Brief organization’s history and mission
The Baku Education Information Center (BEIC) was established on May 1st, 1997 as part of the Open Society Institute – Assistance Foundation (OSI – AF) Azerbaijan. In April 2001, BEIC became an independent non-governmental organization supported by OSI-AF and U.S. Department of State, committed to provide information about international education opportunities and support students in the process of getting education abroad. During 17 years BEIC had been is also EducationUSA Center, the main in Azerbaijan advising center on education in the USA, member of EducationUSA network affiliated with US State Department, the main goal of which is promoting US Higher Education abroad.
BEIC had a well-developed network within Azerbaijan, which encompassed 2 regional centers in Ganja (established in 1998) and Sumqait (established in 2009). BEIC network included also OSF NY and London, Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy, EducationUSA network, American Councils, IREX, AAA-US educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association, AZETA – Azerbaijan English Teachers Association, American Center in Baku, 5 American Corners in the regions, British Council, DAAD, Turkish and Netherlands embassies, CRRC – Caucasus Resource and Research Center, PCVs - Peace Corps Volunteers in the regions, International Departments of universities, FAR center for economic and political research; OSF advising centers in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova. Some of these organizations were closed in 2014/2015.
Throughout its existence BEIC has changed its address several times in a constant search for a better office location in order to become more accessible to the public. Now, BEIC is conveniently located at the U.S.-Azerbaijan Education Center which also houses two other organizations responsible for administering U.S. Department of State-funded educational exchange programs: American Councils, and AAA – US Educated Alumni Association.
The staff is constantly working to become more proficient in their duties with regular attendance to seminars, workshops and conferences in Azerbaijan and throughout the world. Team building trainings are held at BEIC two times a year. In addition to professional development, BEIC stresses the personal development of its employees.
For 22 years now, BEIC has been and still is the only advising center in Baku, with the population about 3 million, assisting high schools and university students, parents, teachers, professionals and giving detailed and updated information about study and scholarship opportunities abroad. In 2014 BEIC became the only advising center in whole Azerbaijan. BEIC is open for everybody and all BEIC advising activities are free of charge, this is crucial especially for students from low income families.
BEIC is helping make reforms in Azerbaijan’s higher education system and conducted several projects in this sphere supported by OSI AF Azerbaijan: Establishing of the Social Work Master’s Program Department at Baku State University, Student Participation at Azerbaijani Universities, Bologna Process Monitoring in Azerbaijan, Analysis of the new Law on Education, Quality Assurance at Azerbaijani Universities and others.
BEIC Mission: to promote higher education abroad and increase international student mobility between Azerbaijan and other countries, to participate in the Azerbaijani higher education reform and promote the value of international dimension in education.
- serve as advising center for education information and consultancy services in international
- promote academic exchange
- introduce innovative practices in higher education
- deliver education and training
- Information dissemination and counseling services for higher education systems: US higher
education system, European higher education system, Azeri higher education system, other
education systems as appropriate
- Mobile advising and digital outreach, increasing technological approaches to advising
- Educational trainings and seminars
- Promoting and administering Open Society Scholarships programs in Azerbaijan
- Administering Salzburg Medical Seminars programs in Azerbaijan
- Development of Azeri higher education: BEIC will work to develop university services,
quality assurance system and student participation at Azerbaijani universities
- Attracting BEIC alumni to social activities and BEIC support
- Enhance native language advising and information dissemination
- Enlarging partnership and collaboration with other educational NGOs and businesses.