Almaty Management University (AlmaU) experiences transformation following online studies and distance work as prevention measures against COVID-19. The new work format focuses on the well-being of the students and teaching and administrative staff, which is the top priority for AlmaU. The University continuously supports faculty members, students and staff via formal and semiformal sessions.
AlmaU, a leading entrepreneurial university in Kazakhstan, has launched the transformation to online studies and distance work during global fight against COVID-19 to support students, faculty members and staff as well as maintain nonstop study process in the environment of threats caused by atypical virus.
Its IT decisions come together with the needs for psychological support that appear in the atmosphere of uncertainty and quarantine. AlmaU operates within its own AlmaUnion system comprised of all tools needed for corporate communications. Students and faculty members work on Moodle & Platonus platforms, widely used in Kazakhstan, all courses are supported by OpenAlmaU and AlmaU Online Center. The class schedule mostly remains the same, and the university is ready to prolong it up until the end of the spring semester if circumstances dictate so. AlmaU Online Library offers the much-needed database remotely. Webinars, video lectures and online streaming by AlmaU teaching and admin staff are the most appropriate ways to set remote contacts and discussions between the students, staff and stakeholders. Among the main topics are online study technologies, psychological issues in quarantine and isolation, academic issues, professional growth, entrepreneurial approach to the hardship situations and others.
There are obviously situations when the speed of internet lowers due to high volume of users, in some cases making it difficult to sustain the high quality of the teaching process. Nevertheless, the government authorities show great support in promotion of the stable study process on all levels of education. Kazakhstani universities, authorized bodies and expert society unite to launch effective measures and practical recommendations for improving the quality of online studies, life in quarantine and economic support. Despite all exchanges (students/faculty/staff) to and from countries have temporarily stopped according to the official announcements, the partner-universities, professional associations, public authorities and diplomatic missions support each other sharing their help and experience.