In the modern world, the future of any country is measured by the level of education in this country. Development of education is an important part of the concept of development in each country.
Postgraduate study was the basic form of the preparation of the scientific and pedagogical staff in the Republic before Azerbaijan gained its independence.
The systematic and consistent measures, carried out under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, have led to a great development in all priority spheres of public life and under the direction of the preparation of highly qualified scientific and pedagogical staff, the acceleration of integration of Azerbaijani science into the international scientific community and the improvement of the relevant normative legal framework. The “Law on Education” of Azerbaijan Republic was adopted and a number of important decisions, regulating the activity of Supreme Attestation Commission under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, were taken in 2009.
According to the “Law on Education” of Azerbaijan Republic, the training of specialists and scientific-pedagogical personnel is carried out at three levels in higher education institutions:
- Bachelor's degree (with the exception of medical education),
- Master's degree (with the exception of medical education),
- Doctorate.
A doctorate is the highest level of higher education and provides preparation of scientific and scientific-pedagogical personnel and ensures raising the qualifications and scientific degrees.
"Rules for establishment of  Doctoral Candidacy and admission to Doctoral Candidacy" were approved by decision №129 of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated July 01, 2010. These Rules were prepared in accordance with the “Law on Education” of Azerbaijan Republic and determine requirements for the creation of Doctorates and general rules of admission to Doctorate.
Admission to Doctoral Candidacy is held each year in the fixed period of time by higher education institutions and scientific organizations of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Postgraduate study is carried out in a full-time (separated from production) and part-time (not separated from production) form of study, on the programs of doctor of philosophy and doctor of science, and on the state order or on a paid basis.
Higher education institutions and scientific organizations, implementing doctoral education, realize the training of scientific and scientific-pedagogical personnel through dissertation.
On the program of doctor of philosophy, the duration of full-time study in Doctorate is 3 years, duration of part-time study is 4 years and duration of study through dissertation is 4 years. On the program of doctor of sciences, the duration of full-time study in Doctorate is 4 years, duration of part-time study is 5 years and duration of study through dissertation is 5 years.
Those wishing to enroll in a doctoral program take entrance exams in specialty subject, foreign language (with the exception of the Russian language, the choice must be free and consistent with the specialty) and philosophy within the framework of the existing teaching programs for master's degree of higher education.
Full-time doctoral students, studying on the state order, are awarded scholarships in an amount determined by the legislation and are given vacation each year. Various scholarships or additional payments made by the internal resources of higher education institutions and scientific organizations may be appointed for doctoral students successfully implementing the individual work plan.
Persons wishing to receive the degree of Doctor of Philosophy should take doctoral examination in 3 subjects (computer science, foreign language and specialty).
According to the decisions of the Board of Higher Attestation Commission, it was considered expedient to take the candidacy examination in computer science by all applicants of the Republic on a single program in the organization - in the Institute of Information Technology of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.
The Doctoral foreign language exams are held in the institution where applicants are studying and the doctoral exams in specialty subject are held in the organization where dissertation defense will take place.
Azerbaijani citizens, having scientific or scientific-pedagogical achievements in their chosen field, able to carry out fundamental researches at the highest level and having the scientific degree of  "Doctor of Philosophy" (the Candidate of Sciences), are admitted to Doctoral Candidacy on the Doctor of Science degree program.
Full-time doctoral students studying at public expense are awarded scholarships in an amount determined by the legislation and are given vacation each year.
Doctoral programs currently operate in 21 public higher education institutions and 7 non-state higher education institutions.
The measures taken in recent years for the development of education in the country give reason to say that Azerbaijan is eager to see its future more reliable and confident. Moreover, Azerbaijan is in the center of the world's attention with its rich natural resources and has chosen further development of human capital through efficient use of these resources as the main direction.
President Ilham Aliyev's care and attention to the development of education show that this important factor has been included among the important principles of state policy in recent years.
President of the country signed a Decree on increase of the scholarships given to students and pupils of higher education, secondary specialized education and initial vocational education institutions on August 30, 2013.
On September 14, 2013, the President signed a decree on increasing the amendments to the duty salaries for academic degrees. According to the decree, the amendments, set by the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan Republic, to the duty salaries for academic degrees of employees, directly engaged in the specialty and having academic degrees as "Doctor of Science" and "Doctor of Philosophy", were doubled from September 1, 2013 in the organizations financed from the state budget.
The main objective of the training of scientific and pedagogical staff is to increase the level of professionalism of teaching staff in higher education institutions. The implementation of higher education reform in the short-term and long-term perspective depends on the preparation of the highly qualified scientific and pedagogical staff. Therefore, special attention is paid to the renewal and rejuvenation of teaching staff and favorable conditions are created for the training of the scientific and pedagogical staff. As a result, the number and the level of professionalism of teaching staff working in higher education institutions are increasing.
Thus, 9263 scientific-pedagogical staff, including 897 Doctors of Science, 4089 Doctors of Philosophy worked in 2013 in state higher education institutions subordinated to the Ministry of Education, 9345, 906 and 4114 people are respectively working in these institutions in 2014.
The "State Program on education of Azerbaijan youth abroad in the years 2007-2015" was approved by Order No 2090 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated 16 April 2007 in order to create conditions for education of Azerbaijani youth abroad on different specialties necessary for the country and for Azerbaijani youth to become an important factor of the development of the country. "Selection rules of  Azerbaijani youth who will study in foreign countries" were approved by Decision no. 128 of the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan Republic dated 3 June 2008 in order to to ensure the execution of this Order. The criteria and procedures have been identified in this document in order to improve the choice of Azerbaijani youth who will receive education in doctoral degree programs of foreign countries. It was stated in the document that all costs (visas and registration of them in the host country, accommodation, daily food, provision with minimum necessary educational literature, medical insurance, coming and going expenses once a year (including organizational expenses)) associated with the education of youth abroad will be paid by the state.
The costs associated with the education of 2376 people were funded by the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan Republic within the framework of the State Program.
Some (510 persons or 21.5%) of the students studying abroad within the State Program are receiving education in other levels of education - in the fields of clinical studies, residency and doctorate (on the programs of Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Science).
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan signed a Decree no. 255 dated May 4, 2009 on the approval of the "National Strategy for the development of science in Azerbaijan in 2009-2015" and the "State Program on the implementation of National Strategy for the development of science in 2009-2015 in Azerbaijan Republic" with the aim of determining the structure of scientific institutions in the Republic of Azerbaijan, conducting and financing researches at the level of modern standards, improving the scientific personnel potential of the country and strengthening its social protection, implementing the national strategy for the development of science and accelerating the integration of Azerbaijani science into the international scientific community.
In recent years, a number of measures are taken in higher education institutions for the effective functioning of doctoral students: the number of scientific publications is increasing, scientific conferences are organized, scientific library funds are enriched, new computer classes, joined the international network, are opened and so on. Every year, higher education institutions conduct Republican scientific conferences of doctoral students and young researchers and organize competitions in all branches of science.