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Title: National Impact Study on Capacity Building in Higher Education Action Projects in Azerbaijan Funded by the EU Erasmus+ programme implemented in the period of 2015-2020
Authors: Isaeva, Raziya
Gurbanova, Vusala
Baghirov, Parviz
Keywords: Capacity Building in Higher Education Action Projects
Erasmus +
Issue Date: Jun-2021
Series/Report no.: National Erasmus+ Office & HERE team – Azerbaijan (EUFunded Project);
Abstract: This study has revealed that Erasmus+ CBHE action projects (further projects) significantly and positively impacted Higher Educational Institutions (further HEIs) in the Republic of Azerbaijan (further Azerbaijan). The projects effectively contributed to and supported the transformation of university management, curriculum development, human capital development, and the internationalisation of Higher Education in Azerbaijan. Although the total number of the projects to date is not high, there is a detectable range of significant achievements, which can be observed in each of the projects. In order to provide for visibility of effectiveness, the most significant accomplishments can be categorised in the following three segments: Individual Individual-level attainments are more substantial than the ones in the other two categories. This result may be explained by the nature of the projects that are bound by the possibilities of involving many faculty members and staff from each university. Throughout the years of participation, individuals gained professional, technical and soft skills, progressed in their career development, were admitted to different international programs, became successful as projects initiators and designers of the state-of-the-art methodology, gained international certifications/accreditations, and, by doing so, extended their international and national networks. Institutional As for the educational institutions, level-wise, they accomplished apparent success in internal structural transformation since the accomplishments within the projects are operationally aligned with the institutional development strategies of each university. As this study reveals, some institutions, upon the completion of their projects, have already gone through institutional governance transformation, structural adjustments and changes, and infrastructural development to allow for a better level of both local and international cooperation-driven compatibility in the immediate future. Nevertheless, it is also worth mentioning that the capacity of the existing human resources in Higher Education is still insufficient to hope for achieving anticipated results and fully utilise even existing capabilities. The study-bound respondents particularly underscored the latter fact in their interviews, where it was usually presented as a more significant challenge in the process of achieving ultimate success. National Although the projects led to some changes already being made in the corresponding sectors at the national level, more significant amendments are yet to be implemented. For example, the NIZAMI project introduced a range of policy-adjusting suggestions and even generated a debate on the issue, but the implementation process is now extended indefinitely. The following three factors can explain this observation: firstly, the pace of changes is relatively slow in Azerbaijan compared to the other Eastern Partnership countries; secondly, the project did not involve one of The publication is prepared by the National Erasmus+ Office & HERE team – Azerbaijan (EUFunded Project) the main stakeholders (Higher Attestation Commission) to assure the outcome, and thirdly, the scope of the project did not allow to make the ambitious changes over the given time
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