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UCA-Oxford Social Science Research Summer School

Graduate School of Development
19 September 2023

UCA’s Graduate School of Development and the University of Oxford jointly organised a Social Science Research Summer School in August 2023. This intensive learning program brought together talented UCA researchers and civil society organisations to enhance their research skills and foster international collaboration in the field of social science.

"We are thrilled to welcome distinguished faculty and researchers hailing from prestigious institutions like Oxford University, Cambridge, UBC, and Meiji University. Their presence aims to enhance our research prowess, enabling us to amplify our influence and engagement on a global scale,” – says Dr Kemel Toktomushev, Senior Research Fellow at UCA’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration.

The success of the Summer School was a testament to the strong partnership between UCA and the University of Oxford. The programme provided a platform for aspiring researchers to engage with international experts, expand their knowledge, and build lasting connections.

Dr. Аriell Аhearn, a Departmental Lecturer at the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, mentioned how the “Post-pandemic societies in Inner Asia project” aimed to strengthen research capacities among UCA researchers and civil society groups and aimed to help them to develop the ability to publish in English, contribute to academic debates, and lead their own research grants.

Dr. Troy Sternberg, a Senior Researcher at the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, shared with summer school participants his passion for studying the environment and landscapes of the Central Asia region. He anticipated collaborating with UCA researchers to publish a book centered on Kyrgyzstan, acknowledging the importance of having local voices contribute to a deeper understanding of the country.

Julian Dierkes, Coordinator of the Program on Inner Asia at the University of British Columbia, Canada expressed his delight in supporting aspiring researchers and their ambitions. With a focus on Mongolia and a keen interest in Central Asia, Dierkes viewed the collaboration with UCA as an opportunity for mutual learning.

Professor Yuki Morinaga of Meiji University, Japan a climatologist, presented a case study on Minamata disease in Japan, which was the result of serious pollution: “During the rapid economic growth, in a hurry to catch up with Western countries we did make many mistakes, so we can share what lessons can be learned from Minamata disease for areas where pollution problems are still serious.”

Post-Pandemic Societies in Inner Asia (PPIA) research project is a collaboration between the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, Kagoshima University, Japan, UCA’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration, and the National University of Mongolia.

Dr. Аriell Аhearn of University of Oxford engaging Summer School participants.