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Astana, Kazakhstan • 19 December, 2023 | 16:33
8 min read

Global Alliances, Local Impact: Latest Kazakhstan's Advancements in Higher Education and Science

Which developments in international cooperation have been made this November?

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In late November, Kazakhstan witnessed a significant surge in collaborative efforts aimed at advancing its education and scientific landscape. Notably, partnerships were formed between institutions such as the Kazakh National Women's Pedagogical University and the State University of Hungary, focusing on preschool and special education.

Minister Sayasat Nurbek also engaged in discussions with the Doha Institute of Postgraduate Education, exploring areas of cooperation. Similar initiatives included collaborations between the Colorado School of Mines and S. Utebaev Atyrau University, as well as the Taraz Regional University named after M. H. Dulati and the University of Nebraska.

The Ministry's interactions with Francisco Marmolejo of the Qatar Foundation and the memorandum of cooperation between the National Nuclear Center and Satbayev University further exemplify Kazakhstan's commitment to fostering global partnerships and advancing research and education.

QazMonitor has analyzed the eight most recent advancements in the fields of science and higher education, which will bring new impetus to the development of research incentives in the country and improve Kazakhstan’s international cooperation.

Kazakhstan and Hungary Unite for Early Education Excellence

The Kazakh National Women's Pedagogical University and the State University of Hungary announced a strategic partnership in preschool and special education during the workshop "Child Focus in Preschool Education." This agreement is a step toward enriching the educational environments of both countries and promoting preschool and special education. Students and teachers will have the opportunity to participate in an academic mobility program, expanding their knowledge and cultural experiences.

Kazakhstan's Minister of Science Ignites Collaboration with Doha's Postgraduate Powerhouse

Minister of Science and Higher Education, Sayasat Nurbek, held a meeting with the leadership of Doha Institute of Postgraduate Education in fulfillment of the Head of State's instruction. During the official visit of the Head of State to Germany on September 28-29, 2023, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, along with the Ministry of Industry and Construction of the Republic of Kazakhstan, was instructed to study and identify areas of application of the experience of cooperation between "Mercedes-Benz Group AG" and the Qatari Institute of Graduate Studies "Doha Institute of Graduate Studies."

Sayasat Nurbek presented the program of higher education in the RK, delving in detail into the topic of artificial intelligence and its development in Kazakhstan. He emphasized the allocation of quotas for university teachers in pedagogical areas, their training, and internships under the "Bolashak" program and the "500 scientists" project. The Minister highlighted substantial efforts to improve the scientific sphere and community of the country, focusing now on student science.

In turn, the President of Doha Institute of Postgraduate Education, Dr Abdel Wahab Al-Afandi expressed interest in educational programs and scientific projects of Kazakhstan and proposed signing a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Kazakhstan.

Colorado School of Mines Sparks Knowledge Exchange at Atyrau University of Oil and Gas

A delegation from the Colorado School of Mines, led by Vice President for Global Development John Bradford, visited the S. Utebaev Atyrau University of Oil and Gas. Both parties discussed promising plans, including the exchange of experience and knowledge, the formation of a global vision of the industry's problems, and the creation of educational programs for master's and doctoral studies.

Qatar Foundation and Kazakhstan's Science Minister Forge Pathways in Higher Education

Minister of Science and Higher Education Sayasat Nurbek held a meeting with Francisco Marmolejo, President of the Higher Education Division of Qatar Foundation, during his visit to Qatar. The meeting discussed prospects for cooperation with branches of prestigious foreign universities in Qatar, the organization of joint educational programs, and the implementation of scientific projects, particularly in the direction of water security. Sayasat Nurbek presented the project of educational reforms, providing detailed insights into transformations in higher education, including the creation of an academic hub in Central Asia and the opening of branches of leading foreign universities based on Kazakhstan regional universities. Francisco Marmolejo expressed readiness to support Kazakhstani colleagues and shared his experience in opening and managing branches of foreign universities. As a result of the meeting, it was agreed to jointly prepare a draft memorandum of cooperation in the fields of education, science, and innovation to be signed during official visits.


Water Warriors: Nebraska Professor Joins Forces with Kazakh University for Clean Solutions

Taraz Regional University named after M. H. Dulati closely collaborates with universities in the United States. In this context, Daniel Davidson Snow, Professor at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, was invited to Dulati University. Daniel Snow, a PhD candidate and director of the Aquatic Sciences Laboratory at the University of Nebraska, has maintained research ties with scientists at the University of Dulati for many years through collaborative projects. He is working with Dr. Marzhan Kalmakhanova, PhD, Head of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technologies, on a project to study water drainage in the Zhambyl region. Over three months, Daniel Snow and Marzhan Kalmakhanova conducted an experiment to determine the water content of municipal wastewater in the vicinity of Asa village. Some samples were sent to the University of Nebraska for examination, revealing harmful impurities hazardous to human health. Consequently, plans are underway to install a filtration system.


Nuclear Innovation: Kazakhstan's National Nuclear Center Partners with Satbayev University

The National Nuclear Center and Satbayev University have agreed to jointly develop scientific research, train personnel for nuclear power, and improve the skills of current employees. The signing of the memorandum of cooperation took place in Kurchatov during the university delegation's visit to the National Nuclear Center. The agreement aims to enhance the quality of scientific projects participating in competitions of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, train a new generation of nuclear scientists, integrate scientific research into the educational process, and develop innovative technologies in the field of nuclear energy.

MIT and Kazakhstan's Nuclear Physics Institute Illuminate Future of Nuclear Science

The Institute of Nuclear Physics signed a second memorandum of research collaboration with the Michael Short Research Group and the Director of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The first memorandum was signed in 2016. Under the memorandum, the Nuclear Physics Institute and MIT will continue to collaborate on joint research in radiation materials science and nuclear engineering, along with joint training of PhD students. According to the memorandum, at least five Kazakhstani PhD doctoral students will be supervised by Michael Short, and there will be doctoral internships at MIT. The Institute of Nuclear Physics will implement a project of joint design of the TGS (transient grating spectroscopy) benchtop system. Currently, INP scientists are developing a project jointly with MIT at the International Science and Technology Center.


Coursera and Eurasian National University Revolutionize Teaching Skills in Kazakhstan

Eurasian National University is launching a new project, "ENU Faculty Development," in collaboration with the educational platform Coursera. This project is the first of its kind in Kazakhstan and aims to improve the qualifications of the university's teaching staff. ENU is developing a new stage in partnership with Coursera. Within the framework of "ENU Faculty Development," more than 200 carefully selected courses on the Coursera platform have become available for about 300 teachers of the university. This provides a unique opportunity for training and professional development in a wide range of areas, from artificial intelligence to teaching methodology. The ENU Faculty Development project aims to improve the quality of education and services provided by Eurasian National University. Additionally, cooperation with Coursera will allow for the improvement of methods and technologies in the educational process, contributing to the further development of educational programs.

Broader context

What is particularly important is that the advancements in scientific cooperation align directly with the priorities set by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev earlier this year. To recap, he said the world is undergoing tremendous changes. In geopolitics, economics and social relations, humanity is facing unprecedented challenges, and science and technology are rapidly developing.

"The scientific field has become a giant industry with financial turnovers in the billions of dollars. The value of large technological corporations has reached a trillion dollars. The emergence of neural networks and artificial intelligence has led to truly revolutionary processes. The contours of a new way of life are already visible. It has both useful and dangerous aspects that can pose a serious threat. Even Ilon Musk has voiced his concerns about the application of artificial intelligence and called for a temporary suspension of its development. According to him, artificial intelligence can pose a great threat to the entire humanity. Mankind has made fundamental discoveries in the fields of energy, medicine, bio- and genetic engineering. All these beginnings have brought radical changes in people's lives,"

said the Head of State in April.

Moreover, one of the tasks set by the President for 2023 was the development of the Law "On Science and Technology Policy" to synchronize the issues of science management, commercialization of the results of scientific activity, technology development and support of innovation activity. The implementation of this reform will make it possible to improve the efficiency of regulation of the business environment and form favorable and stimulating conditions for the activation of entrepreneurship. In this regard, the Law clearly defines such basic conditions for the formation of regulatory requirements as validity, equality of business entities, transparency, feasibility, definiteness, proportionality and rationality, and consistency.

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