Regional University Partnership for Sustainable Development in the Age of Digital Technologies

Regional University Partnership for Sustainable Development in the Age of Digital Technologies

Gainiya Tazhina (University of International Business, Kazakhstan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2551-7.ch009

Abstract

In the modern world, the sustainable development of higher education institutions is determined by their ability to integrate into the global digital knowledge. The study aimed to find out the needs of faculty in digital technologies for teaching and research. The study also aimed to find out the faculty's opinion about the building of Regional Universities' Partnership for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The practical implementation of the study could be launching a regional universities' partnership and the development of a regional resource center, which will serve for internationalization, intercultural and interpersonal exchange, and provide long-term benefits to partner universities to improve their educational potential. Due to the uneven development of digital technologies in higher education, these conclusions apply to universities not only in Central Asia but throughout the Eurasian region.
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Introduction

Modern education and higher education systems, both at the regional and international levels are developed in the context of integration into the global digital knowledge. Digital information technologies contribute to the efficiency and sustainability of all learning forms, enrich the educational process itself, and are an effective tool for moderation and coordination of the joint work of interested participants aimed at staffing and scientific support of education (Soghomonov, 2016; Sharonin, 2019; Desha & Hargroves, 2013; Jean-Francois, 2015; Springett, 2015; Schultz & Viczko, 2016).

Ongoing international cooperation in higher education is putting forward newest forms of the educational organization, such as network universities. The importance and best practices of this form of higher education organization have already been studied and highlighted by several authors as a modern trend (Hagen, 2016; Belenov & Kirchanov, 2016). The authors point out that network universities provide more opportunities for high-grade education (Makoveeva, 2012; Selyanskaya, 2014), become effective in dealing with crisis trends (Endovitsky, 2015; Krasnova & Belous, 2016) faced by modern institutions of higher education.

Created and successfully operating network universities (or university networks) are not actually a traditional higher educational institution, but rather a form of educational programs, which provides special ways and strategies for its development and promotion. The central point in the definition of a network university is the multiplicity and heterogeneity of its participants, represented by individual classical universities or other specialized higher educational institutions.

University networks, as a rule, are several large and well-known universities, united by high standards of academic reputation and achievements in the field of various applied or fundamental research. University networks coordinate exchanges between students, but most of their efforts are focused on the development of basic research. Successful practices of university networks are UNIMED, the Mediterranean Universities Union that counts 124 Universities coming from 23 countries of both shores of Mediterranean (http://ysu.am/international/en/1373369370).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Universities' Partnership: Partnerships between universities worldwide to fostering relationships on research and teaching.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT): A broad term including communication devices, various services, video conferencing, online learning, etc. to enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information.

Life Long Learning (LLL): Self-initiated learning that is centered on personal development outside of a formal educational institution.

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET): Education and training for employment knowledge and skills with the purpose of social equity, inclusion, and sustainable development.

Regional Resource Center: The organization that responds to the needs of its regional partners in developing and disseminating a scope of training materials and curricula to various social and professional groups in these areas.

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