I started this blog back in September 2011 after completing my Master’s degree and having had the chance to write my final report about a subject you all now know I hold dear: higher education in Central Asia.
To begin with, the blog served partly as a personal library, a place to store interesting stories about education, society and politics in Central Asia (and sometimes other parts of the ex-Soviet space) and to monitor developments in the region.
Over time, I started to add my own analysis to stories I read about elsewhere, sometimes bringing together multiple sources to create a blog post. I also decided to provide translations or summaries of Russian language stories for an English reading audience.
In nearly a decade of running the blog, I’ve published 325 posts (around three a month) and there have been over 60,000 views and over 32,000 visitors to the site. The blog has nearly 2,000 followers. Not bad at all for a site that has a very specific focus and which I started out of personal curiosity!
Writing for the blog has been a vehicle for turning my personal interest in higher education and in the former Soviet space into a career choice. As you may know, I moved to Canada in 2015 to start a PhD on – you guessed it – higher education in Central Asia. Alongside my doctoral studies, I’ve had the opportunity to engage in academic and policy research on a wide range of higher education related issues as I sought to shift from a career in university administration to one more focussed on research and teaching.
On September 1, 2020 – the Day of Knowledge in many ex-Soviet countries – I successfully defended my PhD and am now looking forward to what lies ahead. I’ll be giving a public webinar about my thesis research on October 1 through the Centre for Global Higher Education. I warmly invite you to join. Here’s the link: https://www.researchcghe.org/events/cghe-seminar/surviving-a-crisis-resilience-adaptation-and-transformation-in-higher-education-after-the-collapse-of-the-soviet-union/.
I plan to keep blogging about Central Asian education, and hope you will keep reading. Let’s see where the next nine years takes us!