Universities interested in improving student achievement must ensure that faculty have access to training. With the support of the U.S.-Kazakhstan University Partnerships Program, administered by American Councils for International Education and funded by the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan, Abai Kazakh National Pedagogical University (Abai KazNPU) and California State University-Sacramento (CSU) are improving the professional qualifications and soft skills of Kazakhstani educators using international best practices and innovative approaches.

In 2020, the partner institutions launched a series of webinars that brought a total of 300 faculty members to share models of faculty self-government, creative thinking, online learning strategies and pedagogy, and course design tools. Participants explored ways to enhance the quality of scientific publications in Kazakhstan to increase impact. As part of the project, CSU and Abai KazNPU worked closely to prepare webinars, and an international virtual conference which brought educators from the U.S., the European Union, and several Central Asian institutions. In early spring 2021, the partners designed a survey to assess the quality and pitfalls of online learning to be deployed by Kazakhstani and Central Asian universities.

Outcomes of the partnership project include Abai KazNPU and CSU plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to expand their collaboration. In addition, with the support of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Education and Science, Abai KazNPU will create a hub to support regional universities and faculty efforts to improve higher education quality and build regional and international connections.