CoHE President Erol Özvar Attends “UNEC Economy Forum”
December 2, 2021 / Azerbaijan State University of Economics, Baku
CoHE President Prof. Erol Özvar, who is in Azerbaijan for official visits,
attended the "UNEC Economic Forum", hosted by Azerbaijan State University
of Economics on December 01-03, 2021.
On the second day of the Forum, which is dedicated to the 30th anniversary
of Azerbaijan's independence and held with the slogan "The Path to
Victory", President Özvar gave a speech in the panel “Science and Education
in Post-Pandemic Era", in which Nobel Laureate Prof. Aziz Sancar was also
Azerbaijan's future development strategy, the digital transformation of the
economy, the business transformation in the post-pandemic era and Great
Return to Karabakh were discussed in the forum. Özvar talked about the
effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the field of
education and solutions.
CoHE President Özvar reiterated that the higher education sector all over
the world, like most other sectors, was caught unprepared for this crisis
and that universities continued education via online teaching and distance
learning. He pointed out that online learning had some clear benefits.
“Online learning enables students to overcome the difficulties of physical
distance, allows others to be mobile while learning, cuts some of the
expenses of traditional learning and makes it possible to bring learning to
a wider segment of the population,” he noted.
- "Digital information society and digital knowledge economy are the
main goals of all countries"
CoHE President Özvar noted that digital information society and digital
knowledge economy had become a goal for all countries and that the demand
for a qualified workforce that was familiar with digital technologies would
increase at the global level in line with this goal. “Thus, considering all
of these, I believe that the integration of online learning into the
traditional methods of university education and following hybrid models of
teaching and learning is inevitable. A change in the higher education
paradigms awaits all of us. I have to underline that e-learning or online
learning brings challenges, along with benefits. We have to rethink the
conventional issues of our higher education sector such as learning space,
classrooms, course curriculum, schedules, education programs, and
assessment systems,” he said.
Özvar underlined that the need for human resources with advanced talents in
the labor market would gradually increase. He also stated that we should
think about the rising trends in the employment market, new vocational
training models, and the ways of creating flexible occupational profiles
and providing students with the necessary skills in this direction.
- “Higher education must help shape the post-COVID-19 world”
Özvar said that universities should allocate more resources to the software
industry and talked about the importance of simplifying the incentives for
the researchers to increase the effectiveness of scientific projects after
the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To conclude, going back to the ‘same old’ ways of higher education is not
an option. Now, we all have to think about the most effective ways of using
the benefits and containing the challenges of the new paradigm in our
efforts to construct our new education model that would prepare new
generations for the challenges of the increasingly globalized post-pandemic
“Higher education must help shape the post-COVID world. Universities have
to engage more proactively with their communities. We can only then better
contribute to knowledge creation, educate students for active citizenship,
and help create a democratic and inclusive society. So, first, we have to
get over the please-get-back-to-normal syndrome. And then, we can actively
turn these ideas into practice.”
Click here to read the full transcript of the speech made by CoHE President
CoHE President Özvar met with Nobel Prize-winning Turkish scientists such
as Prof. Aziz Sancar as well as international academics and experts in the
fields of education and economics.