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The Strategy of University of Almaty

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND SCIENCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN

 

UNIVERSITY OF ALMATY

 

                            Professional and higher

                            education should focus primarily on the  

                            maximum satisfaction of the current and

                            future needs for specialists of the national economy.

N. Nazarbayev (Strategy “Kazakhstan-2050”)

 

Introduction

Higher education is the most important social institution functioning with the aim of satisfying social needs for qualified personnel.

In the 21st century education is one of the most important strategic resources for the development of any society and state, while globalization, regionalization and internationalization remain current development trends of the world education system countries in general.

The key tasks of the modern system of education, training and retraining of personnel were emphasized by the President of the country – the Leader of the Nation N.A. Nazarbayev in the Annual Messages to the people of Kazakhstan “The “Kazakhstan – 2050″ Strategy: a new political course of the established state” and “The Path of Kazakhstan – 2050: common goal, common interests, common future“.

In the Strategy proposed by the President of the country aimed at entering into the number of 30 developed countries of the world, long-term priorities for future work in the field of higher education and science were outlined:

– creation of an effective system of training and assistance in the employment of graduates, increasing the mobility of labor resources, ensuring sustainable development of Kazakhstan on the principles of a knowledge-based economy;

–  development of the education system with the assignment of certificates of international standard;

– the highest possible level of satisfaction of the current and future needs for specialists of the national economy;

– development of research activities of universities: the creation and development of applied and research departments.

Kazakhstan connects the formation and development of sectors of the “economy of the future” with the creation of an efficient and effectively functioning national innovation system. For its implementation, an interdisciplinary plan for the scientific and technological development of the country until 2020 has been developed. There is no doubt that in the implementation of this plan, multi-profile universities will take the lead.

Almaty University was created by merging two universities: Almaty University of Continuing Education and Symbat Design and Technology Academy on the basis of decisions of the extended board of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the Republic of Kazakhstan on meeting on the issue of optimization of universities held on January 31, 2013 in Astana.

The university is a single school of continuing education, which includes pre-university training, bachelor and magistracy studies.

The university’s guidelines — strategic planning and management — make it possible to ensure the quality of the services provided, taking into account the interests of the state, the market and the individual, in accordance with republican and international standards.

The strategic task of University of Almaty is to prepare a new generation of highly qualified and competitive specialists capable of ensuring the long-term sustainable development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and its integration into the global world economy.

The need to create the Development Strategy of University of Almaty for 2015–2020 is determined by intensive social and economic changes, new priorities in the development of the education system and the country:

– The Message of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the People of Kazakhstan “Strategy of Kazakhstan-2050: a new political course of the established state”;

– The Message of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.A. Nazarbayev to the People of Kazakhstan “Nurly Zhol – the path to the future” (Astana, November 11, 2014).

– the Long-Term Program for the Development of Education until 2020;

– the Concept of Development of Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan;

– the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Education”;

– the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Science”;

– the Kazakhstan – 2030 Strategy;

– the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2015,

– the Plan of Events of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2015,

– The Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2014-2018.

The Development Strategy of University of Almaty for 2015-2020 is a conceptual document defining the prospect of forming a university of innovative type, focused on the creation of an academic environment in which training of a new generation specialist is carried out, whose profile, competence and qualifications allow to be competitive, meeting all the requirements of the labor market.

  1. Mission and vision

  Mission: a multidisciplinary university, aimed at the close integration of education, science and industry, providing high-quality professional training for graduates.

As a multidisciplinary university, it envisages the formation of educational, intellectual and innovative space, ensuring the quality of continuing education in accordance with global trends and principles, active international cooperation and ensuring academic mobility of students and university staff. (7)

The implementation of this mission is to prepare competent, socially responsible and competitive specialists with the knowledge of modern technologies, scientific, pedagogical and research skills that meet the global requirements of the labor market.

Vision: to provide training of intellectually developed specialists on the basis of the implemented model of continuing education necessary for the development and prosperity of Kazakhstan. (7)

The definition of the mission and vision of University of Almaty is determined by the development priorities, which are integrative features:

– implementation of professional training in the following areas: education; art; humanitarian sciences; right; social sciences and business; natural sciences; technical science; services;

– conducting basic and applied research in modern branches of science, education and economics;

– integration into the international scientific and educational space, academic exchange of teachers and students;

– highly qualified faculty;

– the presence of appropriate material and technical base;

– developed a system of social partnership.

The main goal is to increase the competitiveness of the university by improving educational programs by preserving the fundamental nature of education, integrating training and research activities, using the latest technologies and modern teaching materials, and focusing on social and economic changes.

To achieve the goal, the university needs to complete the following tasks:

  • formation of a new organizational structure of the university and improvement of its efficiency through the development of corporate governance principles;
  • improving the activities of the university through the creation of organizational, regulatory, personnel, program-methodical and other conditions for the integration of educational and training processes;
  • modernization of the content and organization of the educational process based on the development of innovative educational programs with the involvement of specialists of Kazakhstan and international specialists;
  • informatization of education and the introduction of new learning technologies;
  • improving the research process on the basis of engaging students in basic and applied research, stimulating the innovative activities of the teaching staff by creating research clusters;
  • development of personnel potential and distribution of the best foreign and Kazakhstan educational practices;
  • creation of modern material and technical infrastructure of the university campus.
  1. Current state analysis

The University provides educational services of bachelor and postgraduate education in accordance with the State compulsory education standards of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The training of specialists is carried out according to the three-stage system “bachelor-master-doctor PhD”, in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Education”, the Bologna Declaration and other international documents in the field of education. Since 2004, the University has begun to implement the credit technology of education, providing students with a choice of individual educational trajectories and teachers.

The organizational structure of the university’s management ensures the unity of the stable interrelationships between the inter-structural divisions that carry out educational, scientific, methodological, educational and economic activities necessary to achieve the goals set by the University’s Development Strategy for 2015-2020.

The collegial bodies of the university are the Academic Council, educational and scientific advice. The Board of Trustees functions as a basic corporate governance structure with the involvement of local government bodies and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

At the present stage of development, the university’s management system is focused on the development of strategic planning, the use of modern management methods, multilateral internal quality assessment, corporate training and continuous improvement.

An integral part of strategic planning is the Quality Policy, which reflects the main obligations for the quality of educational services. The strategic goals and objectives of the university are projected annually on all levels of structural units and are reflected in the plans of specific actions and activities, with deadlines and responsible people.

In 2014, the university introduced, certified and continues to successfully develop the quality management system (QMS). This system is focused, first of all, on the formation of a favorable educational and scientific environment. It is a powerful tool for achieving high results in the organization of the educational process, improving the quality of student learning, compliance with legal requirements, as well as preparing for external assessment procedures. Higher and postgraduate education is included in the scope of certification and QMS. (1)

To improve its activities, the university uses various forms of self-assessment: self-assessment in preparation for certification, institutional and program accreditation, self-evaluation of educational programs for compliance with the criteria of rating agencies. The university has implemented an internal audit procedure. Systematic checks are carried out by more than 15 certified professionals. Since 2013, a consumer monitoring system has been introduced: surveys of teachers, employees, employers, students and their parents are systematically conducted.

Part of the set of measures to improve staff competence is the tradition of the annual Quality Week. The program of the Week includes scientific and practical conferences, information and scientific-methodical seminars, exhibitions of books and magazines, round tables, flash mobs, open classes. The themes of the Quality Week events correspond to contemporary issues.

The experience of the university shows that the directions chosen to improve the management system contribute to changing the quality level of education, improving business efficiency, increasing customer satisfaction, strengthening the prestige and competitiveness of the university.

The university structure includes: 4 departments, quality management department, science and international relations department, personnel management department, educational department, registrar department, practice and employment department, student department, pre-university training department and admissions. The organizational and management structure of the university is subordinated to the ideas of implementing strategic goals and effective management, ensures an optimal decision-making process and its execution.

The university has a registration office, a service of educational, methodological and innovative activities, quality management service and a center for academic mobility and international relations. Constantly monitoring the quality of classes, questioning students, faculty, employers – these procedures are aimed at improving the quality of educational services.

The University trains specialists in 30 undergraduate majors, 11 majors and 2 PhD doctoral majors. (4)

In order to form professional competence of future specialists, in accordance with Dublin descriptors, qualification frameworks of educational levels, and the needs of the labor market, the university implements modular educational programs, a distinctive feature of which is the ability to build individual educational trajectories, taking into account students’ personal needs and capabilities.

For the formation of professional skills in the conditions of modern production, all types of student practices are organized on the basis of contracts with enterprises, organizations and institutions of the city. Selection of corporate partners is carried out in accordance with the specialization of the students. Laboratories are also used as practice bases.

University of Almaty is forming a new model of the university, in which traditional education is harmoniously combined with new forms and methods of teaching, including information technologies. An important direction of the university’s work was the establishment and development of academic mobility of students. A database of bachelor, master and doctoral specialties of partner universities of Almaty, faculty and staff of the university has been created.

The fund of the library complex numbers over 500,000 copies. Its structure is a collection of domestic and foreign publications of educational, scientific, fiction, audiovisual and electronic documents. Out of the total number of the library, 2,58921 copies of literature are presented in the Kazakh language. Every year the library subscribes to a large number of titles of foreign and domestic periodicals, which are the main sources of operational information. The library complex includes 2 subscriptions and 2 reading rooms, a catalog room and the department of rare literature.

Students and teaching staff have access to local electronic resources, electronic publishing systems of the publishing house, full-text remote resources Thomson Reuters, Electronic Library www.biblio-online.ru, remote databases – polpred.com, full-text remote resources of Kazakhstan information centers: University Consortium libraries, the Kazakhstan National Electronic Library, the Republican Interuniversity Electronic Library.

The teaching staff is the main resource for the implementation of tasks and ensuring the mission of the university. In this regard, the university pays great attention to the selection, training and retraining of its personnel. 146 teachers work in 4 departments, 76 of them have scientific degrees and titles, which is 52%.

The average age of the teaching staff varies from 40 to 62 years old – 70 people (48%), 32 of them with scientific degrees and titles, which is 22%. (1)

To improve the quality of teaching, to ensure a close relationship with the production there are candidates of science and specialists of relevant industries invited as part-timers. In the 2015-2016 academic year, 21 part-timers from other organizations, including 3 candidates of sciences and 7 masters.

The analysis of the quantitative and qualitative composition of faculty in the university as a whole showed that a positive trend in providing personnel with a scientific degree is observed in such fields as pedagogical, economic and law sciences.

Professional development of the teaching staff is carried out on the basis of the schedule for the current year; in 2015, 46 people underwent internships at universities within the country.

The research activity of the university is aimed at developing competitive scientific research, assisting in the implementation of the country’s industrial and innovation strategy, improving the quality of higher education through innovation and introducing the results of scientific research and new technologies.

A high level of scientific research at the university has developed in the following areas: economics, law, design, art, pedagogy and primary education methods.

In order to develop research and innovation activities and use existing scientific potential effectively, as well as to ensure communication between various structures and scientists of the university, to implement projects and create favorable conditions for conducting promising developments in accordance with the priorities of the university’s scientific development in 2014 Research Center “Innovative Technology” was created.

The university approved a phased plan for the implementation of scientific research of University of Almaty.

One of the most important areas of development of higher education are the issues of international cooperation, the main task of which is the integration of the higher education system of Kazakhstan into the world educational space. International cooperation in the field of education is regulated by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan and is carried out on the basis of international treaties, agreements and conventions.

The main indicators of the international activities of University of Almaty are held in the following areas:

– inviting leading professors from abroad to conduct lectures, seminars, consultations;

– participation and organization of international competitions, festivals, conferences;

– performance and participation of undergraduates in international projects, conferences and competitions.

University of Almaty maintains stable relations with foreign universities and international organizations in Asia and Europe.

In the system of international relations, an important place is occupied by joint long-term projects and treaties designed to increase the effectiveness of educational and research activities to the level of world standards.

The University has concluded 10 agreements with leading educational institutions, including the near abroad – 5, and far abroad – 5.

In general, international cooperation activities are conducted in specified directions. Within the framework of international cooperation with foreign universities, an exchange of experience was gained on teaching and methodological support, educational standards, working curricula, programs of scientific conferences, catalogs of scientific and educational literature.

Priority areas of educational work at the university are education of patriotism, the formation of a holistic, highly cultured and socially responsible person, the education of legal culture, the development of socio-political activism, increased civic participation and leadership skills, spiritual and moral education, the formation of a healthy lifestyle and support of talented young people.

Educational work at the university is coordinated by the vice-rector for educational work and advisors. A wide public awareness campaign, round tables and conferences, and the implementation of priority state programs of industrial-innovative modernization of the country are held among students.

Students and staff of the university participate in annual regional events: the Patriots’ Forum for the Day of State Symbols of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Youth Forum for the Day of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, celebrations for the Independence Day of the Republic of Kazakhstan, youth actions for International Students’ Day. The university hosts regional, city forums, meetings with prominent public figures, conferences dedicated to socially significant dates and events.

An important direction of educational work is the development of student government. The University has a Youth Affairs Committee, as well as creative associations and hobby groups, student scientific societies, KVN (Club of the Funny and Inventive).

Every year, 500 students are attracted to the student club; circles and clubs of interest are organized as well. The club’s activities are aimed at organizing and conducting cultural events that contribute to the disclosure of creative potential and spiritual and moral education of students.

In the framework of the implementation of the Action Plan to combat corruption, projects and questionnaires are being implemented. On the basis of the university, meetings are held with students on the explanation of anti-corruption legislation, together with the state-legal department of the Akimat of Auezov District of Almaty. Measures are being held to clarify the norms of legislation, to improve the legal literacy of young people with the participation of law enforcement officials. The student government of the university interacts with the Center for Youth Initiatives and youth organizations of the region.

Events of spiritual and moral content, bringing up a culture of behavior and interpersonal communication, aimed at promoting high morality, family education, respect for the traditions and culture of the people.

Sports and recreational work and the formation of a healthy lifestyle are an important component of the educational direction, leisure activities of students and faculty.

There is a sports club, which organizes annual student sports days, sports days among the faculty, sports days among students, as well as sports events dedicated to significant dates. Sports and fitness sections work on a free basis.

The university has a system of encouraging the best teachers and students for high performance in educational, scientific, social activities. Conducted activities to maintain corporate culture.

Creating an effective educational infrastructure is a prerequisite for the successful fulfillment by the university of its mission – the development of a single innovative, analytical and socially-oriented environment of the university.

The university has a developed material and technical base and a modern infrastructure that provides effective support of the educational process and comfortable working conditions and training.

On the balance of the university there are 3 educational buildings ensuring the conduct of the educational process.

The useful study area owned by the university on the right of economic management complies with fire safety requirements, qualification requirements for the activities of educational organizations and the requirements of state general education standards and implemented specialties.

 

ІІІ. Strategic directions, goals, objectives and performance indicators

The achieved results of the development of University of Almaty and these limitations fully retain their relevance for the future. Successful development of University of Almaty can be achieved only under the condition of successive overcoming of the indicated difficulties. Selection of strategic directions for the development of University of Almaty for the period 2015-2020 is determined by its mission, vision and priorities of the development of Kazakhstan society, science and economics, the system of higher and postgraduate education, program documents of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the field of education. Based on this, the following strategic directions, goals, objectives and expected results for each direction are defined (Appendix 1).

Forecast indicators are presented in accordance with the main stages of the implementation of the Development Strategy of University of Almaty.

The implementation of the main strategic directions of development requires solving problems in priority areas of the University’s activities in two stages:

The first stage (2015-2017): the main task is the development of an innovative system of training in a number of key areas based on the concentration of human, material, financial and information resources in order to update the content, methodological, organizational and scientific components of the educational process, creating modern competitive innovation infrastructure.

The second stage (2018-2020): the main task is the completion of the creation of the University of a multidisciplinary type – a research and educational center – in order to ensure the realization of its mission and sustainable development in the future.

Expected results:

In 2015-2017: funding for the development of the material and technical base of the University itself will be at the expense of income from educational and innovation activities.

The university will:

–  generate and ensure the transfer of modern knowledge, conduct research and innovation work in organic unity with the educational process;

– focus on fundamental and applied research in the priority scientific areas of the country in current areas of science, the creation of high technologies and innovative developments in priority sectors of the economy;

– continue the training of teachers of a new formation, using result-oriented and innovative educational technologies;

– expand the list of educational programs of graduate and doctoral studies;

– introduce new multilingual educational programs;

– modernize the scientific, technical and economic space, including laboratories, educational and scientific centers;

– introduce consulting services in the field of pedagogy and psychology, economics and law;

– intensify the commercialization of innovative developments;

– establish cooperation with scientific research institutes and scientific centers of foreign countries in the field of joint research and publication of results;

– promote the internship of leading specialists in foreign universities and research centers, to establish effective mutual exchange with professors and researchers of foreign scientific and educational institutions, research institutes and centers.

In 2018-2020: the university will focus on the following tasks:

– development of a model of educational, scientific and innovative integration, taking into account the development of double-diploma education and dual education;

– formation of SMART-university;

– introduction of socially significant projects aimed at creating the attractiveness of the university;

– promotion of additional education programs;

– commercialization of scientific developments and obtaining patents;

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