The International Conference “Central Asia – European Union: promising areas of cooperation in the field of improving the quality of training of specialists” was held in Almaty at Satbayev University. Representatives of European accreditation organizations, international and domestic experts, heads of universities in Kazakhstan, Germany, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and other countries discussed current problems of improving the quality of training of highly qualified specialists, issues of social and professional accreditation, certification and ranking of universities.

The conference was organized by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Satbayev University, the National Academy of Sciences of the Higher School of Kazakhstan (NAS HSK), the Kazakhstan Association of Modern (Elite) Education KAZSEE. The high-level event was held with the support of the European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education (ENAEE), the European Federation of National Engineering Associations (ENGINEERS EUROPE), the International Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence (IREG), and the ENTER network for the professional development of engineering teachers.

Vice Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan Ahmed-Zaki Darkhan Zhumakanovich noted the high level of organization and representation of the international conference. He stressed that the participants discussed important aspects of the formation of a Unified scientific and educational space between the countries of the European Union and Central Asia, the further development of the Khujand Agreement, as well as issues of accreditation, certification and ranking of universities in the Central Asian region.

The Khujand Agreement, signed within the framework of the European ERASMUS+ Project in 2017 (Khujand, Tajikistan) by the countries of the Central Asian region, accreditation agencies and universities, laid the foundation for the creation of the Central Asian Federation of Engineering Communities “KKTUZ”, commitment to regional and global cooperation. The involvement of such international structures as ENAEE, Engineers Europe, IREG, and the Association of Engineering Education of Russia (AEER) in the process of training highly qualified personnel for the engineering and technical industry of Central Asian countries will enable universities to strengthen and successfully develop their scientific and educational potential.

ENAEE President Jose Quadrado, ENGINEERS EUROPE Secretary General Dirk Bochar, IREG President Waldemar Sivinsky and other invited foreign guests addressed the plenary session of the conference.

Douglas Blackstock, President of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), and Stefan Lowick, President of the European Register of Educational Quality Assurance Agencies (EQAR), took the opportunity to congratulate KAZSEE on full membership in these international organizations and expressed interest in mutually beneficial partnership.

Foreign speakers noted Kazakhstan’s active cooperation with the European Higher Education Area and involvement in the implementation of numerous programs and projects in the Central Asian region. In their opinion, the conference will contribute to building trust and developing cooperation between Central Asian universities and the European Network of Organizations, and is an important evidence of their commitment to excellence, inclusivity and global partnership.

“Cooperation within the framework of the agreements reached during the conference opens up new opportunities for universities in Central Asia to accredit educational programs with the assignment of the European EUR-ACE mark, as well as certify specialists and rank higher education institutions according to international standards, which will undoubtedly increase the competitiveness of their graduates in the global labor market,” said KAZSEE President Abdumutalip Abzhapparov.

“A significant outcome of the conference is its transformation into an international dialogue platform for discussing issues and exchanging best practices in the field of engineering and technical education, accreditation, certification and ranking of universities, integration into the global academic space. Its participants unanimously supported the efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan and KAZSEE to form a unified educational and scientific space between the countries of the European Union and Central Asia, partners of the Khujand Agreement,” said Rector of Satbayev University Meiram Begentayev.

As a result of the conference, a resolution was adopted reflecting the main directions of joint activities, including such as: promotion of international accreditation standards in Central Asia, including the assignment of the EUR-ACE quality mark to implement the principles of the Khujand Agreement; joint development with the European Federation of National Engineering Associations of a project for certification of specialists in Central Asia within the framework of the ERASMUS+ program, as well as the creation of a Certification Center for ENGINEERS EUROPE Standards specialists; providing advisory services to Central Asian universities to promote the European Engineering Program Rating (EngiRank), combining a regional approach and an emphasis on training competent and creative engineers.

KAZSEE Press Service