Times are changing for university governance in Kazakhstan

The Kazakh government has decided to take a big step towards greater independence for Kazakh universities by reforming the top layer of institutional governance. 'Oversight councils', also commonly known as Councils or Senates, will be responsible for hiring and firing Rectors (Vice Chancellors/CEOs) and have monitoring oversight for university finance  and strategy. (How those councils …

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High heels hit the headlines

My previous post High heels for higher learning seems to have captured the imagination of news agencies around the world. I've had pingbacks from France, China and Poland and the story was picked up by the Huffington Post, Global Voices Online as well as a number of syndicate agencies. Today, Spanish national newspaper El Pais has featured my post in …

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Human Rights Watch on Khorog military clashes

A slightly delayed reposting of this press release from international organisation Human Rights Watch. The content is very measured but clear and has had good coverage (though still, the whole situation last week in Khorog has had no coverage in any of the main UK newspapers. I can understand why with the Olympics on our …

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Military conflict, potential humanitarian crisis in Tajikistan: PLEASE HELP RAISE AWARENESS

This is the text of a press release I have put together based on other excellent notes written by Tajik colleagues around the world. Please, please help us raise awareness in the international community about events taking place RIGHT NOW in Khorog, south-east Tajikistan. We are all absolutely clear that we want PEACE and we …

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Kyrgyz students try to live on $100 a month – Washington Times

Kyrgyz students try to live on $100 a month - Washington Times. Re-post from Washington Times By T. Umaraliev - Special to The Washington Times BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — Kyrgyzstan’s online forums have buzzed with angry discussions about Economics Minister Akylbek Japarov since he told parliament in April that $100 is enough to live on for a month. Now three university students …

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Former President calls for higher education reform in Kyrgyzstan

Another re-posting, this time from Central Asia Online (http://centralasiaonline.com/en_GB/articles/caii/newsbriefs/2012/05/01/newsbrief-04). If anyone out there knows Kyrgyz and would be prepared to summarise the interview for me, please get in touch! (The Russian version is the same as the English one). Otunbayeva calls for higher education reform Staff Report 2012-05-01 BISHKEK – Former Kyrgyz president Roza Otunbayeva …

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Tajikistan’s government: how much longer a master of the nation?

Recently, I wrote about the appointment of Nuriddin Saidov as the new Education Minister in Tajikistan. I wondered at the time whether there was anything underlying the move of President Rahmon's close relative Abdujabbor Rahmonov from the Ministry to Tajik State Pedagogical University. It seems I'm not the only one who's been thinking about this move, …

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Global, but not local: Tajikistan’s new Education Minister overlooks basic reform needs

Earlier this month, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon installed a new Minister of Education: the former Rector of Tajik National University Nuriddin Saidov. (The outgoing Minister Abdujabbor Rahmonov has been appointed Rector of Aini Pedagogical University. I don't know if there was a particular reason for the move - the only information I can find is from state …

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Students: heads you lose, tails you lose

Are today's students in the former Soviet Union too political or not political enough? Two recent stories from Uzbekistan and Russia suggest that either way, students will end up being criticised: you're damned if you do care and you're damned if you don't. In Uzbekistan, the government has introduced a new moral code - no …

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Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer

This week, four stories that at first glance appear quite different... The UK's Telegraph has featured a number of articles on Central Asia recently, and  the report I'd like to bring to your attention now is about the opening of a new British Embassy in Kyrgyzstan. This is, as the newspaper notes, 'despite budget cutbacks'. …

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