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23 May 2019

Higher Education Policy in Central Asia and Afghanistan

The purpose of this report is two-fold. Its first aim is to take stock of contemporary higher education in Central Asia, with a particular emphasis on Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and Afghanistan. The second is to offer policy propositions that may support these states to make their higher education systems more innovative, with innovation also incorporating science and technology. The report is structured in two sections.

The first outlines some cross-cutting trends and issues in higher education in Central Asia and Afghanistan. Some of the major challenges and opportunities facing these higher education systems and the societies they are based in are highlighted. It approaches the notion of challenges and opportunities from the perspective of the national governments’ priorities as identified in publicly available documents.

The second moves from a review of the current situation towards future planning. The report lay outs factors that can introduce innovation into higher education systems and provides examples from other relevant settings of practice in these areas. Finally, the report offers a series of policy proposals for the three states that are aimed at promoting science and technology capacity, which in turn can lay the basis for pathways to innovation in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

The policy recommendations made in the report are grouped into a policy plan covering five areas: regulation, skills, research, scientific culture, and business. The purpose of the policy plan, as visualized in figure below, is to support the development of science, technology and innovation in higher education.

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