Tajikistan-China education cooperation

News agency Avesta has published possibly the most boring story I've read about the prospects for higher education cooperation between Tajikistan and China. Seriously, this post could easily have been called 'Diplomacy wins, or: How to make a story from nothing'. Bear in mind I read a lot of news stories about education in Central …

Continue reading Tajikistan-China education cooperation

Chinese corporate social responsibility in Tajikistan, or, How to build a school for free

The might of Chinese businesses operating in Tajikistan is growing, with news emerging of one company alone that will build three new schools in the country [ru] later this year, supporting over 1,000 students. This is not the first such initiative, which is being posited as evidence of Chinese corporate social responsibility. Other road-building companies have already financed …

Continue reading Chinese corporate social responsibility in Tajikistan, or, How to build a school for free

Seminar // March 5, 2018 // Comparing internationalization in higher education in Tajikistan and Iraq, plus other papers

I'm delighted to invite you to a seminar I have organized being held on Monday March 5, 2018 from 11.30am-1pm in Toronto and also livestreamed online. The seminar showcases some of the student research on internationalization in higher education being done at my faculty, OISE, that will be presented at the prestigious Comparative & International …

Continue reading Seminar // March 5, 2018 // Comparing internationalization in higher education in Tajikistan and Iraq, plus other papers

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 …

Continue reading The use and abuse of honorary titles in academia

What does the Asian Universities’ Alliance mean for Central Asia?

A small flurry of press stories recently (e.g. in University World News on 2 June, University World News on 4 May, The PIE News, Today.kz and ICEF Monitor) announced the arrival of a new partnership of higher education institutions, the Asian Universities' Alliance (AUA). Bringing together 15 universities from 14 countries, the AUA aims to promote academic mobility between institutions and countries …

Continue reading What does the Asian Universities’ Alliance mean for Central Asia?

Central Asia: what lies ahead? (updated)

Happy new year! This is my fifth year of blogging on Central Asia, focussing on issues relating to higher education and social change. I open the year with an interesting analytical think piece from global intelligence agency Stratfor that attempts to surmise what the future might hold for the region. It's available on their website …

Continue reading Central Asia: what lies ahead? (updated)

Does research always have to be targeted towards economic benefit?

If you are a developing Asian state, the answer apparently seems to be 'yes'. This has been suggested as a strategy for Asian countries in achieving their research and development goals. Resources for scientific research, whether undertaken in universities or in the private sector, should be carefully allocated and targeted towards specific areas for priority development. …

Continue reading Does research always have to be targeted towards economic benefit?

Work Together to Build a Bright Future: the Universities Alliance of the New Silk Road

Today's post picks up on a recent report by Yojana Sharma in University World News on a new alliance set up in China to bring together universities along the Silk Road, that ancient trading route linking China to Europe. In fact, the exact geography of 'Silk Road' is very broadly interpreted for this new grouping, bringing together as it does …

Continue reading Work Together to Build a Bright Future: the Universities Alliance of the New Silk Road

Culture and communication from China to Kyrgyzstan

Chinese newspaper Shanghai Daily reports today on the rise of the Confucius Institute [en] in Kyrgyzstan. Confucius Institutes are non profit-making organisations connected to the Chinese Ministry of Education aiming to promote Chinese language and culture, somewhat akin to the British Council from the UK or the Goethe Instituts from Germany. There are around 500 Confucius Institutes around the world after the first …

Continue reading Culture and communication from China to Kyrgyzstan