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Central Asian Education: Exploring Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Quality in Times of Change 
Martha Merrill (Kent State University)
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Joseph Stark (Samarkand International University of Technlogy (SIUT))
Ronald Wiley (Samarkand International University of Technology)
308 (Floor 3)
Saturday 8 June, -
Time zone: Asia/Almaty


In times of political, economic, social, and demographic change, educational institutions often are asked to fulfill new functions for new audiences in new ways. How do those new audiences evaluate the quality of the new functions, sometimes delivered by new institutions? In Central Asia, countries with different histories and different goals have different answers. A common theme, however, is the search for quality. Our five papers examine different facets of this issue.

Aleksey Semyonov considers the interaction between student engagement and attendance. Drawing upon statistics on attendance and student performance, plus state policies in Uzbekistan, he reflects on both the efficacy of state policies and the options open to individual institutions to increase attendance and student engagement, and thus the quality of students’ education.

At the school level, Chris Whitsel discusses national-level, community- level, and family-level variables that influence children’s enrollment. He argues that the community level factors are key. Through his research in Tajikistan, he found that cultural norms in the community and school quality significantly impacted school participation, especially for girls.

Chynarkul Ryskulova explores the coexistence of Ph.D. programs adapted from western models along with traditional Kandidat Nauk and Doktor Nauk programs in Kyrgyzstan. Why do prospective graduate students choose one or the other? How do faculty view these options? How do perceptions of the quality of each enter into the choices that students and faculty make?

Returning to Uzbekistan, Martha Merrill looks how the recently allowed new private universities use British partners and the partners’ validation of university coursework as tools to show prospective students that the new universities possess “world-class” quality.

Alan France, in turn, looks at the British entrants into transnational education themselves, emphasizing that the future depends on the success of all of the actors involved. Drawing on more than 20 years of experience with TNE in Uzbekistan, his paper sketches the common traits of the successful models.

Demographics differ, reforms differ, educational levels differ, and the goals of parents, students, faculty, and administrators may differ, but in the search for quality, students’ presence in classrooms, at particular institutions, and in certain kinds of programs, and the development of policies and procedures that engage them and create perceptions of excellence among all relevant stakeholders are key factors in evolving ideas of quality.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Saturday 8 June, 2024, -