Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Rebecca Hovey


The literature in the field of International Education lacks a conceptual framework of internationalization strategies for countries with socialist legacies in higher education. The purpose of this study is to analyze the implications of the internationalization process in the transitioning higher education system of Azerbaijan. Exploring the local context, challenges and opportunities within the internationalization process in a post-Soviet higher education system allowed me to develop a conceptual framework of a ‘development’ approach to internationalization and to examine the institutional and national efforts through this approach. This qualitative study was conducted by interviewing eight educators from Azerbaijan. The interview participants represented a variety of stakeholders including higher education practitioners, administrators and policy makers. The findings suggest that in Azerbaijan, internationalization is viewed as part of the development of higher education. Thus the barriers and prospects for internationalization process are directly related to the challenges, needs and opportunities within the transitioning higher education system. Many of the internationalization efforts in higher education such as international partnerships, student and staff mobility, and application of the Bologna provisions are directed towards development and modernizing the current higher education system by aligning it with the international standards. This capstone paper aims to provide a practical reference for policy analysts working in post-Soviet educational contexts, representatives of local and international NGOs, development agencies and most importantly, practitioners in higher education institutions and government entities.


Education | Education Policy | Higher Education Administration | International and Comparative Education | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation


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