May 12, 2006
06-083

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Sementha Mathews Manager of Public Information and Media Relations

VSU assists education reform in the Republic of Azerbaijan

Valdosta State University's Center for International Programs recently won an award from the Ministry of Education (MOE) of the Republic of Azerbaijan, a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, that will help reform education in that country. The award grants VSU the privilege of hosting a five-month fellowship for an educational specialist from Azerbaijan to be trained in educational policy analysis.

Azerbaijani scholar Aybaniz Aliyeva started her program at VSU on March 3. Her studies focus on applied educational research and development of a conceptual model for establishment of a National Applied Educational Research Center in the Republic of Azerbaijan. When her fellowship is complete, Aliyeva will return to Azerbaijan to work closely with the MOE to strengthen the capacity to plan, manage and monitor educational reform in that country.

Dr. Ivan Nikolov, director of the Center for International Programs, and Dr. Philip Gunter, dean of the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education, submitted the International Education Reform Assistance Project last December that won in an open international competition, organized by the American Councils on International Education (ACIE). VSU's participation in this program supports the Azerbaijan government's plan, which is funded by the World Bank credit program, to reform the education sector over a ten-year period.

"Winning a nationally competitive grant to assist the government and the educational system of Azerbaijan is wonderful news and recognition of the strength of VSU academic programs�specifically the College of Education�and its strong international presence," said Nikolov. "This award is an opportunity for our university to expand its potential in the international dimension and gain additional regional expertise in the Caucasus�which is necessary considering the strategic position of Azerbaijan both politically (close ethnic and cultural ties with Iran) and economically as one of the major players in the U.S. energy policy."

Nikolov added that working with the colleague from Azerbaijan will help build the personal contacts that are so important in our interrelated world.

For more information on the project or on other activities in the Center of International Programs, please contact Nikolov at 333-7410.