UNEC International Forum 2020 on Distance Higher Education: “New Opportunities and Modern Challenges”

01 MAY 2020 | VIEWS:

Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC) has hosted UNEC International Forum on Distance Higher Education 2020 on “Distance Higher Education: New Opportunities and Modern Challenges”.

Online International Forum was organized in order to join the challenge of Ilham Aliyev  “We are strong together”, as well as to hold global discussions in the field of distance higher education and to make appropriate contributions to the new model of higher education.

The online international forum, moderated by UNEC rector, Professor Adalat Muradov, was attended by Messoud   Efendiev, professor of Technical University of Munich, Germany, Ismikhan Bayramoglu, Professor of the University of Izmir of Turkey, Ilham Akhundov, Professor of the University of Waterloo, Canada, Nigar Hashimzadeh, Professor of the University of Durham of the UK, and Professor of North Dakota State University Fariz Huseynov.

In his opening speech at the forum, rector, Professor Adalat Muradov said that radical changes took place in the world education system after the coronavirus pandemic. Against the background of the processes taking place, distance education has shown itself to be the only and non-alternative education. The rector stressed that during the coronavirus pandemic, distance education saved the education system not only in Azerbaijan, but also all over the world. Emphasizing the importance of discussions on the organization of distance higher education and the formation of a unified approach, Professor Adalat Muradov said that serious discussions would be held with Azerbaijani intellectuals in this direction at the international forum.

Before his speech, Professor of the Technical University of Munich Messoud Efendiev voiced the views of Nobel Laureate Aziz Sanjar addressed to the forum. The world-renowed scientist who said that holding an international forum on distance higher education in Azerbaijan is of great importance, spoke on “Distance Higher Education with Opportunities and Risks: Lectures, Seminars and Assessments.” The professor also spoke about the world experience in assessing student knowledge in distance higher education.

Speaking about the importance of technological infrastructure in the model of distance higher education, Professor of Izmir University of Economics Ismikhan Bayramoglu said that the global pandemic highlights the need for the application of technology. Noting the existence of various technological approaches in this direction,   the professor said that the application of distance learning in the pandemic period had no alternative, and shared Turkey’s experience in this regard.

Professor of the University of Waterloo Ilham Akhundov spoke about the benefits of distance education. Explaining the existing problems in this direction and ways to solve them, the Azerbaijani scientist said that a successful model of distance education could  be applied in Azerbaijan.

Professor of Durham University Nigar Hashimzadeh shared the experience of the Open University of the United Kingdom in the application of online teaching.

Professor of North Dakota State University Fariz Huseynov spoke about the opportunities and benefits of distance education in the training of economists.

The forum continued with discussions. The questions of the online forum participants  were answered by scientists on the impact of distance education on the competitiveness of universities, the role of this educational model in the socialization of students and teachers, the effective organization of distance exams, student attendance, behaviour and other questions.

At the end of the forum, Rector, Professor Adalat Muradov made a closing speech. He said that the post coronavirus stage of distance higher education should be discussed and necessary rules should be developed on the basis of international experience. These rules should cover all stages of distance education from admission to graduation of students. Rector spoke about the benefits of distance education for the country’s higher education, noting the importance of establishing a Distance University in Azerbaijan. A.Muradov noted that Azerbaijani scientists living abroad could make a great contribution in this direction by being involved in distance learning. He also said that the positive changes in the world education system would   be easily integrated into the country’s education system.

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