Kazakh medical students expelled for doctoring documents

Just when you think the cool-headed forward-looking Kazakh government has higher education under control, another scandal erupts and throws things off kilter. On April 24, a report emerged that the Astana Medical University had been forced to expel over 100 of its students [ru] for doctoring their language test documentation. All (post)graduate students studying medicine/allied subjects …

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Bureaucracy 2.0: Red tape redux in Tajikistan

Bureaucracy lives and thrives in the higher education institutions of Central Asia. It may be more than 25 years since the Soviet Union collapsed but the volokita (red tape i.e. bureaucracy) that the USSR was so well known for remains in many social institutions of the formerly Soviet states. Universities are no exception. Opened to …

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Corruption corrupted in Kazakhstan

Kazakh civil servant Almat Yermagambetov wins this week's prize for bare faced deception. Yermagambetov handed over to the police a woman who falsely claimed she could obtain admission at Nazarbayev University and a place at a top school in return for a large amount of cash - $20,000 US to be exact. This sounds great for moves towards transparency …

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“We are losing our future”: Corruption in Uzbek higher education

I'm excited to share the results of new original research on corruption in Uzbek higher education, written by Albina Yun. Yun is a graduate of the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and the Uzbek State World Languages University. She is a higher education professional currently working at Westminster University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Yun's research, written up as a policy brief …

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How to get into university in Kyrgyzstan

Tuition fees were introduced in post-Soviet higher education systems further to the advice of international organizations such as the World Bank in the 1990s, as one way of relieving very constrained state budgets from the deteriorating economic situation most of the newly (re)independent states found themselves in further to the break-up of the Soviet Union. [Make of those …

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Metal detectors and security cameras: Beware exam cheats, the Kazakhstani government’s watching

How do you catch the attention of a global audience increasingly used to high participation in higher education? In the case of Kazakhstan, one journalist thinks he's found the answer, and that is to showcase the high stakes risks some people will take just to have the chance to compete for a place at one of the country's …

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Can’t pay? Won’t pay? Russian goverment fails to pay salaries and stipends in Tajikistan

Once known as Tajikistan's most prestigious higher education institution, the Russian-Tajik Slavonic University (RTSU) in the country's capital Dushanbe, has certainly fallen from grace in recent years. Last October, I reported on a sad and disturbing story about a student at RTSU being set upon by fellow coursemates, ostensibly simply for speaking up in class. The …

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The top 10 ranking no university wants to join

Another week, another university league table? Are you getting bored of Buzzfeed-esque listicles? Are you tired of listening to yet another Vice-Chancellor/Provost tell you how well their university has performed in the latest round of classifications? Then how about this: here's a league table that I guarantee no university would want to join. I can promise you that you wouldn't …

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It’s not all about the money – making academia more attractive in Kyrgyzstan

Academics working in one of Kyrgyzstan's many state funded universities get a bonus in their monthly pay packet if they have a higher degree of Candidate of Sciences or Doctor of Sciences. Quick contextual note: Kyrgyzstan still follows the Soviet system (which itself is heavily influenced by the German higher education model) of awarding two doctoral-type …

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