Azerbaijan Journal of Educational Studies

Bologna process in higher education system in post-Soviet Azerbaijan and Georgia: A Comparative study

Leyla Jabbarzade


Published: April 11, 2020 -

Volume: 691


The purpose of this study is to compare and contrast the higher education systems of post-Soviet Azerbaijan and Georgia after joining the Bologna system. I focused on the governance of higher education and the implementation of the Bologna principles in Azerbaijan and Georgia. Furthermore, the students’ awareness of the Bologna principles was clearly explored. This mixed- research was conducted through a documentary analysis and surveying students from Azerbaijan and Georgia. The document was the study on the Higher Education Systems in the Tempus Partner Countries, which provided me with the relevant information on the integration of above-mentioned countries to the European Higher Education Area.  The survey participants studied in the years between 2005 and 2019 responded to the questions related to the Bologna process in their countries. This study allowed me to outline the differences and similarities between the HE system of Azerbaijan and Georgia such as centralized education system, student preparedness, the governance of higher education institutions and the quality of education. 

Keywords: Bologna process, higher education, EHEA, centralized education system.


1. Bischof L. and Tofan A. (2016) Institutional Diversity of Moldovan Higher Education: 1991-2015 Developments and Future Trends. Higher Education in Russia and Beyond, 2(8), pp. 21-23

2. Bologna Process Implementation Report(2018), The European Higher Education Area in 2018, Available from

3. Brennen, A.M (2002), Centralization Versus Decentralization, Available from

4. Charekishvili L, 2015.“Higher Education System in Georgia: Reforms and Modern Challenges,” Proceedings of Teaching and Education Conferences, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences, pp.61-68.

5. Clark, B. (1983). The higher education system. Berkeley: University of California Press

6. Creswell, J., Plano-Clark, V., Gutmann, M. L., & Hanson, W. E. (2007). Advanced Mixed Methods research design. In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddue (Eds.), Handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research (pp. 209-233). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication, Inc.

7. Development Concept “Azerbaijan-2020”: The Vision of the future (2012), Available from

8. EACEA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency) (2010), Focus on Higher Education in Europe 2010: The Impact of the Bologna Process, Available from

9. EACEA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency) (2012), The European Higher Education Area in 2012: Bologna process implementation report, Available from

10. EHEA (2016a), Available from

11. EHEA (2016b), Available from  

12. EHEA, (2009), BOLOGNA beyond 2010: Report on the development of the European Higher Education Area, Available from report_FINAL_594918.pdf

13. EHEA(2016c), Available from

14. European Students’ Union (ESU) (2018), Bologna with Student Eyes 2018: The final countdown Brussels

15. Gänzle, S., Meister, S. & King, C (2009), The Bologna process and its impact on higher education at Russia’s margins: the case of Kaliningrad, Higher Education, 57: 533.

16. Guliyev, F (2016), The Quality of Education in Azerbaijan: Problems and Prospects, Caucasus Analytical Digest 90: pp. 6-10.

17. Gvaramadze, I.(2010). Skill formation and utilisation in the post-Soviet transition: Higher education planning in post-Soviet Georgia. Higher Education Quarterly, 62(2), 118–132.

18. Haukland. L (2017) The Bologna Process: the democracy–bureaucracy dilemma, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 41:3, pp. 261-272

19. Heyneman, S.P (2010), A comment on the changes in Higher education In the Post-Soviet Union, European Education, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 76-87

20. Isaxanli, H (2006), Higher Education in Azerbaijan, On Education System in Transition economy, A view from Azerbaijan, Khazar University Press, Available from

21. González J.M.G, Montaño J. L. A & Hassall T (2009) Bologna and Beyond: A Comparative Study Focused on UK and Spanish Accounting Education, Higher Education in Europe, 34:1, pp.113-125

22. MoE (The Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan) (2018), The news on “the opening ceremony of the 12th Republic scientific conference of the doctoral candidates and young researchers, Available from page/9/15747

23. Murshudova, R (2011), Internationalization of Higher Education in Azerbaijan: Transforming Post-Soviet Legacies through Higher Education Development, Capstone Collection Paper 2430 24. Prague Communiqué (2001), Towards the European Higher Education Area: Communiqué of the meeting of European Ministers in charge of Higher Education in Prague, Available from Prague_Communique_English_553442.pdf

25. Punch, K.F (2005), Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, 2nd edition, London, SAGE publications

26. Ragin, C. (2014), The Comparative Method: Moving Beyond Qualitative and Quantitative Strategies, University of California Press.

27. Silova, I, Johnson, M.S and Heyneman, S. P (2007), Education and the Crisis of Social Cohesion in Azerbaijan and Central Asia, The University of Chicago.

28. Tempus (2012), Overview of the Higher Education Systems in the Tempus Partner Countries

29. Thomas, G (2013), How to do your research project: a guide for students in education and applied social sciences, 2nd edition, London, SAGE

30. Witte J, Wende M & Huisman J (2008) Blurring boundaries: how the Bologna process changes the relationship between university and non- university higher education in Germany, the Netherlands and France, Studies in Higher Education, 33:3, pp. 217-231

31. Zajda.J and Rust.V (2016) (eds.), Globalisation and Higher Education Reforms, Globalisation, Comparative Education and Policy Research 15, pp.1-17

Indexing & Abstracting