There are 38 state-run and 11 private universities in Azerbaijan. The ministry-released reports state that in 2019, 34224 students entered the universities. Universities employ 11,566 professors and 12,616 faculty members in the country. Because Azerbaijani culture has always included great respect for secular learning, the country traditionally has been an education center for the Muslim peoples of the former Soviet Union. For that reason and because of the role of the oil industry in Azerbaijan’s economy, a relatively high percentage of Azerbaijanis have obtained some form of higher education, most notably in scientific and technical subjects. Several vocational institutes train technicians for the oil industry and other primary industries.
The most popular institutions of higher education are the ADA University, Baku State University, Azerbaijan State Oil Academy (ASOA), Baku Higher Oil School , Baku Engineering University, (former Qafqaz University), Khazar University, Azerbaijan Tourism and Management University, Azerbaijan Technical University, Azerbaijan State Pedagogical University, Mirza Fath Ali Akhundzade Pedagogical Institute for Languages, Azerbaijan Medical University, Uzeyir Hajibayov Baku Academy of Music. Much scientific research, which during the Soviet period dealt mainly with enhancing oil production and refining, is carried out by Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, which was established in 1945.
Baku State University (the University of Azerbaijan, established in 1919) includes more than a dozen departments, ranging from physics to Oriental studies, and has the largest library in Azerbaijan. The student population numbers more than 11,000, and the faculty over 600. The Institute of Petroleum and Chemistry, established in 1920, has more than 15,000 students and a faculty of about 1,000. The institute trains engineers and scientists in the petrochemical industry, geology, and related areas.