Publish Date: 22-SEP-2016 09:31 AM

Governing for Autonomy: Framing the Challenges and Noting the Progress

On September 19, 2016 research staff of Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education, alongside Professor Matthew Hartley and Professor Peter Eckel from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, conducted an international conference entitled “Governing for Autonomy: Framing the Challenges and Noting the Progress”. 
There is good reason why this particular topic was chosen as the main theme of the Conference. Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School (USA) have been conducting a research project entitled “Advancing Models of Best Practice in Academic Governance and Management in Higher Education Institutions in Kazakhstan" that focuses on a thorough study and analysis of the current governance reforms in HEIs in the Republic of Kazakhstan and will follow with developing recommendations in this area. 

At the same time, currently the selected topic is particularly vital due to the fact that according to the State Program for Education and Science Development for 2016-2019 (hereinafter – SPESD) it is planned to implement measures aimed at enhancing management and monitoring of the development of higher and postgraduate education. The SPESD emphasizes the need to implement shared governance principles through the gradual expansion of the academic freedom, administrative and financial autonomy at HEIs. At the same time, issues related to the institutional autonomy and accountability have been raised in developed countries and by flagship universities in the world. Taking into account these aspects, the Conference provided a discussion platform for representatives of Kazakhstani universities leading the development of shared governance in their institutional settings.
Leaders and representatives of Kazakhstani higher education institutions took part in the event. Discussions related to the aspects of developing shared governance in Kazakhstani higher education institutions: the best approaches to HEI management and governance in the 10-year future, effective mechanisms for university management and governance, performance and accountability of governing boards, implementation of autonomy in higher educational institutions of Kazakhstan.
Karaganda State Technical University’s Rector Arstan Gazaliev and Narxoz University’s Rector Krzysztof Rybinski presented their cases in the Session “Toward Governance for Autonomy: “Live Case Studies”. The two speakers outlined main strategies related to shared governance at their home universities. The presentations were well-received and followed with a lively discussion.
After the discussions and debates, the conference participants developed recommendations for further work on the development of institutional autonomy in Kazakhstani higher education system. 
Upon conducting a thorough analysis of the discussions held at the Conference, a white paper reflecting the insights of the Conference has been drawn up:

 You can check the program of the conference here.

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