The University has welcomed six visiting scholars from Kazakhstan participating in a programme tailor-made to develop their leadership and management skills. The programme was funded by the Government of Kazakhstan through the Centre for International Programmes. The Bolashaq International Scholarship was established to educate talented Kazakh students at the best universities in the world through Masters and PhD scholarships and internships.

The Leadership in Higher Education Management (LHEM) Programme is structured in response to the need to prepare successful leaders in higher education in Kazakhstan. It aims to increase the competitiveness of the Kazakhstan higher education system in the face of global challenges and labour market requirements, which could potentially contribute to the socio-economic and scientific-technical development of the country.

This is the first time the University has hosted participants from Kazakhstan on this programme, which consists of 6 intensive research preparation and teaching blocks, separated by individual study, group tutorials, arranged data-gathering visits to other universities across England and opportunities to participate in residentials of our flagship DBA in Higher Education Management Programme.

Participants arrived in Bath in February 2022 and will return to Kazakhstan in December. They have described their experience as “excellent, beyond words” and have appreciated the access they’ve had to the University’s facilities, including its library and sports facilities as well as the quality of teaching. Visits to a range of UK universities have ensured that participants have access to university leadership and experiences from across the country.

One of the programme participants, Yerzhan Kerimbekov, Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation at South Kazakhstan State Pedagogical University, said that “It is a big journey to understanding the practice and management system of universities”. Having had the chance, through this programme, to compare higher education systems in the UK and Kazakhstan, he looks forward to integrating best practices into his home university.

If the programme will be continued, it would be a great opportunity for other managers from universities in Kazakhstan. We can get a lot of information from the internet, but to feel the atmosphere and see it with my own eyes is a different thing. For me, it is very important. I’m also thankful to the Kazakhstan government, as not every country provides this opportunity. It was a great opportunity.

The programme at Bath is being run by Dr Dan Davies, Director of Higher Education Management Programmes in the School of Management. He said:

This is a prestigious international programme for the University to be involved in since the Kazakhstan government will only sponsor placements in global top-200 institutions. The length of the programme makes it possible to get to know the participants and the needs of their universities in-depth and to tailor a bespoke executive education experience to support their individual leadership and research agendas.