Going, going, gone: Kazakhstan’s Innovation University is shut down

A swathe of regulations, rankings, mergers, acquistions, and threats of closure for poor quality universities typify the Kazakh government's drive in recent years to increase and assure quality in its higher education system. The latest target of the quality movement is Innovation University, which had its operating licence removed in late January 2020 after two …

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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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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 …

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

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

Corruption finally on the wane in Kazakhkstan?

The votes have been counted and the results are in and... well, it turns out that Kazakhstan's higher education is not as corrupt as you might have thought. According to a report in Arna Press [ru], students in East Kazakhstan were generally pretty satisfied with their ability to progress through higher education without resorting to …

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Is there space for civil society in Kazakhstan?

I've been meaning to repost an article from The Diplomat on civil society in Kazakhstan for a while. With news of more arrests today after activists have unfurled banners and quoted the constitution, the topic of civil society in Kazakhstan is becoming a hot one. Tantalizingly entitled How can Kazakhstan revitalize its civil society?, author Sergey …

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#scienceiamdoing – Kazakh women tell all about research and life abroad

Over on Kazakh social media, something rather brilliant is happening. At the end of March, a new Yvision (a trilingual Kazakh blogging platform) blog was set up to support an Instagram account that's already been in operation for several months. The aim of the blog and Instagram accounts are to promote a very exciting project: #KZPHDGIRLSUNION The …

Continue reading #scienceiamdoing – Kazakh women tell all about research and life abroad