Статьи журнала "Современное образование"

Saule Rakhmetullina | East-Kazakhstan Technical University: the path of international integration

D. Serikbayev East Kazakhstan Technical University (EKTU), which has been preparing engineering personnel of the country for 65 years, is a centre of innovation and knowledge distribution. Highly qualified teaching staff, modern educational content, strong infrastructure, and sustainable links with industry ensure a high level of staff training. All areas of the university's activities in the field of education and science are strengthened by international co-operation. EKTU gradually strengthens and expands international ties and reaches higher and higher positions in international rankings. Today, students from different countries study at the university and leading lecturers, professors of world universities give lectures here. Saule RAKHMETULLINA, the Chairperson of the Board and the Principal of EKTU, shares her experience of successful international activities with our magazine.
– Saule Zhadygerovna, EKTU marked a jubilee in 2023. Your university turned 65 - a serious age. Let us recall the most important episodes from the international life of the university. What is EKTU's strategy for developing international relations?

– Yes, the past year was full of events that affected EKTU, our region and the whole country. In terms of the strategy of international relations, its main principle is to choose strong partners for the implementation of academic and scientific projects. For example, in the field of mining, we co-operate with a world leader in this field – Colorado School of Mines, and since China is now the leader in the production of electric cars, it would be logical to establish ties with China in the field of mechanical engineering.

We endeavour to enhance each area of activity via international partnerships and strong networks.

In order to improve the quality of education, EKTU transferred to the implementation of the concept of engineering education based on the international CDIO standard (Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate). The goal of this concept is to prepare graduates capable of planning, designing, producing and applying complex objects, procedures and systems in today's rapidly changing environment.
CDIO project is the largest international educational project, whose participants introduce the concept of enhancing engineering education by eliminating the contradictions between theory and practice in education. And our university, the first in Central Asia, has become part of this global initiative along with the technical universities of the UK, the USA, Australia.
Thus, by introducing international approaches and standards and establishing close ties with foreign partners, we have been able to consolidate both scientific and educational activities of the university. It did not take long to reach the goals. In 2023, EKTU was included in the QS World University Rankings with position 904, showing worthy results in terms of research activities, teaching, career potential, number of international students and tutors, and expert evaluation of the university's activities. EKTU has also been awarded five stars by QS UK in “teaching”, “employment”, “sustainable development” categories. Energy saving policy and scientific projects in the field of sustainable development launched by EKTU have been evaluated by very prestigious ratings:
The Times Higher Education Impact rated EKTU among the first thousand universities in the world that contribute to the sustainable development of society; and according to the UI GreenMetric World University Rankings, EKTU takes the hundredth position in the world ranking and is the leader among Kazakhstan’s universities.
We can also confidently say that an indicator of the serious international reputation of the university is our international students who come from China, Russia, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Liberia to study on educational programmes assigned by EKTU.
– Saule Zhadygerovna, you said that the educational system of EKTU is supported by international standards. Can you tell us more about how exactly international collaboration is realised in academic activities?

– Academic activities of a university rest on four pillars: a qualified teaching staff, educational content of international level, strong partnerships with industry and a strong infrastructure.

Let's begin with the tutors: firstly, our tutors are highly qualified with international certification and practical industrial experience; secondly, EKTU invites leading lecturers, professors of world universities. For example, in 2023, our students attended lectures and practical sessions by academics from the UK, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Hungary and Russia.

Educational content is also an asset of EKTU. University tutors created a portfolio of author’s online courses in Kazakh, English and Russian languages. These are 32 courses on such general and profile disciplines as the History of Kazakhstan, cultural studies, engineering mechanics, merchandising, Cloud Computing, Research Organization and Planning, Information Communication Technology, basics of geology, renewable energy, road maintenance, cartography, etc. EKTU has 500 licences for Coursera educational content thanks to a large-scale project of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan to support online education. Advanced courses developed by top universities around the world such as Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Rice University, University of Michigan, University of Illinois, etc., are available to our students.
EKTU partner companies are representatives of business structures of the region and the country, which actively participate in the modernisation of educational programmes, provide their resources and production sites for the educational activities, strengthen the practice-oriented programmes.
The University fruitfully co-operates with joint stock companies “Ulba Metallurgical Plant”, “KEMONT”, “Kazakhtelecom”, Limited Liability Partnerships “KAZ Minerals”, “Ust-Kamenogorsk TPP”, Ust-Kamenogorsk Condenser Plant, “Kazzinc”, “Kazakhmys Corporation”, Bakyrchik Mining Enterprise and others. Branches of the university operate on the basis of these enterprises, where students undergo practical training, part of the curriculum is also implemented in their workshops, laboratories, departments.

The infrastructure of EKTU significantly modified in 2023. This was driven by trends of the global industry. Today, the automotive industry's shift to electric vehicles is gaining momentum globally. The number of finished electric cars has increased 5 times in the last three years, and annual production exceeded 12 million vehicles. In 2017, only one out of 70 sold cars was electric, today it's one out of five cars. And there was certainly a need to train appropriate personnel to deal with charging infrastructure issues.
China is the undisputed global leader in this industry: accounting for 59 per cent of global electric vehicle sales. In this regard, a strategic co-operation with Tianjin University has been initiated in the format of opening the Lu Ban Workshop.
This became possible due to the signing of the Agreement between Kazakhstan and China on the establishment of the Lu Ban Workshop on the basis of EKTU at the state level during the visit of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to the People's Republic of China in the framework of the summit “Central Asia – China”. For the establishment of the workshop, the Chinese partner – Tianjin Vocational Institute delivered a set of specialised training equipment necessary for the field of automotive technology. These include petrol cars with internal combustion engines, stands for car service and diagnostics, a charging station for electric and hybrid car models, a model reproducing a car battery, and a smart-room system - a model based on the principles of unmanned control of roads and cars. Our students have an opportunity to learn and use modern equipment and become part of a technological future.

Educational activities in the international scope also implies the realisation of dual-diploma education.
EKTU students receive diplomas from leading universities around the world, such as Brandenburg University of Technology, Polytechnika Lubelska, National Research Nuclear University “MEPhI”, Tomsk Polytechnic University, and a diploma from EKTU.
Academic mobility is an indicator of strong partnerships. EKTU students have an opportunity to study for one term at universities of America, Europe, Turkey, Malaysia and Singapore.

This enables students to be competitive specialists with professional competencies as well as soft skills such as communication skills, intercultural interaction, making them competitive on the global labour market.
– We also know that EKTU is actively developed in scientific and research activities. We have frequently published your achievements in this field on the pages of our magazine, and other republican mass media have also covered this aspect of your life. Tell us, please, what international scientific projects are currently being implemented at EKTU and what perspectives you highlight for yourself.

– Yes, our scientists are implementing research projects in many areas. These are researches concerning geoinformation support of “smart” agriculture; technology of additive manufacturing of patient-specific metal implants with improved properties of surface biocompatibility; technology of using aluminium production waste for obtaining demanded industrial products; new algorithms of robot-manipulator control for 3D-scanning and additive microplasma spraying of coatings technologies, and many others. Today the share of science in the total income of D. Serikbayev EKTU is 33%, it is the level of world universities.

We would like to note that we have an opportunity to conduct research in various directions with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The country has prioritised the development of science:
financing of scientific research and technology commercialisation from the national budget was increased by 3.5 times and amounted to 643 billion tenge for 2023-2025. This, of course, motivates our scientists and also enables us to support our research with foreign participation. We attract our partners from China, Great Britain, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Hungary, Ukraine to solve scientific and technical issues.
EKTU also implements projects financed by international funds. In particular, our university won a grant for a large project with our European partners (Germany, Italy, Spain, Slovenia). This is an Erasmus project “Development of Innovative Curricula and Modules in Circular Economy and Sustainable Development”, which aims to build human capital capacity in Central Asian universities on circular economy to provide staff, students and the general public with skills and competencies relevant to the needs of local labour markets and environmental challenges faced by Central Asian countries.

In addition, two projects are being implemented with the support of the American Council: University administration and financial management project with the University of Wisconsin and the “Field Campaign in East Kazakhstan on Wind Energy Resource Assessment” project with the University of Delaware. Both projects are supported by the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan.

Within the framework of the project “Field Campaign in Eastern Kazakhstan on Wind Energy Resource Assessment”, EKTU and University of Delaware scientists started to form an international laboratory on alternative energy on the basis of the Summer Expedition Campus ‘Prostor’, the first equipment was delivered. In general, the Summer Expedition Campus “Prostor” is a unique site, located on the Bukhtarma reservoir, where students of the following qualifications of D. Serikbayev EKTU undergo practical training: “Geodesy and Cartography”, “Land Management”, “Cadastre”, “Geology and Exploration of Mineral Deposits”, “Life Safety and Environmental Protection”, “Water resources and Its Usage”, “Forest Resources and Forestry”.

In 2024, we will continue to implement our ambitious plans. For example, EKTU is establishing a Kazakh-German Institute of Science and Technology in Metallurgy and Mining together with the Kazakh-German University, Freiberg Mining Academy, Clausthal University and a number of other partners. This is a great event for our region, as
this institute will become an active platform for interaction between scientists of Kazakhstan and Germany to solve scientific and technical problems of the companies of the East Kazakhstan Region. The projects and research within this institute will impact on the development of our economy and industry.
We can say, 2023 was remarkable for fruitful co-operation with Chinese and German colleagues.
– Yes, 2023 was a very productive year for your university. I would say that that year can be referred to as the year of international co-operation of the EKTU. What would you say were the most remarkable events of the past year?

– Lots of important events took place. Firstly, it is, of course, the signing of the Agreement on the establishment of the Kazakhstan-German Institute of Science and Technology in the field of metallurgy and mining on the basis of EKTU. This agreement was signed within the framework of the forum for Kazakh-German universities with the participation of the presidents of the two countries: Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich Tokayev and Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

And the second landmark event is the opening of the Lu Ban Workshop. Sayasat Nurbek, the Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Yermek Kosherbaev, the Mayor of East Kazakhstan Region, the delegation of the People's Republic of China headed by Yang Wei, the Consul General of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of Kazakhstan and Zhang Lin, the Vice-Mayor of the Municipal People's Government of Tianjin attended this great event.
– What are your future plans? How will you develop international relations in 2024?

– We will, surely, continue on the path of international integration. And this integration will be both in the field of educational activities and in the field of scientific and innovative research.

The nearest plans include the development and launch of dual-diploma educational programmes together with one of the largest universities of Malaysia– College of Engineering University Teknologi MARA.

We will continue to develop the projects launched in 2023: the Kazakh-German Institute and the Lu Ban Workshop.

Today, in addition to Russian scientific research universities, French universities are prospective partners of EKTU in the field of nuclear and alternative energy. We plan to strengthen and expand ties in this direction.

Since EKTU is actively introducing the use of artificial intelligence technology into the content of educational programmes and scientific projects, we are working to create an AI Centre for Industry with the participation of partners from China, Malaysia and Germany. The centre will focus on solving problems of real sectors of the economy with the introduction of artificial intelligence into technological processes and complex systems in the mining and metallurgical industry and the automotive industry. Also in 2023, a trilateral agreement was signed to establish an Engineering Centre of Smart Driving Technologies (AI) for the use of artificial intelligence in road transport management and traffic management. Chinese colleagues will supply additional equipment and smart cars to EKTU this year.

We will continue to attract foreign students to our university, because the presence of foreign contingent indicates the prestige and quality of educational programmes of the university.

– Thank you very much for the talk. We wish EKTU to fulfil its plans!

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D. Serikbayev East Kazakhstan University, which celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2023, prepares engineering personnel by educating Kazakhstan’s and international students. Qualified teaching staff, modern educational content, strong infrastructure, and sustainable links with industry ensure a high level of professional training. International co-operation is an integral part of the educational and scientific process of the university. Saule Zhadygerovna Rakhmetullina, the Chairperson of the Board – the Prinicpal of EKTU, tells us about how the university strengthens and expands its international ties.
2023 жылы 65 жылдық мерейтойын атап өткен Д. Серікбаев атындағы Шығыс Қазақстан университеті қазақстандық және шетелдік студенттерді оқыта отырып, инженерлік кадрлар даярлайды. Мықты оқытушылар құрамы, заманауи білім беру мазмұны, қуатты инфрақұрылым, өнеркәсіппен тұрақты байланыс мамандарды даярлаудың жоғары деңгейін қамтамасыз етеді. Халықаралық ынтымақтастық ЖОО-ның білім беру және ғылыми процесінің ажырамас бөлігі болып табылады. Университет өзінің халықаралық байланыстарын қалай нығайтып, кеңейтіп отырғаны туралы Басқарма төрағасы – ШҚТУ ректоры Сәуле Жәдігерқызы Рахметуллина баяндайды.
Восточно-Казахстанский университет им. Д. Серикбаева, отметивший в 2023 году 65-летний юбилей, ведет подготовку инженерных кадров, обучая казахстанских и иностранных студентов. Сильный преподавательский состав, современный образовательный контент, мощная инфраструктура, устойчивые связи с промышленностью обеспечивают высокий уровень подготовки специалистов. Международное сотрудничество является неотъемлемой частью образовательного и научного процесса вуза. О том, как университет укрепляет и расширяет свои международные связи, рассказывает председатель правления – ректор ВКТУ Сауле Жадыгеровна Рахметуллина.
Magazine articles - Modern Education (Kazakhstan)
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