UArizona invited to expand public education inclusivity in northern Kazakhstan

March 24, 2023

The University of Arizona and Kozybayev University are exploring collaborative programs in special education, focused on developing skills and techniques of future teachers for educating children with mild to moderate disabilities.

During a recent UArizona delegation visit to Kozybayev University, Dr. Robert Q. Berry III, dean of education, Dr. Bruce Johnson, dean emeritus and professor, teaching, learning & sociocultural studies, Dr. Toni L. Sparks, associate professor of practice, disability psychoeducational studies, and Dr. Sunggye Hong, associate professor of practice, disability psychoeducational studies, held discussions with Kozybayev representatives with the aim of launching a new program in fall 2023.

Daniel Palm, associate vice president for international affairs, UArizona, said “Our objective with Kozybayev is to increase access to primary and secondary education for students with learning differences in the northern Kazakhstan region, though to also contribute to national initiatives to expand inclusivity in the public education system.”

The further exploration of collaborative programs, including special education, builds on already established dual degrees in information science and biotechnology, which give students the opportunity to obtain a degree from both institutions and travel to the U.S. to study for one semester at UArizona’s Tucson campus.

Students in the international dual degrees are fully supported by scholarships provided by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science, realizing the national Kazakhstan vision to improve access to higher education and increase international collaboration.

In addition to planning new dual degree programs, UArizona and Kozybayev have also established an agreed framework to collaborate on a broader range of education development initiatives, with the potential to expand the research and teaching capacity of Kozybayev University and support the socioeconomic development of northern Kazakhstan.

On January 25, 2023, Kazakhstan minister of science and higher education, Sayasat Nurbek, and University of Arizona president Robert Robbins signed a framework agreement for Kozybayev University to seek advice and consultation from the University of Arizona in efforts to become a leading institution of higher education—a Kazakhstani University of Excellence.

Dr. Liesl Folks, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, UArizona said “We are delighted that through this agreement, a framework is established whereby the University of Arizona will support Kozybayev University and the Ministry of Higher Education and Science as they continue to build educational capacity and further strengthen regional development and degree offerings in northern Kazakhstan.”