The Azerbaijan Study Abroad Market

Azerbaijan was established as an independent country in 1918, it was the first democratic and secular republic in the Muslim world. Currently it has nearly 10 million inhabitants; 30% of its population are under the age of 20. Get the facts in our market report on Azerbaijan.

According to the WorldBank, the Azerbaijan economy is largely dependent on a stable oil and gas sector. GDP is expanding by a rate of 1.4%. The 2023 budget allocations for education are up by 12%. Providing quality education is a key objective of the Government of Azerbaijan. Education is therefore largely state funded, especially at secondary school level. The State guarantees education for talented students, irrespective of their financial position.

This also applies to studying abroad. The Education Ministry is has therefore increased its scholarship funds for Azerbaijani students who want to study abroad. These funds are largely being made available by SOFAZ (State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan. At this point nearly 45,000 students are studying abroad. Turkey, Russia and Ukraine are the most popular study abroad destinations. According to the EU, by the year 2020 at least 20% of students should have some kind of international experience during their study period. (source: Ministry of Education Azerbaijan)

Quick facts

  • Population: 10.1 million (2020)

  • Education: 11 years compulsory

  • Academic year: September – June

Secondary education

  • Starting age: 10

  • Duration: 7 years

  • Enrollment numbers: 1.6 million (2014 data)
    Enrollment rate: 80%

Higher education

  • Duration: 6 years (bachelor 4, Master 2)

  • Enrollment numbers: 207,000 (2018)

  • Tertiary enrollment rate: 27%

  • Universities/ Institutions: 51 ( 36 public, 15 private)

Azerbaijan Education System

Secondary education

Basic secondary education begins at Grade 5 (age 10) and continues until Grade 9 (age 15). At the end of Grade 9 students sit an exam in order to receive the Certificate of Basic Education. If successful they may choose to study for two more years at an upper secondary school to receive a Certificate of Complete Secondary Education or they may opt to attend a specialized technical or vocational secondary school for three years, after which time they receive a Certificate of Complete Secondary Specialized Education.

There are a number of private schools following an international curriculum, which follows that of a foreign country (such as the UK or US), or the International Baccalaureate. There are a small number of international schools in Azerbaijan, which mostly follow the British or US curriculum. International schools accept applications throughout the year but have specific dates for entrance exams.

Higher Education in Azerbaijan

Higher education in Azerbaijan consists of three levels of degree: Bachelor’s (four years), Master’s (two years) and Doctorate (three years).

University level studies:
University level first stage: Bakalavr (Bachelor):
This stage lasts for four years and leads to the Bachelor’s Degree or Bakalavr. During this period, students may study the Humanities and Natural Sciences as well as the basis of the chosen speciality. The Diploma of Specialist which used to be awarded after five years is being phased out.

University level second stage: Magistr (Master):
During the second stage, which lasts between one-and-a-half and  two years and leads to the Master’s Degree or Magistr, students acquire in-depth knowledge and professional training in the  Humanities and in Natural Sciences. The Kandidat Nauk (aspirantura) which used to be awarded after three years’ postgraduate study is being phased out.

University level third stage: Doctor:
The best graduates of the Master stage are admitted to the doctoral stage. After successful completion of their studies (two or three years), they obtain the Doctoral degree (PhD). The Doktor Nauk, which used to be awarded by thesis after the Kandidat Nauk, is being phased out.


Visual depicting the Azerbaijan Educational System

Types of Higher Education Institutions

There are 4 types of Higher Education Institutions in Azerbaijan: university, institute, academy, and conservatoire.
University: a leading multi-profile higher educational institution, which carries out a broad range of specialist training at all levels of higher education, in-service training programs, and conducts fundamental and applied scientific research.
a higher education institution, either independent or a structural unit of the universities, which carries out the training of specialists with higher education on specific specialties, as well as provides in service training programs.
Academy: a higher educational institution that implements higher and in-service training programs, and conducts fundamental and applied scientific research.
Conservatoire: a higher educational institution which trains highly specialized experts on the field of music.

Upcoming Education Fairs in Azerbaijan

Latest Azerbaijan Higher Education study abroad stats

Azerbaijan higher education study abroad data (source: UNESCO)
At this point a total number of 45,324 students from Azerbaijan are studying abroad for a degree in higher education. The most important student abroad destinations are:

Azerbaijani students studying abroad
UNESCO study abroad data

IB schools in Azerbaijan

If you are recruiting undergraduate students you may want to consider visiting IB schools in Azerbaijan. IB schools have an international curriculum taught in English. The quality of these schools is excellent. There is quite a large expat community in Azerbaijan’s major city Baku. School principles are often happy to receive you and let you present your school to the students. Here’s a list of IB schools in Azerbaijan.

Best performing Azerbaijan Universities

Looking to partner with Universities from Azerbaijan? These are the best performing universities.

Khazar University

THE World Rank: 601

Baku State University

Qafqaz University

Online behaviour of Azerbaijani students

In Azerbaijan 8 million people have access to internet; nearly 80% of the population. According to the WorldBank, the world average is 72%.

Most popular social media platforms

Facebook and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms in Azerbaijan.


Scholarships for Azerbaijani students

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