Wrapping up 2020

Well. It's been quite the year. It's hard to know where or how to start what would typically be my annual recap post. There's both too much and not enough to say, whether it's on higher education in Central Asia, on the injustices and inequalities that have been brought to the forefront by Covid, on …

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Educating Central Asia, From Soviet Collapse to COVID-19 – Interview with The Diplomat

I recently teamed up with Vasila Bozichaeva, higher education researcher and PhD candidate at the Academy of Sciences in Tajikistan to do an interview with The Diplomat on education in Central Asia. Our interview responses were furr-ific In the interview, we cover everything from the idea of a university in Soviet times to how Tajikistan's …

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Join me live on Oct 1: Surviving a crisis: Resilience, adaptation, and transformation in higher education after the collapse of the Soviet Union

Updated Dec 2020: You can now watch a video of the seminar. I'm giving a seminar on October 1 (9am Eastern, 2pm UK, 6pm Dushanbe) about my recently completed doctoral work and would love to see you there. It's being hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education, an international research centre with hubs at …

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Nine years of blogging later…

Cat memes are now an integral part of the blog. I started to include them after a friend suggested (jokingly??) that I should add cat pics to increase readership... 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 …

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Back to school in Central Asia

Covid-cat is ready to go back to school (if it's open) The impending start of the 2020/21 school year is presenting challenges for teachers, students, parents, and governments around the world. Although some countries have managed to come up with a plan, many are still fumbling in the COVID-19 induced darkness, even with September just …

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Watch/listen again: My SCOLAR Talk on higher education in Central Asia

Screenshot from my SCOLAR Talk on August 13, 2020 with Olesya Dovgalyuk Thanks to everyone who tuned in live last week to watch my SCOLAR Talk with the talented Olesya Dovgalyuk. We had a great time chatting about everything from Ibn Sino (Avicenna) to the 400+% growth in the higher education system in contemporary Kyrgyzstan! …

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You can study abroad, except where you can’t: Uzbekistan restricts students from some Kyrgyz and Tajik universities

After a minor uproar over Uzbekistan's February 2020 announcement that its students abroad should return home, the country's latest announcement about where its citizens may (and may not) study abroad was unlikely to go unnoticed - even as regional travel remains restricted as a result of Covid-19. A total of 16 universities - 8 each …

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Coronavirus: The strangers reaching out to Kyrgyzstan’s lonely teenagers (BBC)

In case you missed this story of hope and friendship that was published recently on the BBC, I'm reposting it here. Written by Abdujalil Abdurasulov, the story looks at how over 100 young adult Kyrgyz volunteers are reaching out to teens around the country to offer them companionship during Covid-19. It's a wonderful initiative and …

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