One of the priorities of our partnership with the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialised Education is to help improve the professional development of academic leaders and share best national and international practice to develop a culture of quality in higher education.
Since 2015 we have worked with MHSSE and the Head Methodology Centre under MHSSE to develop and pilot a new quality management programme that shares ideas and best practice to improve learning environments. The programme will help ensure that students are equipped with the skills required by local and global markets. The Quality Management programme has been developed in partnership with London Metropolitan University, with advice and input from the quality assurance sector in the UK, and is now benefitting 500 academic leaders and staff annually.
Inspired by the success of collaboration in professional development in 2015-2016, we have expanded the quality assurance programme into the area of IT in education. With our partners and leading UK e-learning providers, a programme which identifies eight dimensions of e-learning will explore how IT can support education in a holistic, meaningful and productive way. The programme also examines how IT can be used to improve university management and the relationship between universities and external stakeholders.
One of the most recent and exciting developments in our higher education programme is our partnership with MHSSE and the Istedod Fund to encourage the internationalisation of research.
Over the last ten months our programme established five research partnerships between UK universities including the University of Bath, Birmingham City University, Cambridge University and London Metropolitan University and universities in Uzbekistan. Sharing expertise will help improve the quality of teaching and learning in universities and encourage researchers to respond to national development priorities in the areas of finance, economics, healthcare, medicine, English language learning, translation and interpreting.
At our Internationalising Research Round Table, the future direction of the Uzbekistan-UK partnership was explored. Recommendations were made regarding the next steps in collaboration, including the creation of a national researcher network and research opportunities through international partnerships.
As a result, research partnerships are underway, some as a part of the Erasmus Mobility programme, with UK universities acting as project leads.
Researcher Connect started in 2015 and aims to build researchers’ capacity in order to work internationally. The programme has already benefitted 25 young researchers and 20 trainers representing higher education institutions from all over Uzbekistan. The programme has also helped a network of 450 early stage researchers at the State Science and Innovation Committee. Training has helped prepare researchers to write for international publication.