10th September 2019

Boomerang Project launch!

“The Boomerang project – A new partnership between the UK and Azerbaijan universities”

Gradcore is delighted to announce a new international partnership project linking universities in the UK and Azerbaijan as part of the British Council’s Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise Programme.

The ‘Boomerang project’ will see a partnership form between Gradcore and the University of Arts London (UAL) in the UK and the University of Culture and Arts and Yarat Contemporary Art Space in Azerbaijan. The project will involve students from London and Baku applying to take part in a visit to the other city in which they are introduced to a wide range of cultural and enterprise experiences and then come back to their home country to launch new creative projects and businesses.

This partnership has support from the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan, as well as the British Council as part of the Creative Spark programme. As a partnership, we are united by a shared interest in building greater cultural connectivity and developing the creative and enterprise competencies of students and graduates. The project is not solely about the next year, but more about creating long term and sustainable connections between the UK and Azerbaijan.

The model will be built on a set of 5 enterprising competencies against which all applicants will be assessed. Students from both countries will apply to the programme via a digital application form and asynchronous video interview. All applicants will be given a personal feedback report on their capability against these competencies and be additionally supported by the British Council English learning tools; Learn English Select and The English Channel.

This project will deliver a range of benefits from this strategic vision including:

  • Building new partnerships between the leading Arts and Culture Universities in the UK and Azerbaijan
  • Supporting a wide range of students and graduates to develop their creative and enterprising skills
  • Challenging the main participants to develop new creative industry initiatives with a social impact
  • Introducing all participants to the diversity and social inclusion challenges of their respective countries, and encouraging them to use the creative arts to have a positive impact on some of these challenges
  • Providing data on UK and Azeri students creative enterprise competencies

The project partners had the following comments on the project:


“Gradcore is delighted to be leading this exciting new British Council project with partners from the UK and Azerbaijan. Boomerang is a model we developed to enable increased mobility of students and graduates between different countries, and will deliver a wide range of impacts for students, universities and the creative industries. As an organization we are focused on transforming graduate recruitment and employability, and we believe this project will deliver genuine transformational benefits.”

Martin Edmondson – CEO Gradcore

Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Arts

“We are very pleased to be a part of the Creative Spark program and cooperate with one of the world’s most prestigious art and design universities – The University of the Arts London. Thanks to the students` exchange, they will learn about the partner’s culture, take part in master classes and lectures, improve their English and learn how to design their start-up ideas in the form of a project.”

Jeyran Mahmudova – Rector of ASUCA

Yarat Contemporary Art Space

“Once again, YARAT is furthering its mission of nurturing artistic practice and commitment to education. YARAT facilitates exchange between local and international artistic thought through its exhibition and education programmes, artist residency, special workshops and public events. We believe that the Creative Spark project will enable our youth to get closely acquainted with UK’s creative industries and get practical guidance for future realization of their ambitions. ”

Suad Garayeva – Maleki – Artistic director of YARAT Contemporary Art Space

University of Arts London

University of the Arts London values the project’s commitment to building greater cultural connectivity, and the opportunity to further develop the creative and enterprise competencies of our students and graduates. We are particularly interested in facilitating international mobility for our students and we look forward to taking the project forward and developing new sustainable partnerships in Azerbaijan.

Tessa Read – Employability Manager, UAL