Could Kazakhstan become a regional higher education hub?

If you’re the Kazakh state, the answer is an obvious “yes”. No details have yet to emerge from the Centre for International Programmes, the government agency tasked with internationalizing Kazakh higher education, but you can bet that if the public policy agenda is leading in this direction, it won’t be long before the hub becomes …

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Does study abroad lead to democracy in former Soviet countries?

These days, there’s a lot of literature out there – both in the academic and the policy worlds – on studying abroad. You can read about why students choose to go abroad for higher education, how studying abroad changes students, how states compete to recruit the best students from around the world, what this all …

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The use and abuse of honorary titles in academia

I recently reported on a new China-led university alliance, and noted the increasing influence of China in Central Asia. So I thought it was good timing to note that Kyrgyz career diplomat and Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Abdyldaev was recently awarded an honorary academic post by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The award of Honorary …

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I’d close some universities if I could – Kazakh Ambassador to Canada

The number of higher education institutions in Kazakhstan – a country with a population of 17 million – rocketed up from 55 in 1991 to a peak of 182 just a decade later. Many of these were very small institutes, privately run and focussed on teaching. A number of these naturally fell away in the subsequent years, but …

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The Kazakh National Plan: 100 steps to success

The Kazakh Minister of Education and Science Dr Aslan Sarinzhipov has this week laid out the steps identified by the national government to improving human capital and therefore economic prosperity in 21st century Kazakhstan. In May 2015, the government identified five areas of institutional reform, which collectively have 100 steps that must be achieved before completion of the National Plan. …

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Study abroad – what happens next?

Kazakh newspaper The Astana Times has this week published a story featuring three Bolashak scholarship holders to understand what happens once they return to Kazakhstan. The Bolashak Scholarships are the Kazakh government’s flagship scholarship programme, and have sent over 10,000 students abroad to study at top universities around the world. Although a condition of the scholarship is that …

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Why fund students to study abroad?

So asks a report by the British Council and the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD, or German Academic Exchange Service) that I have been meaning to post for some time: http://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/britishcouncil.uk2/files/e002_outward_mobility_study_final_v2_web.pdf ‘The rationale for sponsoring students to undertake international study: an assessment of national student mobility scholarship programmes’ was published at this year’s British Council-sponsored Going …

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Studying abroad: no longer just a dream?

Here’s a transcription (though not a literal translation) of a very informative 8 minute video from Radio Ozodi [ru]. It shows a growing interest in studying abroad, but the programme has a clear moral drive behind its interesting content – see the last paragraph. Makes me wonder if the Kazakh government didn’t inspire the piece: the …

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The state of higher education in Kazakhstan

Happy new year! This repost is of an interesting interview with Dr. Mukash Burkitbayev, vice rector of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The interview was undertaken by Eurasianet, originally posted at http://www.eurasianet.org/node/66339 with a video of the interview. The transcript is reprinted below: Dr. Mukash Burkitbayev is the vice rector of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in …

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