The university in the Azeri capital specialises in training for diplomats and civil servants and has more than 30 active exchange programs and more than 50 partner universities. 10% of ADA University students are international, around 150 students, but the university has a target of increasing the number up to 20%.
Vice Rector for external, government and student affairs at ADA University, Fariz İsmailzade, in Baku told The PIE News that attracting international students is vital in order to deepen the internationalisation process of universities in Azerbaijan.
“It is also part of our effort to help our neighbours from developing countries, such as Afghanistan”
“We aim at creating the environment of diversity and multiculturalism in our campuses,” he told The PIE News.
“We are open for more students because we want to promote Azerbaijan around the world and we believe education is the best tool for that,” he added.
Like many other universities, İsmailzade said that ADA University has established a special international scholarship program to bring foreign students to Baku.
In 2012, the Azeri government significantly expanded its Education Abroad Programme to encourage more students from Azerbaijan to attend top foreign universities.
But now international students in Azerbaijan are benefitting from government funding.
At ADA, international students come from 43 countries and half of them receive scholarships and housing support from the Azeri government.
“It is also part of our effort to help our neighbours from developing countries, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asian countries, African countries,” he said. “[The] government also allocates certain seats for foreign students in state universities.”
The university promotes those opportunities through social media and diplomatic missions, according to İsmailzade.
“[The] government and our university regularly sign MOUs with foreign governments, organisations and universities to deepen student and faculty exchange and increase the enrolment of foreign students,” he added.
The Embassy of Azerbaijan in South Korea recently announced that the university had begun its enrolment for the 2017/18 academic year, in a drive to boost Korean student exchanges to the university.
Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania has both a bilateral agreement and Erasmus+ agreement with ADA.
A spokesperson from KTU told The PIE News that the university receives one or two students from ADA per semester, but KTU students tend to not be inclined to go to study in Azerbaijan. Although, one student did go to study in Baku in 2017.
“The mobility is not two-way so far, and mainly we receive students from Azerbaijan and not the other way around,” the spokesperson added.