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Central Asian University Representatives Gather in Bishkek for UniCEN Internationalization Workshop

UniCEN Internationalization Group Picture


On March 24-25, the Central Asia University Partnerships Program (UniCEN) Internationalization Workshop brought together over 40 Central Asian university representatives from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The distinguished delegation attended for the first time from five Turkmenistan higher education institutions, which marked a significant moment in the history of the UniCEN program and reflected the commitment to internationalization and cross-border partnerships in the region.

The workshop aimed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to initiate and sustain international partnerships, enhance faculty and research development projects, foster academic and student mobility, including virtual exchanges, and adapt curriculum for improved student outcomes. The event also provided information about U.S. higher education systems and practical tips on initiating outreach and sustaining communication with U.S. university representatives, including templates for effective communication with overseas colleagues. The workshop served as a platform for learning from both U.S. experts and the UniCEN team, networking, and generating ideas for future collaborations.

During the event Dr. Susan Buck Sutton, a fellow at the Institute on International Education’s Center on International Partnerships, and Tiffany MacQuarrie, a professor of Experiential Digital Global Engagement (EDGE) at the Pennsylvania State University, provided valuable insights into internationalization. Their contributions were instrumental in helping the participants understand the latest trends and best practices of international partnerships.

Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic, Azamat Naimanbaev highlighted the government's commitment to the internationalization of universities. “The Program of Education Development in the Kyrgyz Republic is dedicated to improving the quality of education and modernizing its content in accordance with international trends and constantly changing requirements for the competencies of graduates,” said Mr. Naimanbaev.

Miranda Lupion, a Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic, expressed her support for the program, stating that "UniCEN program means so much to the U.S. Embassy in helping to advance bilateral and regional ties between universities in the Kyrgyz Republic and in the United States."

The UniCEN program is an essential platform for promoting cross-border academic partnerships, and American Councils is pleased to see its growing impact in Central Asia.

The Central Asia University Partnership Program (UniCEN), funded by the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent and administered by American Councils for International Education, strengthens capacities of U.S. and Central Asian university administrators and faculty to jointly address global challenges. Through over 75 partnership grants, UniCEN partners at U.S. and Central Asian universities have collaborated since 2018 to modernize curricula, co-develop jointly taught courses, and conduct research with economic impact. For more information click here.