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Advancing Models of Best Practice in Internationalization of Higher Education in Kazakhstan (2014 – 2016).

The research project Advancing Models of Best Practice in Internationalization of Higher Education in Kazakhstan will examine the ways of internationalizing HEIs of the Republic of Kazakhstan in light of the national, regional and global agenda. The research is focused on three key directions of the higher education reform: involvement of HEIs in the process of internationalisation, teaching methods, and internationalization of research. The project objective is to assess the current state of affairs in higher education in the context of internationalization of HEIs in the Republic of Kazakhstan. 

In March 2010 Kazakhstan signed the Bologna declaration at the Budapest Forum of Education Ministries of European Countries. Thus, Kazakhstan affirmed its aspiration to join the European Space of Higher Education. Without a doubt, bringing the academic potential of the country in line with the best international practices is seen to be the most promising direction of improving the higher education system of Kazakhstan. In the context of the ongoing reforms in education, the aim of the research project is to develop recommendations in accordance with the current trends in Kazakhstani higher education system. The research findings will be presented at various international and national conferences and promoted through publications in peer-reviewed journals. The research results will be reported to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The findings will reflect the current challenges related to internationalization of higher education and provide examples of effective methods of internationalization of universities taking place in HEIs of the country. 

In line with the research programme, February 2014 saw to a round table entitled Involvement of Higher Education Institutions in Internationalization Process. The event attracted senior managers as well as staff of structural subdivisions of HEIs of the Republic of Kazakhstan responsible for international cooperation including matters of internationalization. The round table programme covered the following discussion topics:
Internationalization of higher education on an institutional level.
The role of international offices in the process of internationalization of HEIs. 
Problems and challenges of internationalization and ways of addressing them.
Implementation of the internationalization strategy in HEIs.
The following papers were presented at the roundtable: 
Lynne Parmenter, Associate Dean of Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education: Global trends in internationalisation of higher education.
Murat Orunkhanov: The role of international departments in the process of internationalization of higher education institutions.
Bella Gazdiyeva, Head of the Centre for International Cooperation and Academic Mobility of Sh. Ualikhanov Kokshetau State University, and Sergei Lisnyak, Deputy Director of Department of International Collaboration of Gumilyov Eurasian National University, spoke about the problems and challenges of internationalization and the ways of addressing them. 

The materials generated at this roundtable will allow for a more detailed approach to internationalization of higher education in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

As part of the project implementation, a national survey was conducted among HEIs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The aim of this survey was to obtain comprehensive information on the general trends in internationalization of HEIs and gain insights into opinions of staff directly involved in internationalization of university. The information on the internationalization processes that are taking place in Kazakhstani universities are of a substantial practical interest and will be used in the process of developing recommendations on improving the mechanisms of higher education internationalization of the Republic of Kazakhstan in general.  

The survey consists of 32 questions divided into three groups:
The internationalization process in your HEI and in the Republic of Kazakhstan in general;
The role of the International Department; 
Information about university.

The survey is distributed among Kazakhstani universities via postal services. Universities can provide their responses either by post or through the online Survey Monkey platform. The survey covers over 100 Kazakhstani universities. 

The research team is examining and undertaking an analysis of the current issues pertinent to the implementation of the Bologna principles in the Post-Soviet space based on the publically available information and research literature. In order to investigate national features pertinent to how different countries in the Post-Soviet space apply the principles, the project envisages close cooperation with national experts in relevant countries.

The research team

Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education: Dr.Lynne Parmenter, Dr.Aida Sagintayeva, Dr.Jason Sparks, Dr.Сулушаш Керимкулова, Dr.Aisi Li, Adil Ashirbekov, Zakir Jumakulov, Guldana Akhmetova, Sholpan Tazabek.

International expert: Dr. Hans de Wit.

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