CESS 2018

Global Bolognaization: Central Asian Encounters with the European Higher Education Area
Location Posvar 4217
Date and Start Time 27 Oct, 2018 at 11:00
Sessions 1


  • Emma Sabzalieva (University of Toronto) email

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Chair N/A


The Bologna Process has now spread far beyond the borders of the European Union, a process we call Global Bolognaization. This makes it critical to understand how European higher education ideas and reforms are being transferred to other settings and what impact this is having in these expanded spaces.

This roundtable focuses on the ways in which the Bologna Process is impacting the region of Central Asia. The five constituent states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have all been engaging with the Bologna Process for some time: Kazakhstan has been a full member of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) since 2010; European-inspired reforms in the other Central Asian states are either ongoing or currently in the process of being implemented. Yet Central Asia is currently on the periphery of the EHEA, not just geographically but in terms of academic/practitioner research.

As such, the purpose of this roundtable is to bring the Central Asian experience of Global Bolognaization to the fore. Presentations at this roundtable will be by academics and practitioners with first-hand experience of the EHEA as it is being encountered in Central Asia. The first presenter will comparatively analyse the progress made to date by the Central Asian countries in implementing the Bologna Process from the perspective of an extremely experienced academic based within the Kazakhstani higher education system. The second presenter, both an academic and a government adviser, will focus on the problem of the accreditation of higher education institutions of Kyrgyz Republic. The third presenter will provide valuable and little heard perspectives on the implmentation of the Bologna Process from Tajikistan. The fourth presenter will discuss the impact and influence of the Bologna reforms on the faculty, students and society in Badakhshan, Tajikistan.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.



Author: Gulnara Mendikulova (Satbayev University) email
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In my paper, I would like to talk about significant achievements and some negatives, which are connected to the development of the Bologna process in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

The education system in post-Soviet Central Asia was in the very difficult situation and had to adapt to new conditions, due to the socio-economic and socio-political crisis in the second half of the 1980s-early 1990s. In the 2000s, formed a national system of education quality assessment, discussed the optimal integration of the national education system in the world educational space, introduced in the educational process new information and credit technology, and conducted public debates on the transition to 12-year secondary education.

Undoubtedly the Bologna process reveals an aspiration of different countries towards the world educational space.

Kazakhstan was the first and (up to now) alone country in Central Asia to sign and ratify (1999) the Lisbon Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications in the European Region, an important precursor to, and central instrument of, the Bologna Process. In 2010, Kazakhstan became the 47th member of the Bologna Accords and joined to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA)

The joining of Kazakhstan to the Bologna process gives real advantages for Kazakhstani higher educational institutions, faculty and students. So, Kazakhstan universities will inevitably integrate with the world research and education community under the open information and state of the art information technologies. Now Kazakhstan is on the way to become a Central Asian Regional Academic Center.

Kyrgyzstan is not a signatory to the Bologna Accords nor is it eligible; however, in August 2011 a government decree on transferring to a two-cycle system of higher education was issued, with course weighting to be expressed in ECTS credits.

The Tajik government signed and ratified the Lisbon Convention on the Recognition of Degrees in 2012. As in Kyrgyzstan, the Tajik authorities are trying to align their system of higher education with that of the Bologna model. The government has introduced the ECTS credit system as a pilot program in two universities - the Technological University of Tajikistan and the Tajik University of Commerce - and has a target of widespread adoption by 2020.

Now Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are operating parallel systems of high education, one based on the European model and the other on the old Soviet model.

Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are not a Bologna signatory (nor Bologna compliant).


Author: Mohinav Ghafurova (Khorog State University) email
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Author: Aliya Akatayeva (Satbayev University) email
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The journey to autonomy and academic freedom at Satbayev University, Kazakhstan

Dr Aliya Akataeva and Dr Dilda Nauryzbaeva, Satbayev University, Kazakhstan


Kazakhstan was first Central Asian state to join the European educational space on March 2010. Universities took responsibilities to develop academic autonomy, democratic principles in management, students' academic freedom, research,and scientific freedom. In the sphere of higher education, the Kazakhstan government

has contributed much to the development of academic mobility, three-degree diplomas and universities' academic freedom. Kazakhstan is making great attempts to provide qualified and efficient education competences. However, Kazakhstan is still facing challenges and difficulties in implementing the Bologna Process.

Despite the fact that the Ministry of Education is attempting to introduc

e academic freedom, Kazakhstani higher education is faced with misunderstandings, low level of participation,and different attitude and approaches to the implementation of world standards in education. The high

level of globalization of the world community and rapidly growing economies require a speedy rebuilding of the development model of Kazakhstan, which in turn requires the development of competitive universities.

February 14, 2017 was a momentous day for higher education in the Republic of Kazakhstan. For the first time, 12 of the country's higher education institutions were given some degree of autonomy. The government approved new regulations that allowed those high-performing universities to manage their own affairs in a number of crucial ways, from admissions policies and developing degree programmes, content and assessment to defining academic job roles, qualifications and salaries. Autonomy in higher education is usually understood to mean "academic freedom", with universities enjoying freedom of discovery, inquiry and the teaching and learning of their students. Apparently achieving autonomy is not just the Kazakhstani government's task but its "dream", making only as an extremely tenuous connection between academic independence and the prospect of reduced funding from the state which is leading to greater activities in commercialization. In this situation Satbayev University has its own history of transforming and adopting international standards in education. In 2016, the university adopted a new roadmap for 2025 which is the concept for establishing itself as a leading globally ranked research university.

The university's mission is devoted to strengthening the university role

and develop ing its research potential in six areas: materials science, extractive industry, information technology, energy, earth science and biotechnology. This presentation explores how Satbayev University is navigating its journey towards autonomy and academic freedom in light of the February

2017 government regulations.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.