Why are Uzbek students abroad being sent home?

No choice but to home for Uzbekistan's overseas students Uzbekistan's Ministry of Education has announced that Uzbek students studying abroad in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan should return home and enrol at a domestic higher education institution. The Ministry has been quick to underline that this decision is not connected to the novel coronavirus that …

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Youth unemployment in Kazakhstan

The blog is back for another year! 2020 represents my ninth year of blogging on education, society and politics in Central Asia. Over the lifetime of the blog, I've posted almost 300 stories that have been viewed over 50,000 times and earned nearly 1,500 subscribers. Thanks to everyone who reads the blog, whether occasionally or …

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International students on the rise in Kazakhstan

In 2019, over 25,000 international students chose to study abroad in Kazakhstan. This figure is up from 16,000 last year, an impressive year-on-year increase of 64%. According to the Ministry of Education and Science, most international students come from India, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. The Ministry believes that one reason for the growth is …

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Activism, academia and equality in Central Asia

I'm a little late to the party on this, but then again it's never too late to find time to read a brilliant series of articles on OpenDemocracy from earlier this year on how academic research is conducted in Central Asia. Spearheaded by tireless UK/Sweden/globally based academic and activist Dr Diana T. Kudaibergenova, the series …

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Getting around the law to get in to university in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

Central Asian faculty and friends I know are fond of observing that higher education in the region is not as good as it used to be, and/or is facing a 'crisis' because of a lack of quality, corruption, outflow of good teachers and so on. All of these points are valid. Yet at the same …

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To merge, or not to merge… But is that the question in Kazakhstan?

On the back of recent news that a number of universities in Kazakhstan are to be reorganized and some merged, rumours are now spreading that at least one of the proposed mergers will not in fact go ahead. According to Dilara Aronova, a journalist for northern Kazakhstan's regional news outlet Kostanay News, social media has …

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Stocks and shares but not for sale – More reorganization in Kazakhstan’s universities

The Kazakh government has typically paid a very active role in the organization and governance of higher education in the country. Over time the particular policy instruments du jour have changed depending on the main aim being pursued by the state. Of late, there has been an uptick in the number of university mergers as well as the …

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Recommended article – “Educational research in Central Asia: methodological and ethical dilemmas in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan” by Dilrabo Jonbekova

Published in well rated peer-reviewed journal Compare, Dilrabo Jonbekova's 2018 article examines the challenges and opportunities open to researchers of Central Asia, studying both 'insider' and 'outsider' researcher perspectives (and the blurring of the lines between these two groups). Jonbekova, a faculty member at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, is well placed for a study like this, …

Continue reading Recommended article – “Educational research in Central Asia: methodological and ethical dilemmas in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan” by Dilrabo Jonbekova

Conceptualizing major change in higher education

In my research on former Soviet higher education systems, the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 continues to feature prominently as a starting point for some of the subsequent shifts that have occurred in higher education (and in society at large). More recent changes such as the introduction of principles of the European Union's …

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