Doing environmental research in Central Asia (online lecture, May 7)

It's been longer than usual since I've posted, mainly because there's not much to say about education in Central Asia that's not related to Covid-19. For a round-up of how the five states have been approaching the novel coronavirus, take a look at my April 1 post (not a joke, sadly). Since then, Tajikistan has …

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Values, Identities and the Problems of Modernisation in Central Asia: Public lecture in Almaty, June 26

If you're in Almaty on June 26, this upcoming University of Central Asia lecture looks great (although the word 'modernization' makes me queasy). Take some notes for me? Values, Identities and the Problems of Modernisation in Central Asia Eset Esengaraev Sociologist, Candidate of Historical Sciences Abstract  Central Asian societies feature characteristics of both a traditional and …

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University of Central Asia Students Hold First TEDx in Khorog

It's exciting to hear about the initiative taken by University of Central Asia (UCA) students in Khorog, Tajikistan, to hold the town's first TEDx. TED (the 'x' afterwards indicates it's an independently organized event) is now a well-established idea. TED talks are mini-conferences in which people have just a few minutes to share a small …

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A Multinational University in Central Asia

I'm sharing a post I wrote for the Centre for Canadian & International Higher Education's blog about the University of Central Asia. The post was published today at https://ciheblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/05/a-multinational-university-in-central-asia/ and is also copied below: A Multinational University in Central Asia It’s the early 1990s and 15 new countries have emerged from the colossal historical moment …

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Seminar // March 2, 2018 // Toronto // Education at the roof of the world: The story of the University of Central Asia

If you're in Toronto on Friday March 2 between 11am-12.30pm, please consider coming to a seminar organized by my department and the Munk School of Global Affairs in which Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Central Asia, will talk about this innovative, new, multi-country university. Details in the …

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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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Town and gown dispute update: Statement from University of Central Asia 

Shortly after my post on the rising tension in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan following an alleged town and gown dispute after a sports match, the University of Central Asia has now issued a detailed version of the incident on its Facebook page. The English version is copied below in full: UCA LOOKS TO BUILD BRIDGES FOLLOWING BASKETBALL …

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Town and gown clash at the University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan

Reports are coming in of a clash between university students at the new campus of the University of Central Asia (UCA) in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan, and local inhabitants. Tempers flared between town and gown in which some of the university's students from neighbouring Tajikistan allegedly "beat up locals during the basketball match" (source: Akipress). This led …

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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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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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