I would like to welcome all of you to this online impact forum that will look at the fascinating topic of “Towards a transformative vision of education”. Western Caspian University is honoured and privileged to host you in partnership with Times Higher Education for the event. An outstanding group of participants have been convened to lead us in an exploration of what the future will look like as we embrace all the possibilities that technology and our changing world offer.
History has had many turning points where humanity has been challenged with crises that have forced societies and cultures to search for new paths, and it is clear that science and education have played key roles in society’s transformation in the past. We are now at another one of those points, where environmental problems, depletion of resources and other problems are challenging humanity. In this context, there is an urgent need for universities to transform themselves to help society make the changes in the least painful ways possible. This transformative vision, encapsulated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, is vital for the future.
Western Caspian University was created at a time when the failure of embracing values such as freedom, honesty and human dignity had caused the collapse of the Soviet Union. Treasuring these values, Western Caspian University created an environment where learning was for the purpose of enhancing humanity. We continue this path as we work diligently to incorporate the SDGs into the framework of our education and daily life. We have developed both educational and practical social programmes to address the issues locally and regionally.
We believe that this forum will be an excellent platform for discussing how we as universities can pursue a transformative vision of education. We wish for all participants that the fruitful exchange of ideas will create good outcomes for each of us.
Western Caspian University
About Western Caspian University
Western Caspian University, established in 1991, is a private higher educational institution in Azerbaijan. It is a member of several significant institutions, including the Black Sea Universities Network, International Council for Open and Distance Education, International Association of Universities, Association of International Education Administrators, Political Studies Association and European Philosophy of Science Association.
The university maintains close cooperation with many authoritative international educational institutions. According to various reviews, Western Caspian University ranks near the top of the 10 best newly established universities in this emerging geographical area. The founding of this institution was influenced by the socio-political and economic processes taking place in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. The university aims to create the perfect educational atmosphere for internationally-minded and globally recognised training, as well as prepare students for achieving success in their future careers at national and international levels. To date, Western Caspian University has participated in several international programmes through which it has widened its academic activity, strengthened its position in the world of education and created a favourable atmosphere for future development.
There are eight faculties, 11 departments and 22 chairs in the university. Of the 152 academic staff, 27 are professors (doctors of science) and 42 are associate professors. The university accepts students from all over the world regardless of race, sex, language, nationality or religion. Currently, the international community of students originate from Turkey, Albania, Portugal, Georgia, Iran, Nepal and Russia – our mixed-cultural society creates a favourable environment for education and training.
Every year, Western Caspian University invites lecturers from the US, UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and other countries, along with local experts, to share their knowledge; Western Caspian University students can also study abroad in Europe, the US and other countries. In addition, the university enables students to participate in international student exchange programmes such as Erasmus+ and Mevlana, and provides an MBA programme in cooperation with the University of Business and International Studies in Switzerland.
The university continues to modernise its structure. At present, the focus is on strengthening the infrastructure, material and technical components – modern laboratories in various fields have been added and the teaching methodology updated to reach the highest international standards.
Western Caspian University offers students the opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to keep up with the demands of a rapidly growing world. Our goal is to develop professional skills and leadership qualities in graduates in the fields of business, governance and other areas leading to successful careers based on multicultural and national values and built on up-to-date technology and standards.