Internationalization of Higher Education in Kazakhstan: National Capacity-Building Initiatives

Internationalization of Higher Education in Kazakhstan: National Capacity-Building Initiatives

Ainur Seitbattalovna Kenebayeva
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5231-4.ch009
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This chapter highlights the internationalization of the higher education system in the Republic of Kazakhstan. It briefly discusses Kazakh national initiatives to enhance the country's global economic competitiveness through modernization and capacity-building in the field of higher education and science. National experience on integration to the international educational space by the consecutive implementation of Bologna principles is reflected. The importance of the Bolashak presidential scholarship program is addressed as a strategy for human capital development. This chapter also underlines trends, tendencies, and issues of internationalization of higher education in globalization. Key aspects of internationalization considered through the prism of the Kazakhstani experience include academic mobility, accreditation, university rankings, and research and development (R&D).
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This chapter discusses how globalization and internationalization have reshaped the traditional Soviet model higher education system and the state policy in developing modern Kazakhstan. It addresses Kazakhstan’s main structural changes and policy reforms due to the integration of the international educational space. This chapter reflects on the strategic transition of modern Kazakhstan to international standards in education and science through visionary leadership and new economic goals. The country’s national initiative to implement the Bologna Process and its main principles is discussed and analyzed. The prism of reliable statistics and data provides insight on the Kazakhstani experience in modernization of the national system of higher education. Kazakhstan’s unique experience in integration and internationalization is an example through the Bolashak presidential scholarship programme. The objectives are:

  • 1.

    Analyze and reflect on the influence of globalization processes on the internationalization of higher education in developing countries, particularly Kazakhstan

  • 2.

    Discuss strategic reforms in the modernization of Kazakhstan’s national higher education system within the context of the Bologna Process

  • 3.

    Discuss the importance of the Bolashak scholarship program related to the integration of Kazakhstan as a competitive nation in the global community

Additionally, this chapter reflects on contemporary practices of Kazakhstan in a global educational space. To discuss key aspects of internationalization, it focuses on issues related to academic mobility, accreditation, university rankings, and R&D. This chapter contains many examples, comparisons, and statistical analyses to represent current situations in the local educational market. Finally, the chapter explores the image of the academic profession in the context of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).


Internationalization Of Higher Education To Form Globally Competitive National Economies

The higher education system of developing countries is functioning and developing under the influence of inevitable factors, including globalization, internationalization, and liberalization. Globalization, which is one of the most significant tendencies of modern times, defines the development of countries worldwide, shapes intellectual capital of nations, and accelerates the process of sociocultural and economic integration. Global trends clearly define that any country in the world (especially underdeveloped states) are unable to progress separately. Strategic integration in the context of globalization is increasingly important. However, this is not true in developing countries. The universal effect of globalization has a considerable impact on both developing countries and the developed world. However, it is argued that developing states are more influenced by globalization because of country-specific issues related to political, sociocultural, and economic challenges (Al’abri, 2011). Globalization forces most developing countries to focus on integration. Therefore, priority is generally given to internationalization of the national educational system because the development of the educational sphere indicates a country’s competitiveness. Internationalization is a key concept of state reform; it determines main principals of higher education in most countries.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Split PhD: Doctoral programs to carry out research using two partner universities.

EACEA: Education, audiovisual, and culture executive agency.

Bolashak: International scholarship established by Republic of Kazakhstan president Nazarbayev in November 1993 to grant its citizens study privileges in 200 upstanding universities in 33 countries.

Accreditation: Recognition maintained by an institution regarding standards and quality levels.

IAAR: Independent Agency for Accreditation and Rating.

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics): An integrated approach to learning in which academic, scientific, and technical concepts are studied in the context of real life.

EU: European Union.

Academic Mobility: Training students in an international partner-university for an academic period.

ECTS: The European credit transfer and accumulation system.

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