Russia partially re-opens its borders for international students

Feline good about getting back to the library During March 2021, the Russian Ministry of Education and Science passed two orders permitting the return of international students from a total of 31 countries. This includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (Turkmenistan is not on either list), other ex-Soviet states and a slightly random collection of …

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China and Russia’s higher education ambitions for Eurasia, and Central Asian responses (new publication)

Fortunately, our new article will not make you fall asleep For my first blog post of 2021, I'm very pleased to share a new peer-reviewed journal article. It explores China and Russia’s efforts to construct a higher education region in Eurasia and also examines the responses of policymakers in Central Asia to these initiatives. The …

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Distance learning feels very distant in Tajikistan

With borders still closed and Covid cases on the rise, many of the 26,000 or so Tajik students who study in Russia each year remain stuck at home. With around five million students (a massive number but actually only 2% of the world's student population) studying abroad, Tajikistan's international students are far from being alone. …

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More Russian schools for Tajikistan

A quick primer on how to say 'cat' in Russian. Easy, right? Oh, wait... Here's an interesting story on the continued growth of Russian language (and primarily Russian government funded) schools in Tajikistan. The story is (c) RFE/RL Tajikistan and author Farangis Najibullah (an excellent journalist; please check out her other work): No Shortage Of …

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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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Conceptualizing major change in higher education

In my research on former Soviet higher education systems, the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 continues to feature prominently as a starting point for some of the subsequent shifts that have occurred in higher education (and in society at large). More recent changes such as the introduction of principles of the European Union's …

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