All students are equal now
Not so long ago, Azerbaijani mass media cheered up the students by the news about scholarship increase. Then it has turned out that there was actually no scholarship increase, but the rules of awarding scholarship sums depending on the academic performance were revised. For instance, bachelor’s degree scholarship now amounts to AZN 50, 80 or 95, depending on the score that a student ‘has gained’ per semester. These figures are slightly higher for the master’s degree and PhD programs, respectively.
Immediately upon introduction of the legal amendments, there have been reports that since February 2016, all students studying on a fee-paying basis would be also eligible for scholarship (the matter is that even in Azerbaijan’s state universities, part of the students pay a tuition fee, while others, who gained more scores during enrollment, study free of charge). Sulhaddin Gezalov, the Head of the Department of Science and Higher Education at the Ministry of Education, stated about that when commenting on Azerbaijani President’s decree on student scholarships. The new rules apply to both, state and private educational institution students, who enrolled this year.
The news greatly cheered up all ‘paying students.’ Nigar Aliyeva, the second-year student at the National Aviation Academy, is among the lucky persons and she is now dreaming about new sneakers.
Victoria Sorokina, the fourth-year student at Baku Slavic University, a future lower grades teacher, believes that scholarship is definitely an incentive for studying.
Rashad Zeynalov, the fourth-year student at the Academy of Physical Training and Sports, considers that it is also necessary to increase the scholarship, so that it becomes a real incentive for studying.
The National Aviation Academy students, who have been awarded scholarships, say, a scholarship is a strong incentive for studying and they are afraid of losing the scholarship, no matter how small it may be.
Among the surveyed students, only one has turned out to be an excellent student, whose scholarship amounts to AZN95 and who spends it on makeup and on covering travel costs. The National Aviation Academy is located at 25 km distance from the city center, making the students’ travel costs higher than those of the students of many other higher educational institutions in the capital.
Ramin Osmanov, a resident of one of the regions of Azerbaijan, rents an apartment in Baku. He spends AZN80 from his scholarship on food. His parents send him money to pay his rent.
Meanwhile, Aysel Guliyeva, the second-year student, gives the minimal scholarship amounting to AZN 50 to her parents.
Adam Abiyev, a student, has become seriously addicted to betting and is spending almost the entire scholarship on football match betting, hoping to earn more money.
Among the respondents there have been also those, who were not awarded scholarships because of flunking at the exams. Even though it was minimal, they are trying to correct the past semester’s mistakes and regain that amount into their budget.