International standards must be at the heart of the education system, says KIMEP University President

NUR-SULTAN – The main mission of any academic institution is to maximize and optimize the welfare of its students towards the sustainable quality of learning with the help of the Ministry of Education, Chan Young Bang said, founding president of the Institute of Kazakhstan. of Management, Economics and Strategic Research (KIMEP) University, in an interview with The Astana Times.

Chan Young Blow

Previously, Dr. Bang held public office in Kazakhstan, including as economic adviser to Kazakhstan’s first president, Nursultan Nazarbayev. and as Vice-Chairman of the Expert Committee in 1990.

Under his leadership, KIMEP University, which was founded in Almaty in 1992, became internationally recognized and accredited with 14 undergraduate and graduate programs in seven disciplines and met the country’s educational needs. western style in a broader effort to support economic and social change.

“Presidents and faculty members are there to serve students. This involves a comprehensive cultural change with the help of the Ministry of Education, which should constantly assess and review the level of student satisfaction and make relevant decisions based on this criterion,” he said.

Over 30 years, KIMEP has expanded its programs and now includes four different colleges: the Bang College of Business, the College of Social Sciences, the College of Humanities and Education and the Law School.

The multinational teaching staff is represented by qualified specialists, professors and scholars from the United States, United Kingdom, France, South Korea, Germany, Canada, Uzbekistan, Italy and other countries. ‘other countries.

“Our academically qualified faculty members hold PhDs in their relevant fields from credible Western universities and have a track record of research and publications,” he said.

Speaking on the role of KIMEP University in the development of the education sector of the country, Dr. Bang highlighted the key features, such as internationalization and high-rate employability of the university centered on the student, as well as qualified professionals and government officials on the alumni list.

“Many of the more than 14,000 graduates have made significant contributions to Kazakh society. One of our elders is currently Prime Minister of Kazakhstan. Another alumnus is the current Chairman of the Agency for Strategic Planning and Reforms, not to mention a third, the one who became Chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan in February this year,” noted Dr. Bang. “Our graduates hold prestigious positions in renowned international companies such as KPMG, PWC, Western Union or Ernst and Young”, he added.

According to him, Kazakhstan has made progress in the field of higher education: the signing of the Bologna declaration, the adoption of the European system of ECTS credits, as well as the promotion of the Bolashak scholarship program, which has enabled thousands of students earn foreign degrees and bring their skills back to Kazakhstan.

Chan Young Bang also pointed out what he sees as major shortcomings in the higher education system, including centralized control of the educational process. He is convinced of the need to ensure a positive environment that promotes competition between institutions, excellence and innovation.

“The role of Ministries of Education is that of a facilitator, enabling universities and academic institutions to compete and excel. On the other hand, Kazakhstan inherited features from Soviet times, which have affected the education system to this day. The creation of a competitive and innovative environment in the higher education system should be based on different criteria such as the percentage of professors holding a relevant terminal degree, internationalization, international program-based and institutional accreditations, and student employability as well as student satisfaction,” he said.

Dr. Bang supports initiative and creativity in university management principles and assumes that education should keep up with the times.

“This centralized power has serious negative consequences such as nepotism and waste of resources. The operation and organization of higher education institutions should be based on transparency, credibility and accountability,” he said. “Faculty should obtain relevant degrees, especially in social sciences and humanities, business and management, or education to equip students with the tools to fill positions in today’s market,” he added.

The onset of the pandemic exposed the insufficiency of technological infrastructure in schools and universities around the world. For this story, Dr. Bang also shared the university’s experience with learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We found a qualified organization, SB Science Management group, a German consulting company, and signed a contract with them. Some 111 of our 142 faculty members completed the curriculum provided, obtained their certificate upon completion and thus became fully qualified to teach online and run courses and programs,” he said.

Chan Young Bang asserted that higher education institutions should be equipped to enable the development of blended and distance learning, thereby increasing the geographical reach of high-quality programs.

“In this regard, KIMEP made laptops available to students who lacked them so that they could continue studying. The most important issue was to ensure the quality of the programs, which is why we regularly conducted surveys to assess the level of student satisfaction,” he noted.