SAS x AlmaU

08 may 2023

How to Distinguish a Formal Visit from Colleagues from a Foreign University for Superficial Partnership from a Visit that Should Lead to Real Collaboration?

An important indicator is what the guests engage in. If a university's rector visits another university, a formal visit typically involves a "photo-op" meeting with another rector, the signing of a declaration of intent to be friendly and cooperate, a campus tour, and a formal dinner.

Did the three-day visit of the Almaty Management University (AlmaU, Kazakhstan) delegation, consisting of the university President and Founder, Director of Teaching Excellence, and the Director of the Language Center, to the School of Advanced Studies (SAS) resemble such a formal visit?

No, this visit appeared entirely different. During their visit, colleagues from AlmaU:

- attended classes at SAS,

- interacted with students and professors,

- held several extended meetings with SAS management,

- did not sign any declarations of intent.

Instead, we agreed on a range of partnership projects: SAS staff and professors will participate in a major education conference in Almaty in January 2024, SAS students will teach at summer schools in AlmaU for college and high school students in Northern Kazakhstan, we have planned student exchanges, and AlmaU instructors will visit SAS to teach and gain experience.

“We wanted to personally acquaint ourselves with SAS, observe the work of its teachers, and understand how we could adapt the School's expertise to AlmaU. I am interested in collaboration in the field of training our instructors through academic mobility for both students and professors,” noted Aizhan Arin, Director of Teaching Excellence.

AlmaU is one of the most prestigious and largest private universities in Kazakhstan. It enjoys a high reputation in academic circles, and its MBA program is the largest in Central Asia and each year enters the world's educational rankings.

Asylbek Kozhakhmetov, the president of AlmaU, said, “We have been interested in the educational model of SAS for a long time. This year, a decision was made to change the education structure at AlmaU. Therefore, those who will implement these reforms and oversee the new academic unit, the School of Transformative Humanities AlmaU, personally visited SAS. With our SAS colleagues, we actively discussed what we could do together, while also peering into the future and anticipating the results.”