On March 31st the Shakhmardan Yessenov Science and Education foundation finished accepting applications from regional Kazakh universities for its English language program. The university winning the right to host the programme will be announced on April 30th.
Sixteen regional higher-education institutions of the country are in competition for the foundation’s grant. Among them are the East Kazakhstan state University (Ust-Kamenogorsk), the Kostanay engineering and economic University, the Ahmet Yasawi University (Turkestan), the West Kazakhstan Innovation and Technology University (Uralsk), the Karaganda Medical University and Pavlodar State Pedagogical University. Interestingly Yessenov University in Aktau, (previously, Caspian State University for Technology and Engineering), which already implemented the English program in 2013-2016, has also applied.
Approximately how many students and teachers does the programme intend to train?
“We plan that the English language level of 160 people will be improved, including 90 students. We also have spaces for masters and doctoral students”, said the Yessenov Foundation’s programme coordinator, Nursultan Nurmukhanov.
How will the competition be held and who are the “judges”?
“First the applications will be by the expert council of the competition. This consists of experts in the field of higher education in Kazakhstan. Then the council gives us a list of the 4 best contenders. After that representatives of Fund will make study tours to these higher education institutions, on the basis of which they will take their final decision” according to Nurmukhanov.
On April 30th, the Foundation plans to announce the winner of the competition. And in September, the Foundation team will hold a competition for students at the winning university. All those who are selected will be divided into groups according to their language proficiency. The training program will begin on October 1st, classes will be held twice a week for 90 minutes.
Tell us about the structure of Foundation’s grant, Nursultan: who do you give it to and why?
“The grant is intended to fund English language courses at the winning institution. We pay course operating partner —the international school ‘Bonas MacFarlane Kazakhstan’. Over years of cooperation, we always found this cooperation to be successful. There have also been problems that we have successfully overcome together. The Yessenov Foundation grant covers the costs of the courses, including the salaries of the native speakers specially invited from the UK, their fees, accommodation, and other costs associated with working in Kazakhstan”, the coordinator explained.
The Foundation not only provides grants, but also develops the basics of the curriculum, and monitors the attendance and performance of students and teachers. Bonas MacFarlane Kazakhstan is responsible for teaching classes, the structure of the program, and organizing logistical help for the teachers. So far, around 500 students and teachers from two regional Kazakh universities (in Kyzylorda and Aktau), have been able to raise their level of English thanks to the programme.
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