The “University Management” project was organized by Almaty Management University (AlmaU) for top managers of Kazakhstani universities on request of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan in accordance with the State Program for the Development of Education and Science for 2020-2025. 4 module intensive course lasted from February to August 2020 in the context of the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine times. Purpose of the course was increasing of HEIs’ effectiveness through building new strategy, improvement of competitiveness and successful management. 25 rectors and vice-rectors of 12 Kazakhstani public and private universities participated in the project.
The participants discussed the following topics: modern mindset on education development, problems of higher education and rethinking of the educational system. It was a fruitful opportunity for them to have an experience exchange, to learn best practices and case studies from Russian, Kazakhstani and Georgian experts, experts from CEEMAN, THE, QS, AACSB.
The project was aimed at University strategies’ upgrading. Experts in higher education management helped as consultants to the top-management of the universities-participants in the preparation of the updated strategies. As a result, 10 universities out of 12 participating in the project completed their training and submitted their university development plans to the commission made up of experts in education and science, politicians, and public figures: Askhat Aimagambetov – Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan, Asset Isekeshev – Assistant to the President of Kazakhstan, Secretary of the Security Council, Dana Nurzhigit – the Deputy of the Senate of the Parliament, Lyudmila Nurbekova – Vice-Minister of Healthcare of Kazakhstan (at that time), Nurlan Kiyasov – Director of the EDCRUNCH center of the National Research Technological University “MISIS”, Serik Israilov – Chairman of the MES Public Council, Murat Abenov – Member of the National Council of Public Trust, Olzhas Ordabayev – Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Member of the Board of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs “Atameken”, Assylbek Kozhakhmetov – President of Almaty Management University.
Minister Askhat Aimagambetov highlighted the importance of this online intensive project for the education and science system of Kazakhstan: “The project has become part of major changes in the education system, launched in 2018, changes related to the transfer of financial, managerial, and academic autonomy to universities. Just recently, the President instructed to continue work on expanding the autonomy of universities, and many suggestions made by our expert colleagues, including the proposals developed in the framework of this workshop became part of the upcoming reforms and changes.” The Minister also noted the course’s comprehensive content and program and promised that the project will not end only with the defense of the updated strategies and that the work will continue.
AlmaU President Assylbek Kozhakhmetov noted that the mentor’s team of the course was half from Kazakhstan and half from abroad. Our Kazakhstani speakers were not inferior to their foreign colleagues.
Project has resulted in new improved strategies for many Kazakhstani universities and is an important step towards the imrpovement of educational management in the region.