Nazgul Shyngyssova (Doctor of philological Sciences, Head of the UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communication Al-Farabi Kazakh National University) and Elena Dudinova (Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor of the UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communication Al-Farabi Kazakh National University) writes for Avrupa Times.
Avrupa Times London - In early November, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University received distinguished guests and participants in the VIII International Forum of Kazakh-French higher educational institutions. University rectors, diplomats, representatives of French business schools and the academic community, and heads of big companies shared their experience and vision of the prospects for the development of scientific cooperation in the field of engineering and business education. Kazakhstan and France have long-term and productive partnership relations in various fields of economics, culture, education and science. The dialogue at the highest level, which started more than 30 years ago, since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the countries in 1991, the historic meeting of the two presidents in Akorda on November 1, 2023, gave a significant impetus to the advancement of strategic and economic relations between the countries.
The meeting at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University [KazNU] opened a new stage of scientific cooperation. Participants noted the high interest of business in practice-oriented projects, closely related to the implementation of scientific developments of French and Kazakh scientists in the industrial sector.
At the round-table meeting “Prospects for the development of international scientific collaboration”, moderated by Zhanseit Kanseituly Tuimebaev, Chairman of the Board and Rector of the Non-Profit Joint Stock Company[NPJSC] "Al-Farabi KazNU", ways of high-quality development of scientific cooperation were discussed.
The conditions under which scientific knowledge is created are specific to each country. They are not the same in France and Kazakhstan, but the conditions for confirming scientific work are universal (publications and participation in international conferences). Therefore, it is quite simple to establish scientific cooperation between recognized scientists. But how to move from a collaboration between French and Kazakh scientists to a more institutional collaboration between two scientific laboratories? How to organize collective scientific projects? How to organize double degree programs to ensure the availability of young scientists? How to find a French supervisor to defend a dissertation in Kazakhstan?
Speeches by specialists K. Le Torrivellec (École des Hautes études en Sciences Sociales [EHESS], Paris) and K. Moldashev (SDU University) provided answers to many of these questions.
Director of the Department of Flexible Electronics at the Mining University of Saint-Etienne, Thierry Jenizian, noted the high importance of scientific discussions and free collaboration of researchers.
Head of the Department of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, Professor M.E. Mansurova shared her impressions of visiting the laboratories of the ancient university of France, founded in 1431, the University of Poitiers. A strong scientific school for training doctoral students in the specialties “Artificial Intelligence”, “Smart Internet of Things”, “Data Scientist” traditionally attracts Kazakh students. There is also financial support from the scholarship program of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic “Abai-Vern”.
The second round-table meeting “The needs of French companies operating in Kazakhstan for engineers and technicians” (moderated by Alex Bortolan, Advisor for Cooperation and Culture of the French Embassy in Kazakhstan) highlighted current problems: characterizing the needs of large French companies and small enterprises, personnel qualifications, the need for additional training of specialists to work in foreign companies (Romain Quesnet, director of BGDN); request for intercultural competence and qualifications in the services and tourism sector (Sébastien Vincent, Director of Novotel and President of CCEF).
Representatives of French business (Severin Van Gastel, Alexander Houdebin, Stephen Bostrum) also noted the high synchronicity of the academic and economic spheres that exists in France, the specifics of the French model of training technicians and engineers, and the needs of mining technology companies.
Representatives of French business and engineering schools spoke about what skills a university graduate needs to work in foreign companies, whether knowledge of the French language is absolutely necessary, what “argumentation in the French style” means, and much more.
KazNU currently cooperates closely with 21 universities in France, carries out mutual exchange of students and teachers; in the last year or two alone, more than a hundred students from KazNU have gone to study in France, 11 students from Lyon, the Universities of Poitiers and Sciences are studying at KazNU. The Kazakh-French scientific and educational Center “Geoenergetics”, a double degree program with the University of Lorraine and the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, the “Campus within a Campus” project with the University of Grenoble-Alpes, the scientific project “SCO and the construction of “New Asia” have been created and are actively working with the University of Le Havre and others.
In 2022, Chairman of the Board and Rector of NPJSC Al-Farabi Kazakh National University Zhanseit Tuimebayev took part in the seventh Forum of Rectors of Universities of Kazakhstan and France in Paris.
In June 2023, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University hosted a delegation from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, headed by the Director of the Department of History, Ms. Sabine Dillain. In April of this year, a delegation of French universities headed by the Vice-President of the University of Lorraine, Mr. Karl Thombre, visited. Cooperation in the field of science is also developing dynamically: scientists from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University received 189 international grants, of which 42 were for joint research with French scientific schools in 2022-2023.
The forum participants noted that Kazakhstan and France are united in their desire to maintain long-term and productive relations in the field of science and education, contributing to the prosperity and well-being of both countries.