The minister of Science and Higher Education, Sayasat Nurbek, reached an agreement on an internship program for Harvard students in Kazakhstan
Kazakh Minister of Science and Higher Education, Sayasat Nurbek, at Harvard University
A recently announced partnership between Kazakhstan and Harvard University is strengthening high education programs in Central Asia’s largest state. Last week, the Kazakh Minister of Science and Higher Education, Sayasat Nurbek, reached an agreement for an internship program for Harvard students in Kazakhstan. Nurbek presented Kazakhstan’s governmental higher education projects to various academic institutions in the U.S.
Working visits to Harvard and MIT
During his working tour in Boston, Minister Nurbek visited Harvard University, where he met with the leadership of the Harvard Innovation Lab, the New England Commission of Higher Education, leading professors from the Davis Center for Russia and Eurasia studies at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Director of the Center for International Development Professor Azim Khwaja, and students. Professor Khwaja, after briefing the minister on the activities of the center, offered to launch an internship program for Harvard students in Kazakhstan. They also discussed the potential exchange of university students and scientists.
Kazakh students, whom the minister met at Harvard University and MIT, were thrilled to learn of the growing focus on higher education in their homeland. Kazakhstan’s head of state, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, announced high education and technological development as a national priority. The students opened up about their experience studying abroad, and the minister discussed the ongoing reforms in the field of higher education and science in Kazakhstan, highlighting the measures taken by the government to support young researchers and scientists.
Online Courses for 100,000 Students
During his visit to the U.S., minister Nurbek also met with Coursera CEO, Jeff Maggioncalda. Coursera is a leading global online learning platform that reaches over 77 million students worldwide and successfully collaborates with 275 leading universities and companies. Several months ago, an agreement between Coursera and Kazakhstan on the localization of world courses for Kazakh students, was reached during President Tokayev’s visit to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
As per the agreement, the first phase of the program will begin this month. Coursera courses will be available to 20,000 Kazakh students from 25 regional universities. Currently, 50 priority courses of the global educational platform are already available in Kazakh and Russian, covering areas such as programming and digitalization, mathematics, physics, marketing, and others. A team from the Ministry of Education is currently working to expand the program to 600 courses in the Kazakh language. It is expected that within the next three years, 100,000 Kazakh students will have access to the Coursera platform.
Meeting with Kazakh Students at Stanford
When Minister Nurbek visited Stanford University, he met with students from Kazakhstan that emphasized explicitly the importance of studying with the Coursera platform, which, incidentally, also will also serve as a powerful tool for potential employers to get acquainted with the skills of Kazakh university graduates. During his visit to Stanford, the minister consented with Professor Daniel Schwartz, an expert in Educational Technology at Stanford Graduate School of Education, about practical recommendations for the further development of the higher education system in Kazakhstan.
Schwartz, who leads the Stanford Accelerator for Learning, a major interdisciplinary initiative advancing the science and design of learning to bring effective and equitable solutions to the world, provided the key insight that will assist in Kazakhstan’s current widespread efforts to expand Kazakhstan’s high education system. The educational renaissance occurring in Kazakhstan is aimed at advancing and diversifying its economy.