The NCUK Programme is a consortium of leading UK universities, allowing international students to study abroad, with guaranteed access to universities worldwide. Since its inception in 2019, the strength and determination of British School in Baku’s Ceo and the director of the international study center NCUK Baku, Besti Agarzayeva, has demonstrated her ability to ensure its popularity, making this programme one of the most prominent educational institutions in Azerbaijan.
Question: Ms Besti, what can you tell us about the expansion of the NCUK programme since 2019?
Answer: We are very proud of the increased popularity of the National Consortium United Kingdom programme here in Baku, which is why I am pleased to announce that we have also opened a new office, ‘International Study Centre NCUK Baku’ in the premises of MiniBoss International Business School in Baku located on Aliovsat Quliyev str.142, next to Nizami cinema. This will therefore enhance our approachability and allow us the opportunity to speak to any interested young people who wish to receive such a sought after British or international education.
We are planning to provide consultations on ‘Education abroad’, not only in the UK but also in USA, Europe, Turkey, etc. Very often people think that NCUK only applies to universities in the UK, however, the NCUK IFY (International Foundation Year) programme is recognised by more than 60 universities around the world, with 90% of NCUK students accepted into their first choice universities. Since 1987, NCUK has placed 30,000 international students into university degree courses from over 100 nationalities every year. We are extremely proud that we have succeeded in Baku, and with our new office it will give students from different schools a chance to study in IFY, while studying in their own schools and get into top universities around the world. IFY NCUK programme is not just designed to be academic but in addition, the aim is to prepare students for university life, to be able to live and survive in a different cultural and social environment, and in the future be able to compete in the global economy.
Q: What locations have your previous students moved to and how are they getting on abroad?
A: They are enjoying it so much! We regularly keep in touch with them to see how they are progressing. Our students last year were accepted to different universities in the UK like Exeter, Leeds, Lancaster, etc, some even with scholarships! Of course, they have had to adjust to online learning during this pandemic but this has not affected their studies. I have to mention that we are already getting messages from different universities and our UK contacts tell us that universities there are reopening from September 2021.
Q: Following the article I wrote about NCUK in Azeri Observer, Spring 2020 edition, it was noted that you are the only centre who offer the NCUK programme, not just in the country but the surrounding Azerbaijan region as well; the closest being Uzbekistan. This makes NCUK Baku part of an elite group in this area of the world. Is this still the case and how have you adapted since the pandemic?
A: Yes, we are pleased to retain our status as the only NCUK IFY programme, and is important to note that it is accredited by National Information Centre for global qualifications (NARIC) in the surrounding region. Students and parents should be very careful about choosing IFY programmes because if the programme isn’t accredited they won’t be accepted to the university degree programmes.
Of course, like the rest of the world, we have successfully adapted to a blended learning approach, which allows both face-to-face learning whenever possible, but our online learning portal is also fully operational and just as successful.
Q: Finally, what else can you tell us about the programme and its plans for the future?
A.: Together, with our team of dedicated teachers and our NCUK Academic Manager, Trishna Kimtani, we have exciting plans for the future ahead. Once the pandemic is over, we aim to further develop the programme and continue to be the global standard Cambridge international curriculum.
Ms Trishna Kimtani: Our Mission is to create opportunities, develop trust and build connections between students and universities of the UK. We are trying to uplift the level of education in Baku with the help of the NCUK team. We support students’ ambition to study in worldwide universities with ease at an affordable cost.
Evidence speaks for itself; therefore, these are the results from our students from IFY ISC NCUK Baku 2020/2021 class:
Najima Jafarli – offer from Manchester University, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, UK.
Ajdar Ismayilov – offer from University of Leeds, Sheffield University, Liverpool University, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.
Leyla Latifova – York University, Ontario, Canada.
Marat Mammadov – offer from Sheffield University, Brunel University of London, University of Kent, Royal Holloway University, UK.
Abdullah Ahad Khalid Mohammer – University of Central Lancashire, University of Bradford, Birmingham University, UK.
Aladdin Rustamov – Koc University, Bahcesehir University. Istanbul, Turkey.
The admission for the next academic 2021/2022 year is now open.
You can apply direct to the new office of ISC NCUK Baku at MiniBoss International Business School in Baku:
This articile has been published recently in Azeri Observer newspapaper.