The government of Uzbekistan has placed the development of science, technology, and innovation in the country as a top policy priority. Through the Central Asia University Partnerships Program (UniCEN), administered by American Councils for International Education and funded by the U.S. State Department through the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, Washington State University (WSU) and Urgench State University are collaborating to enhance instructor preparation and training and to support English language teaching in STEM in Uzbekistan.

In the first phase of the project, Dr. Sergey Lapin of WSU conducted webinars for math faculty and administrators at Urgench State University, highlighting respective approaches to teaching math and statistics, and introducing the array of STEM disciplines offered at WSU. The partners developed the idea of creating a multidisciplinary course, Mathematics through Applications, where calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, and statistics are taught using real-world applications in various sciences.

In September 2021, Dr. Lapin met with Urgench State University administrators and faculty to design new research collaborations. In presentations, Dr. Lapin spoke about the U.S. student assessment system, educational processes, modern teaching methods and innovative technologies in education implemented by Washington State University. The also partners continued work on the development of the mathematics interdisciplinary course and classes for math students with emphasis on teaching in English.

Looking to sustain the partnership, areas of future collaboration include the organizing summer camps for students, establishing Ph.D. programs, assisting Urgench State in its quest to increase its international rankings, and internships.