Ilham Aliyev attended the opening of the new education complex for the Baku branch of Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov

26 september 2012, 15:00

The opening ceremony of the new education complex for the Baku branch of Moscow State University named after Lomonosov was held.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mrs. Aliyeva attended the ceremony.

First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva was presented with flowers.

The President cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the new education complex of the university.

Director of Moscow State Lomonosov University Viktor Sadovnichy and Director of the Baku branch of this university informed the President of Azerbaijan and his spouse that the construction of the new complex had begun in June 2010. The education complex consisting of seven buildings and four dormitories was built with high standards and a special design, as well as the usage of the latest technological advances based on the experience of world famous universities.

It was noted that a total of 388 students were currently educated at five faculties in the new building, including 106 students who entered the University this year. In addition, 23 people were admitted to the Master’s program. Thus, the total number of students at the branch is 411.

The head of state and his wife reviewed the new five-storey building of the Baku branch of Moscow State University.

It was indicated that special attention has been paid to material and technical infrastructure of this higher educational institution. The library of the institution has 20,000 volumes of literature, including some unique publications. The electronic library has a reading room for 100 people where students can use electronic versions of more than 21,000 books. The library has direct access to the Azerbaijan National Library named after M. F. Akhundzadeh.

It was noted that, as all higher education institutions, the Baku branch of Moscow State University is noted for organization of scientific councils, discussions and interesting debates. For this purpose, a conference room has been established in the building.

It was mentioned that some of the 70 classrooms of the new building can accommodate 100 students at a time.
On the first floor of the University, President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva were shown the photos reflecting the views of the old Baku and old Moscow.

It was indicated that the building has a student center, separate canteens for teachers and students. There are fully-fitted dormitories for teachers and students from other countries and regions of Azerbaijan.

The new building of the branch has 16 laboratories fitted with modern equipment, which will also enhance the quality of the educational process. The branch also operates computer rooms with the latest software.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev addressed the ceremony.

Remarks by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev

- Dear friends,

Distinguished guests!

It is a wonderful and memorable day in the life of our country. We are opening a new building of the Baku branch of Moscow State University.

Today, while reviewing this beautiful building, I remembered the time four years ago when I signed an order to establish a branch of Moscow State University in Azerbaijan. That order, of course, did not appear by chance. There had been negotiations with the Russian side and we reached such an important decision with active support of the leadership of MSU. It was also an important decision for improving the education system in Azerbaijan and strengthening the bilateral friendly relations between Russia and Azerbaijan. The establishment of a branch of Moscow State University in Baku was legally completed in early 2008 and a year later, in 2009, the branch started its work. We allocated a building and I remember opening the branch together with dear Viktor Antonovich in 2009. And then, although there were great conditions then, the idea emerged to allocate a new building. Because MSU is one of the leading universities of the world and such an institution must have a separate building. I am glad that a good location was chosen. It is not far from the city center. Given the rapid development of the Azerbaijani capital and our plans to improve the infrastructure, I am sure that this place will be more homely in a few years. I must say that we have certain plans to build a student campus in this area. That is, in the future, if new universities are created, they will be based here. There are ideas to relocate some of our higher education schools here in order to develop the educational and student direction here in developing the city infrastructure. I am happy that in a short time the branch has won great respect in the country. The management has created a higher education institution with the support of leadership of Moscow State University from scratch.

The University has already won great authority and young people strive to study here. The process of education, recruitment, the logistics and, of course, equipment available here create excellent conditions for learning.

The most important thing today is that the Baku branch of MSU is a world-class university in Azerbaijan. Because MSU, as I said, is one of the leading universities in the world, a university with great tradition, a leading educational institution in Russia. Of course, the quality of teaching at MSU is a standard maintained by MSU regardless of the location of a branch. And as far as I know, the level of education at the Baku branch of Moscow State University is also on a very high level. On this beautiful occasion, I would like to first of all thank the rector of Moscow State University, our good friend Viktor Antonovich Sadovnichy, the rector of the Baku branch of Moscow State University, Nargiz Pashayeva, and all the teachers, both local and those from Moscow, who have created this modern institution essentially from scratch in several years. The branch has operated, as I said, for just a few years. This year saw the first graduation but we are already seeing the results. And I think that we will be seeing the branch graduates in Azerbaijan in the next few years.

Our country is developing fast. All areas of our life are dynamically developing. The economy is growing at the fastest pace in the world. And, of course, in order to meet all our goals, we need qualified professionals. Professionals are needed in all spheres. And when a professional comes to an important sphere, we immediately see positive changes.

Because work is organized properly, we immediately see professionalism and dedication. It will be very difficult for any country to succeed without that in today's world. In today's world, the success of a country is defined by knowledge, science, technology and education. We are happy to have maintained a high level of literacy in Azerbaijan. The level of literacy is virtually 100 per cent. We do a lot to develop education and invest heavily in this area. I must say that spending on education in Azerbaijan has increased six times in the past eight years to reach 1.5 billion manats. This is slightly less than 10 per cent of the total budget expenditure. That is, education expenses are as large as Azerbaijan’s defense spending. This shows how important the correct the learning process is for us, how important it is to create an education system where young people will receive the knowledge they need. Every young person should seek to obtain good knowledge. In a market economy, free competition, open markets and, in general, competition it is very difficult to find the right path in life without fundamental knowledge. Azerbaijan has all the conditions for individual development, for a free choice of occupation. So young people should strive to acquire knowledge. To gain knowledge, it is not enough to have a desire. If the learning process is not organized properly, if the level of teaching is poor, it will be difficult to achieve results no matter how students might be obsessed with knowledge. At the branch of Moscow State University in Azerbaijan, we can see a high level of teaching and young people’s desire to get that knowledge. The branch was created and developed gradually, in stages. Of course, it wasn’t only the technical aspect and the infrastructure that developed in stages – as I said, we are now opening this beautiful building – but also the number of faculties was increased each year.

This was also our common desire. We discussed this issue with Viktor Antonovich and exchanged views briefly today. And I want to reiterate that we are interested, to the extent possible, in increasing the number of faculties. Because what we see as our joint work now makes us optimistic.

And, of course, the increase in the number of faculties in the areas that are most important for the development of our country should be a priority. I am sure the establishment of a branch of Moscow State University will give an impetus to the development of science in Azerbaijan. We also attach great importance to that. During my latest meeting with the academic community at the annual meeting of the Academy of Sciences I highlighted the challenges facing our science.

We need to develop the scientific potential of our country. Of course, we rely on the realities of modern society and modern world. We are realists. And, of course, it would be naive and perhaps premature to expect Azerbaijan to be a trendsetter in serious scientific research. But what we must do – I have given relevant instructions – is to adopt advanced scientific expertise in the areas that are developing dynamically in order to develop our country. Without modern technology the development of any country is impossible. Today, in the 21st century, in the early 21st century, this is a reality of modern life. The countries that will lead in scientific research will also lead on the political map. So we have to create a strong intellectual potential.

For example, we are now completing the computerization of all schools. We now have one computer per about 30 pupils, while seven to eight years ago the ratio was one to 2,000 pupils. We are creating opportunities for easy Internet access even in the most remote regions of the country. The percentage of Internet users in Azerbaijan exceeds 65 per cent. And the Internet in Azerbaijan is free. We are creating a space industry. Some may think that Azerbaijan is not quite ready for that. But we are creating a space industry. We are launching our first artificial satellite and plan to work further in this direction. In the area of information and communication technology, we are in the leading position in the region. So the development of science means the development of society, the development of a country’s intellectual potential. This is the future of a country. Our goal is to support the dynamic economic growth and Azerbaijan's strengthening international standing with a powerful intellectual potential.

There are all the opportunities for that. First, there is tradition. Azerbaijani science was highly developed in the Soviet time. We are proud of our outstanding scientists. Then, of course, there was a recession. But that recession affected not only us, but also all post-Soviet republics. There was a difficult economic situation in almost all FSU countries. And the plight of the scientific and educational elite was poor. We all remember the difficult years when, unfortunately, the authority of intellectuals in society began to fall. And, unfortunately, those involved in business at the time had a higher social status, a more privileged position than the scientific intelligentsia. Of course, there were objective and subjective reasons for that. But as Azerbaijan’s economic potential has grown, more and more resources have been allocated to science, education. It is an important goal of our policy to raise the credibility and prestige of a researcher, teacher. We are moving in this direction, a lot has been done. And the establishment of such modern training centers as a branch of Moscow State University in Azerbaijan is a step in the right direction. We will continue to invest in education. We consider the issue as a whole – the construction of schools and preschool education.

About 2,200 schools, perhaps even more, have been built in Azerbaijan in recent years. Schools are renovated. By the end of next year, there will be no school in Baku that would not be at about the same level, well, maybe a little lower, but still at the highest level of maintenance. And, of course, higher education is an area which, I want to say again, is at the center of our attention. It is a social, an economic sphere where the moral fabric of our society is formed. Of course, it first appears in families, but the role of schools, whether it be schools or universities, is also very important. And a solid foundation of our society is the moral and ethical criteria. Our society is based on these values. We should support it with the economic potential, active foreign policy and intellectual prowess. Without this, the successful development of any country is impossible. One can have vast natural resources and extensive infrastructure. But if there is no dynamics, no commitment to progress, no desire for improvement and development of new technologies, this development will slow down, it will stop. The countries that find themselves in this situation will be in a very difficult position. The intellectual development of society also means its stability.

If a society is intelligent, educated, no harmful phenomena or trends drawn from the outside can undermine it. Many problems of today’s world, especially in underdeveloped countries, boil down to a lack of education. War, conflict, disturbances are linked to the fact that the level of education is extremely low. And this is clearly seen in the statistics, even in the level of literacy. Look at the countries with a high level of literacy and where it is low. And look at their economic potential, intellectual capacity, and it all becomes clear: there is full compliance of the level of literacy with the level of development and the processes taking place there. Therefore, a high level of education, a high level of intellectual potential of the Azerbaijani people is vaccination against extremism, populism, false promises and attempts of outside pressure.

The more educated and informed a society is, the more self-sufficient, dignified and secure it is against any excesses. So all these issues are interrelated. In conclusion, I would like to say that at the end of the day it is the man, the citizen that is at the center of everything. In Azerbaijan, a country conducting a very active social policy, people are at in the heart of all our plans, ideas and achievements. And it is no coincidence that I promoted the motto “let’s convert our black gold into human wealth” a few years ago. I think we have time to achieve what we want in this direction. This process goes on, and at the center of all our plans, ideas, investment is the citizen of Azerbaijan, his rights, freedoms, wealth, safety. I am sure that the branch of Moscow State University in Baku will continue to meet the highest standards, will develop and increase the number of students and faculties, and we will all be happy for your continued success. Congratulations again, I wish you all the best.

XXX

Then President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva reviewed the hand games gym, the swimming pool and the fitness center.

Then a picture was taken.