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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More changes at the top of Uzbekistan’s universities

Following the firing of the Rector of Tashkent's 'most corrupt university' in August 2019, another university leader has been shown the door. Rector Bahodyr Khodiev of Tashkent State University of Economics (TSUE) was suspended in November 2019 on the grounds of corruption. Details of Khodiev's alleged activities have not been made public, but this very …

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Uzbekistan: A breathtaking shift from autocracy to an open HE system

My latest piece for University World News, a global online publication for anyone with a passing interest in higher education, was published on October 19. I wanted to bring UWN's readership up to date with recent developments in Uzbekistan, which have been taking place at breakneck speed over the past couple of years. Please find …

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Tashkent’s ‘most corrupt university’ has a new boss

Several weeks after news broke that the head of Tashkent's 'most corrupt university' had been fired, a new appointee has taken up the mantle. Tashkent State University of Law (TSUL)'s Rector Yesemurat Kanyazov was fired not just from his university leadership position but also from his other job as Deputy Minister of Justice. The official …

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Head of Tashkent’s ‘most corrupt university’ fired

Catching up on recent higher ed news, here's a story from Uzbekistan that speaks both to the ongoing wave of education policy reforms in that country as well as to the persistence of corrupt practices in higher education. At the end of August 2019, the Rector (Vice-Chancellor) of Tashkent State University of Law (TSUL) Yesemurat …

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Jumping on the Silk Road bandwagon

Whether it's China's 'One Belt, One Road' series of economically driven initiatives, books* rewriting the history of this exotic-to-the-Westerner region or UNESCO's growing repository of Silk Road resources, it seems the world can't get enough of the (new) Silk Road(s) at the moment. Central Asia is right at the heart of both the ancient trading …

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On the slow progress on women’s rights in Uzbekistan

With the opening up of Uzbekistan under President Mirziyoyev, I have been able to expand my blog's coverage beyond my traditional territories of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The dominant narratives for higher education in Uzbekistan over the past couple of years have been the dizzying speed of reforms and the massive drive to internationalize the …

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Politics is back (on the curriculum) in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan watchers must be exhausted with the near-constant flow of news about reforms in the country, but as the reforms appear to be supporting people in the country to live better and happier lives, this is a fatigue worth accepting. I've written a summary of the reforms that are affecting higher education and about a wave …

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A wave of new higher education institutions for Uzbekistan

In a post in September 2018, I detailed the extensive reforms being undertaken or planned for Uzbekistan's higher education system. The reforms cover everything from legislation to recognize (and encourage the growth of) privately operated universities and institutes to new government funding streams to improve access to higher education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. 2018 …

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