Perspectives on the Present State and Future of Higher Education Faculty Development in Kazakhstan: Implications for National Human Resource Development
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After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990's Kazakhstan experienced a socio-economic transition from a socialist economy to a free market economy and was challenged with building a newly independent state. In pursuit of fulfilling strategic nationwide tasks, the government undertook multidimensional measures in all spheres. However, in order to implement such profound changes and keep up with globalization, the newly independent state found itself in a position where there was a burning need for a serious update in knowledge and skills in all fields. In light of the National State Conception of Education Development of 2005 (NSCED), higher education in Kazakhstan is viewed as the most fundamental liaison between academia, research and innovation in industry and business of the country. Integration of these three components represents the concept of a national innovation system that will allow Kazakhstan to establish successfully its own competitive advantage in the global arena. Therefore, the higher education faculty of Kazakhstan becomes the driving force in fulfilling such grand tasks as relating research to practice, as well as increasing the knowledge, skills, and capacities of young specialists and researchers for a future sustainable society. In other words, there is a need to determine the current status of higher education faculty development which may then serve as a basis for a comprehensive approach and enable the compliance process with the Bologna international standards of education to be expedited. For the purpose of this study, a qualitative research methodology was used whereby the researcher was the primary research tool who interviewed 20 faculty members and university administrators from two large universities of national status in Kazakhstan. The data collection tools employed were semi-structured interviews, observations, and document analysis and field notes. Since the nature of this phenomenological study is exploratory and descriptive, it was considered holistically and based on interpretation and analysis of all study participants combined. Moreover, the phenomenon under study is complex due to a dynamic interaction and interdependence of multiple HRD levels; and consequently, it was viewed through the contexts of international relationships, the country's broad societal transformations, and its organizational and individual levels. The research findings indicate that there is no systematic and consistent approach to faculty development in the area of higher education in Kazakhstan. The majority of current faculty development and any professional development activities tend to have a spontaneous character without implementation of a thorough faculty needs task analysis or performance evaluation. The faculty as social subjects with different socio-cultural identities is currently in the process of constructing a new academic identity based on updated social values, beliefs, mentality and work styles. In the case of successfully updating professional expertise and higher education policy implementation, the faculty will constitute a group of highly educated experts and professionals who are capable of providing the younger generation with a high quality education according to international standards and conducting intensive research that will connect the theory and practice through real applications in various industries.
SubjectNational Human Resource Development in Kazakhstan
reforming higher education and faculty development
formation of new academic identity
Seitova, Dinara T. (2009). Perspectives on the Present State and Future of Higher Education Faculty Development in Kazakhstan: Implications for National Human Resource Development. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from