Students of Baku State University dropped a banner reading “Free Education” on December 24, 2019 from the main university building’s fifth floor up to the third floor.
Shortly afterwards, the university administration removed the banner, however the photo of the hanging banner is being quickly reposted in social media.
University fees are unbearably high in Azerbaijan. Qyamran Asadov, education expert says that in the past 7 years more than 5000 students have dropped out due to high fees. Azerbaijani students can apply to foreign universities and study there at a much less cost and a much higher quality.
According to official data, more than half of the newly accepted students of 2019-2020 have to pay for their education.
The highest annual university fee in state universities in Azerbaijan is 6500 manats (circa 3800 USD) and the lowest is 1000 manats (circa 600 USD).
Comparatively, in Armenia the highest annual university fee is 2.25 mln AMD (circa 4700 USD) and the lowest is 300,000 AMD (circa 630 USD). In Turkey, the highest annual state university fee is around 1800 USD, and the lowest is around 600 USD.
There are more than 160,000 students in 54 universities of Azerbaijan, 70% of whom have a paid education, while the state subsidizes for the rest.