Can you refuse democracy? Bologna is democracy - INTERVIEW

Can you refuse democracy? Bologna is democracy - INTERVIEW

ANN.Az interview with Dr. Ahmet Sanic, rector of Azerbaijan's Qafqaz University:

-Mr. Sanic, in 2005 Azerbaijan joined the Bologna process. Does the country meet the obligations of the Bologna process?

- In Azerbaijan, Bologna is sometimes misunderstood. Bologna is not a system but a process. This process is fully supported by the state from the first day in Azerbaijan. Before the Bologna process, even a credit system wasn't available. The state gave instructions to universities to apply the credit system first and then introduce the Bologna process. Although some universities objected to these changes, the state insisted on it. I'm not sure if the Bologna process has been fully understood or not in Azerbaijan, but ultimately, the process has been applied.

-What are the negative sides of the Bologna process?

- There are no negative sides of the Bologna process. The main issue is the proper understanding of the process. There is no compulsion in Bologna. Can you refuse democracy? Of course, no. Bologna is democracy. You will only see positive results if the process is understood and implemented properly.

- Can Azerbaijan's Education Ministry implement the Bologna process properly?

- Azerbaijan's Education Ministry supports the Bologna process. The ministry is a government agency. The main issue is the readiness of universities for the process. Maybe there is a problem in universities' viewpoints.

- Some universities in our country claim that they fully implement the Bologna process although they do so partially. What are the obstacles for universities to comply with Bologna fully? - The fact that the criteria of the Bologna process are written in the form of curriculum in Azerbaijan is a great obstacle. If obligatory courses make up 50-60% of the total while the remaining  40% are elective courses, this will mean the implementation of the Bologna process. Bologna process leaves the issue of the student attendance to state's own choice. The main requirement of the Bologna process is transparency.- What's the role of the Bologna in the performance of universities?

- The implementation of the Bologna process in accordance with international practice is one of the key reasons of our achievements. This process is very important for our university. There are other issues as well. One of them is feeling like one family. All of us are working in a positive, family-like atmosphere. The choice of professionals is as important as the Bologna process. The education, experience and particularly international experience are taken into account in the recruitment process. Although we keep some old professors, more than 80% of our professionals are  people educated after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Young people are very important for us. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Azerbaijan. Families are taking caring of their children very well. They send us their brilliant youth and our job is to train them properly.

Jamila IbrahimovaPhoto: Bayram IsgandarovANN.Az