study in various Azerbaijani universities. In addition, 26 educational institutions are functioning in Azerbaijan under the Religious Affairs Fund of Turkey, the Turkic World Research Foundation and the company Cag Ogretim Isletmeleri.
"One high school and a research faculty were opened through the Turkic world Research Foundation, one high school and theological faculty through the Religious Affairs Fund of Turkey, 11 high schools, 10 exchange centers and one university, namely the University of Caucasian through the company Cag Ogretim Isletmeleri," Cubukcu said.
According to her, the Education Ministries of Azerbaijan and Turkey continue to work towards the further expansion of the existing cooperation.
"Our goal is to evaluate opportunities given to us at the highest level. The work is underway on the creation of pilot schools to achieve these goals within the framework of the development of specialized and technical education, in connection with which the selected teachers will pass additional training in Turkey and Azerbaijan, there will be logistic support in the preparation of books needed for the project, with assistance in developing the system of working capital and an opportunity for the training of Azerbaijani graduates in Turkey, " she said.
Azerbaijan and Turkey will continue to cooperate successfully in the field of education, she concluded.
The Education Ministries of the two countries have signed two documents on cooperation since 1998. Protocol on Cooperation in Education and Science between the Azerbaijani Education Ministry and the Turkish National Education Ministry and the leadership of the Higher Education Council (CSE) was signed in November 1998 during Education Minister
Misir Mardanov's official visit to Turkey. The protocol envisaged the distribution of scholarships allocated by Turkey to Azerbaijan in universities and professions based on the proposals of the Azerbaijani side. Previously, Turkey was determining the higher education and profession in which students were being sent to the country by the state line.
Another legal instrument governing the exchange of students with Turkey was a protocol on cooperation in education and science between the ministries of education of the two countries, signed during Turkish National Education Minister Metin Bostancioglu's visit to Baku in 2000. According to the points one, two and four of the protocol, an annual quota of 150 people was allocated for the education of Azerbaijani students in the Turkish universities on the state line until 2008. Since 2008, the number has fallen to 125. From the quota of 125 persons allocated for the 2009-2010 academic year, 91 seats were used.