Free webinar on higher education transformations in Eurasia

Happy new year to all my blog readers - all 1,000+ of you! I hope 2018 has started well for you, wherever you are in the world and whatever your plans are for this year. I am looking forward to continuing to share news and reflections on the wonderful world of education, society and politics …

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Fast facts on Central Asian higher education

I was asked recently to give an overview of Central Asia's higher education systems to a group of people who know a lot about higher education but less about the Central Asian context. This was a great task. It really got me thinking about what someone would need to know in order to get a sense …

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New article published: The policy challenges of creating a world-class university outside the global ‘core’

I'm pleased to share the publication of my latest journal article. Out online in the European Journal of Higher Education now (and in print in June), my article is called The policy challenges of creating a world-class university outside the global 'core' and takes a fresh look at the now commonplace idea of the world-class university. I used …

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A mountain to climb? Educating leaders for Central Asia

At the start of this year, I shared a great article on the nascent University of Central Asia from Devex and Michael Igoe. If you enjoyed that, you'll be pleased to hear that the article in fact came in three parts. In part two, A classroom for the mountains, Igoe discusses the intensity and rigour with which the undergraduate …

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New research from Central Asian university students

Intrigued by reforms to education in Kazakhstan, from the new trilingual education policy to greater steps towards decentralization of governance? Want to know what students at a new Kazakh university think about life on campus or the effectiveness of their institution's strategic plan? Curious to learn more about students' views on learning methods, from videoessays to critical thinking …

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Education for the local, as well as the national and global

Starting off the new year with a hopeful story - and I will do what I can to make this year one where hope is rekindled - comes news from the University of Central Asia's (UCA) brand new campus in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan. Regular readers will know I've been following this project for 15 years now, since working for the …

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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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Faculty blamed for poor standards at Kulob State University, Tajikistan

An unusually critical article was published recently in Asia-Plus - one of Tajikistan's last remaining bastions of press freedoms - observing a worrying drop in educational standards at Kulob State University [ru], nominally one of the best in the country. Two main causes are identified: the fact that many of the better qualified faculty have left the university (20 …

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A new phase for Central Asian higher education begins

After many years in the pipeline (just do a quick search on my blog if you want to check the archives!), the University of Central Asia (UCA) has today welcomed its very first undergraduate students. True, they are a select few: just 71 students selected from the three UCA countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan …

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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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