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Implications of Innovations: Changes in Higher Education in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan 
Martha Merrill (Kent State University)
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Zumrad Kataeva (Nazarbayev University)
chris whitsel (North Dakota State University)
Sunday 17 October, 9:15-10:45 (UTC-4)

Long Abstract

Innovations in higher education in Central Asia are not identical, but rather are driven by different contexts and different goals. The speakers in this panel will discuss new practices and policies in three countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

Dilrabo Jonbekova, Tatyana Kim, and Yevgeniya Serkova examine government scholarships for international education in Kazakhstan and how their recipients contribute to social change. Considering the scarcity of scholarly research on scholarship programs’ contribution to countries’ development in the post-Soviet space, and most importantly a dearth of literature on outcomes from government scholarship programs, this study will contribute to global research on scholarship programs from within a non-western context.

Martha Merrill and Shakhnoza Yakubova studied the enabling resolutions of five South Korean International Branch Campuses (IBCs) in Uzbekistan. Between 2017 and 2020, the number of IBCs leaped from seven to more than 20. Five are branches of South Korean universities. They differ from each other on seven characteristics. The wording of the resolutions suggests a market-driven, negotiated entry of IBCs into Uzbekistan, rather than a centralized analysis of economic and educational needs.

In 2016, independent accreditation replaced state attestation of higher education institutions in Kyrgyzstan. Chynarkul Ryskulova has studied the implementation of these processes at the American University in Central Asia, as well as professors’ perceptions of accreditation at several public universities. Given professors’ universal response of “too much paperwork” and their lack of understanding of quality assurance as a continuous process rather than a once-in-five-years event, she has been working with one of the independent accreditation agencies to revise the required documentation.

Alan DeYoung and Andrey Khojee studied a curricular innovation at Westminster International University in Tashkent. This paper explores how Global and International Citizenship education evolved at Westminster International University of Tashkent. The implications of this learning, and of students’ internationalized learning from the more than 20 IBCs in Uzbekistan, may be broader and deeper than what was originally foreseen.

Each of these four innovations has implications for policy and practice.

Accepted papers: