In 2012, €20million in scholarships were available through the programme (which launched in 2007) with UK universities receiving the largest cohort of students, 153, followed by Germany with 144 and Turkey, 130.
However, by reinvesting oil revenues, funding will increase by 70% in 2013 to €34million and organisers expect 600 students to participate. The programme will also go beyond undergraduate and postgraduate opportunities, with foundation course providers and 2+2 programmes set to benefit as well.
The UK is again expected to be the biggest receiver of students in 2013
In a bid to tackle skills shortages, the government has also extended its list of approved institutions based on the strength of their departments in the government’s prioritised areas of study.
During a Levant Education Group UK Education Tour last week, Ali-Pasha Zeynalova from the Education Abroad Section said that graduates from agriculture, computer sciences, chemistry, engineering and tourism were more desirable at the moment than graduates from social sciences.
The tour, designed to exploit the UK’s popularity in the programme, also saw British universities visit Baku to meet the Azerbaijan Ministry of Higher Education and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), whose scholarship programme provides funding for around 100 students to study engineering at approved universities. The UK is again expected to be the biggest receiver of students in 2013.