Azeri Government Cuts UK University List

Azerbaijan Ministry of Education Cuts UK University List to 27


In a shock move, the Azeri Government has slashed the number of UK universities recognised as part of the ‘State Programme on Education of Azerbaijani Youth Abroad’.

This comes despite increases in the numbers of students studying in the UK, and after a year of relationship building with UK institutions, including the November 2012 ‘UK Education Tour’ held in Baku, and the Azeri Ministry of Education and SOFAZ (State Oil Fund) UK trip that took place in March, facilitated by Levant Education.

The decision appears not come from the Ministry of Education, but from the President of Azerbaijan. While several countries have seen a reduction in approved universities, there has been an increase in the number of approved institutions for Russia and Turkey, reflecting the President’s priorities for Foreign Policy and plans for oil and gas distribution.

The newly revised lists of approved universities can be seen here

The unlucky UK universities that have disappeared are:

Aston, Heriot Watt, Kingston, London Met, Aberdeen, Bath, Durham, Exeter, Goldsmiths, Leeds, Reading, Southampton, St.Andrews, Strathclyde, Sussex, York, Warwick, City, London Business School, and Surrey.

There is no discernable logic to the cut, indeed those universities that fell in the original list after Sheffield seem to have been cut / deleted in the tap of a delete key.

What can UK universities  do now?

Levant Education has made enquiries into ways to get those names back in the list again, and the advice is that the British Embassy in Baku should get in touch with the presidency directly.  Universities should be getting in touch with the British Embassy to coordinate the response. A letter from the Ambassador should then go to to the presidency about the issue and the names of the universities that have been removed. We have heard (but cannot verify) that a similar approach was made by the US Embassy on behalf of US universities, successfully.

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) also sponsors students to study abroad, and the SOCAR list of recognised UK universities in the UK has remained as it was:

1              Cambridge University

2              Oxford University

3              St Andrews University

4              London School of Economics

5              University College London

6              Warwick University

7              Lancaster University

8              Durham University

9              Loughborough University

10           Imperial College London

11           Exeter University

12           Sussex University

13           Bath University

14           York University

15           Edinburgh University

16           Leicester University

17           University of East Anglia

18           Nottingham University

19           Surrey University

20           Glasgow University

21           City (Cass Business School)

22           Kent University

23           Birmingham University

24           Bristol University

25           Dundee University

26           Heriot-Watt University

27           Southampton University

28           Strathclyde University

29           King’s College London

30           Newcastle University

31           Reading University

32           Sheffield University

33           Aston University

34           Royal Holloway

35           Leeds University

36           Robert Gordon University**

37           Cardiff University

38           Essex University

39           Manchester University

40           Bournemouth University

41           Aberdeen University*

42           University of Newcastle Upon Tyne

43           University of Strathclyde and Glasgow

44           Southampton Solent University

45           Plymouth University

46           Liverpool John Moores University

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