Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 12
The European Union has launched a new €19 million programme to help improve the quality and relevance of the education system in Azerbaijan.
The new initiative was announced by Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, during his meeting with Minister of Education Mikayil Jabbarov in Baku on Monday.
"Education is one of the priorities of our cooperation with Azerbaijan," Füle said.
"The country can count on our support and experience in modernising its education system, particularly sharing the rich experience available in the EU Member States," he said. "Reforming the education system - and specifically technical and vocational education - is the key to increasing job opportunities, and mobility and through it building a modern society."
The new programme has a special focus on higher and vocational education and training, strengthening civic participation, governance and inclusiveness of the education system in Azerbaijan.
The EU funding will support the government to reform the higher education and vocational education and training (VET) systems, to improve their access and quality, and bring them closer to European standards and practices. A modernised higher education and VET system could train more qualified workers with adequate skills and knowledge to meet the growing needs of the labour market.
This will also help to make the education system more attractive and contribute to national and international recognition of qualifications, teaching and research in Azerbaijan. In the long run, it could lead to more job opportunities and mobility of students, teachers and researchers.
The programme will also provide funding to civil society to increase its capacity and participation in the education sector, with specific focus on the dialogue between civil society, education authorities and business and social partners.