‘Brexit’ British unis lose out in Azerbaijan Scholarship programme

The government of Azerbaijan has announced a new postgraduate scholarship programme, to be jointly run under the administration of Azerbaijan Youth Foundation (Masters) and the Ministry of Education (PhD’s).

Levant Education have organised high level education exhibitions in Azerbaijan since 2012. 

While this is good news for talented undergraduates aiming to continue their academic career abroad, the announcement is not all good news for foreign universities.

The UK, traditionally the favourite destination for Azerbaijani students, has seen the number of ‘approved’ universities reduced to just 11, compared to around 40 the last time the government ran a similar programme. The eleven universities approved to receive Azerbaijani sponsored students are:

1. Imperial College London 2. King’s College London 3. London School of Economics and Political Science 4. UCL 5. University of Bristol 6. University of Cambridge 7. University of Edinburgh 8. University of Glasgow 9. University of Manchester 10. University of Oxford 11. University of Warwick

Impending exit of the UK from the European Union, and the high cost of courses, will no doubt be factors to have affected the thinking of the Ministry, in this pro-European former Soviet state. European universities featured on the list include 44 from Germany, 32 from Italy and 21 from France.

Speaking from Baku, David Mitchell of Levent Education said, “The previous scholarship programme of the Ministry of Education enabled hundreds of talented young Azerbaijanis to achieve their academic ambitions abroad and return to begin their careers. The suspension of that programme saw numbers of students studying abroad plummet. We expect interest and applications to increase back to 2013 levels.”

To receive details of the approved subjects, institutions and exhibition dates, complete the quick form below:


Recruit in Azerbaijan Autumn 2019

With the announcement of the return of Ministry scholarships for Postgraduate study abroad, now is the time to book your trip to Baku for our annual Study Abroad Exhibition at the Hilton Hotel, Baku: 18 & 19 October 2019.

Master level scholarships will be provided under the administration of the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation, while PhD scholarships will be administered through the Ministry of Education. Click here for a list of priority PG subjects. Azerbaijan also sends thousands of self-funded students to HE institutions around the world every year.

I thought the event was very well run and the quality of the prospective students I met was mostly very high. There also seemed to be a good number of attendees.” Dan Newby, London School of Economics

There is a choice of exhibitions to attend in this excellent market for bright young students; we have been running successful exhibitions in Baku since 2012, finding the ideal balance between quantity of visitors and quality of enquiries.

On Friday 18th October we will be visiting the Ministry of Education to discuss the scholarship goals and parameters. We will also be visiting High Schools with a track record of preparing students for international Higher Education.

To reserve your place, complete the pre-registration form now:




Azerbaijan Study Abroad Scholarships Return

The Azerbaijan government has announced the return of state funding and scholarships for Master and PhD programmes.


Master level scholarships will be provided under the administration of the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation, while PhD scholarships will be administered through the Ministry of Education.

Levant Education will once again be holding its Study Abroad Education Exhibition in Baku in the Autumn, as it has since 2011.  For details about the scholarship and the exhibition please complete the quick form below.

Prioritised specialties for the education of the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan at PhD level have been defined as follows:

Subject specialties:

1.1. Mathematics

1.2. Mechanics

1.3. Astronomy

1.4. Physics

1.5. Chemistry

1.6. Biological sciences

1.7. Earth sciences

1.8. Geography

  1. Agricultural specialties direction:

2.1. Agrarian sciences

  1. The direction of health and welfare specialties:

3.1. Medical sciences

3.2. Pharmaceutical sciences

3.3. Health management.

  1. Direction of technical and technological specialties:

4.1. Technical sciences

  1. Direction of economics and management specialties:

5.1. Economics sciences.

  1. Directions of education:

6.1. Pedagogy

6.2. Psychology

6.3. Education management.

  1. Humanitarian and social specialties:


7.2. Sociology

7.3. Law / legal sciences.

Complete the form for more details about the scholarships and the Exhibition in the Autumn:


Ireland HE Workshop Istanbul

Last Friday Levant Education teamed up with Enterprise Ireland and Dublin International Foundation College to provide an agent training workshop focussing on Higher Education opportunities in Ireland.


Director of Enterprise Ireland, Turkey branch, Nil Misirli, and David Mitchell lead the workshop sessions on HE programmes, key selling points and visa applications.

Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about Ireland as a destination for HE students, as well as a delicious Irish lunch.

With the number of Turkish students learning English in Ireland having increased significantly in recent years, knowledge about and awareness of Ireland generally is evident. This helps education counsellors to recommend Ireland to students looking for UG and PG courses also. Students in Turkey typically look to agencies and word of mouth for information about university options abroad.

Canan Yucal, from HIT international education, said after the event, “The workshop was extremely helpful for me. I realised that I did not have enough information about Ireland and I also understood that the Irish Embassy is helpful when it comes to visas”.

I will now advise clients to consider Ireland as an alternative to Canada and other markets”.


Dublin College Establishes Istanbul Regional Office

Dublin International Foundation College (DIFC) has tied up with Levant Education to establish a Regional Office in Istanbul serving Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan. 

Levant Education announced its Higher Education Regional Office (HEROservice last year, and with a number of clients interested in the model, DIFC has become the first to put pen to paper.

“Higher Education recruitment is an intensive and complex activity requiring local market knowledge”, David Mitchell, Levant Education Founding Director explained, “so having an office and dedicated team on the ground will vastly improve DIFC’s ability to service agents and students in this region.”

Ireland has seen a significant increase in the number of language students from Turkey, and factors including EU membership, post-study work visas, quality and value money make studying at university in Ireland an attractive option for international students.

The Levant Education service provides partners with a Product Manager in-country, working from the Istanbul office and able to manage agent support and marketing campaigns locally, in local languages. The Product Manager is trained in close liaison with the partner, works to recruitment targets and reports to the HERO Director and the HERO client college.

DIFC offers foundation programmes in Dublin and Cork, working closely with Irish HEI’s as well as UK universities through its provision of NCUK programmes. Students studying Health Sciences, Business & Management, Engineering & Technology, and Sciences at DIFC have gone on to study at top universities in Ireland, the UK and globally, and are guaranteed to progress upon successful completion of the programme.

“The HERO service provides recruitment reach and marketing support in a challenging but fascinating region”

President of DIFC Diarmuid Moroney is enthusiastic about the link up: “The HERO service provides recruitment reach and marketing support in a challenging but fascinating region in the coming years, as DIFC focusses on expansion from its Dublin base, to new campuses in Cork and Galway.”

White Labelling Student Recruitment

The service reflects a growing trend in Higher Education recruitment, as skilled third parties provide marketing and recruitment services ‘white labelled’ for HE providers. Briefly, white labelling means a product or service that is outsourced to a contracted company but presented to the market by the established brand. In the UK, Uniquest has developed a white label service to boost onshore university enrolment, while Study Group have begun offering white labelled enquiry conversion in partnership with THES university rankings.

Visitors to DIFC’s website from Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan will be directed to contact the Istanbul Regional Office, which is outsourced to Levant Education.

DIFC’s HERO in Istanbul has begun 2018 building an agent network, training counsellors on product and visa matters, and promoting study in Ireland.

# Levant Education has been providing education marketing and recruitment consultancy since 2009, focussing on Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Azerbaijan

# Dublin International Foundation College is Ireland’s leading HE preparation college for international students since 199. DIFC has placed over 1,000 students onto graduate and postgraduate courses in partner universities and colleges in Ireland and the UK.


DIFC Nerilie Duffy Nerilie@difc.ie +353 45 866 671

DIFC Regional Office Istanbul istanbul@difc.ie  +90 212 231 2543

Study Abroad Agency EnquiriesLeila Esmaeili  +90 212 231 2543

Levant Education david.mitchell@levanteducation.com +90 212 231 2543

Partnerships Are Key to Entering Iranian Market

Following the historic nuclear agreement signed in July between Iran and global powers, there are important opportunities for international education providers, research institutions, training companies and edutech specialists to engage with the Iranian market – with Iran’s President making it clear that a partnership / investment-led approach is key.


President Rouhani

President Hassan Rouhani has encouraged non-Iranian companies and institutions to enter the market bringing investment and technology that will benefit young Iranians and create jobs.

“Foreigners must bring investment and technology and partner with Iranians so that both sides can benefit by winning a share of the Iranian and regional markets,” Rouhani told reporters in Tehran in August. “The ultimate aim is to create employment for our youth.”

Invest in Youth

Iran’s 80 million population is young (30% under 18), urban (70% living in cities) and keen to improve business, technology and language skills.

David Mitchell, Levant Education Group CEO, visited Tehran in September on a market research trip. “The country has struggled under the sanctions, with high inflation and 10.9% unemployment. Low oil prices aren’t helping either. But there is renewed optimism since the nuclear deal, a noticeable openness to international visitors and companies, and huge potential for international exporters and brands”.

“There are English language training companies on every high street, and one career training college I visited enrolls 6 million (part time) students every year, on international business, IT, management and language courses.

“Iran’s largest university, Islamic Azad University, is privately operated, has 100 campuses in Iran and abroad, and serves 2 million students every year.

“The opportunities for both Iranian and international investors, businesses and institutions are exceptional – for example international licensing, institutional partnerships, research collaborations, curriculum development, accreditation and validation, publishing and online education, teacher training, Trans-National Education, and so on”.

International Brains

A further concern for the Iranian government, along with ensuring foreign investment benefits Iranian youth and business, has been to reduce the flow of bright young Iranians leaving the country.

The USA is the top destination for students heading abroad for Higher Education. The Institute of International Education ‘Open Doors’ publication of international student data (2015) reveals that student numbers to the USA from Iran increased by 11 percent to 11,338 – the seventh year of double-digit growth and the highest U.S. enrollment by Iranians in 27 years. The UK, according to HESA and UNESCO figures, has around 3000 Iranians in Higher Education.

Iranian Graduates TehranHowever student mobility and academic collaboration bring benefits for all sides. According to French government report ‘L’observatoire des Sciences et des techniques’, Iran had the highest growth rate in scientific production output between 2002 and 2012, as well as the biggest increase in academic impact and international academic citations. Improved relations and diplomatic measures would not only boost international research collaborations, but also encourage a boom in foreign undergraduates pursuing degrees in Iranian Studies and/or the Farsi language, spending time in Iran. Iranian students, researchers and business people will need the advanced English skills and international exposure that comes from studying abroad.

More generally, Iran is opening up to international brands, products, technology and ideas. Companies such as Huawei, Unilever, BAT, Danone, Bayer, Samsung and Mitsubishi are hiring in Tehran. Embassies are opening. Advertising and media firms are focussed on preparing for the ‘big bang’ of global brands arriving en masse. Students are mobilising, academia is internationalising.

The improving diplomatic situation and resulting increases in pedagogic and commercial exchanges promise to enable a flow of ideas and provide further opportunities for academic research, knowledge transfer, technology, student exchange, and business development, which in turn will boost cultural relations, socio-economic development, competitiveness and prosperity.

Iran Education, Training and Technology Forum, 2016

 Iraq Scholarships WorkshopThis event will bring international education providers, training companies, universities, technology companies, curriculum development companies, test providers, teacher training specialists, language training companies, online education providers and similar to Iran for the first time.


The Forum will comprise: Panels, Seminars, Presentations, Meetings, Networking and opportunities for discussion and relationship building all designed to assist participants to explore horizons for cooperation and to pursue potential joint ventures in the education, training and technology sectors.

Levant Education has worked closely with the governments of Azerbaijan (2011-16), Iraq (2013), with the Kurdish Regional Government (2011-2014), and with the European Union (2010-2012), on education and training events in Baku, Erbil, Istanbul, Dubai and London. This will be Levant Education’s first Iranian event, and support is expected come from the Iranian government, international academic & training bodies, universities and commercial providers.

Baku Autumn 2015: Report

UK universities returned to Baku with Studybritish.com for a full programme of exhibition, networking and alumni events. 

ukaz_roundtable_webWith the emphasis on building capacity and developing HE in Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Education encouraged us to explore HE cooperation and partnerships between UK and Azerbaijani institutions. During a UK – Azerbaijan Round Table Meeting, UK and Azerbaijan international relations colleagues discussed best practice and realistic opportunities for working together in the next 5 years.

On the Friday evening alumni from 3 of the visiting universities – Kings College London, University College London and Manchester University – competed in a University Challenge Quiz, facing questions about life in the UK, international relations, UK education…with bonus rounds testing the alumni to their limits.

On the Saturday, more than 200 students from local schools and universities came to the Hilton for our UK University exhibition. Despite the current mystery surrounding the government scholarship programme, interest was high from ambitious future UG’s and PG’s.



Language School Marketing Essentials

Every language training provider struggles to strike a balance between finding students itself, if possible; and supporting agencies that are established in-market. Word-of-mouth referrals aside, very few providers can generate significant new enrolments without supporting an agent network.


Click below to download a quick guide to the more common marketing strategies / initiatives in our industry:

Language School Marketing Essentials

Market Research Request

Levant Education has conducted market research across the education sector in our region, from English Language Training in Turkey (commissioned by the British Council and English UK) to Higher Education in Kurdistan Region, Iraq, and Market Entry in Azerbaijan. We are currently working on education projects in Iran.

Our reports are made to measure, providing essential market information from government policy to student perceptions on the ground.

We welcome commissions for market research and will provide you with a clear timeframe for delivery and the option to present the findings in person, anywhere in the world.