Heriot-Watt forms pioneering strategic partnership in Kazakhstan



Kazakhstan partnership

Heriot-Watt has launched a new partnership with K. Zhubanov Aktobe Regional University in Kazakhstan bringing its distinct learning and teaching offering to a broader international audience.

Over its 200-year history, Heriot-Watt has transformed into a global institution with five fully integrated campuses in Scotland, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia and working with higher education partners on all continents who share its values and commitment to high quality education.    

This new strategic development will initially see the delivery of undergraduate dual-degree engineering programmes to a new intake of 300 students per year. All programmes will be integrated into Heriot-Watt’s wider global provision of ‘One Heriot-Watt’ – wherever a Heriot-Watt student is located, the learning outcomes of their programmes are identical, with one Heriot-Watt University degree certificate globally.

The universities formally announced the partnership and opened the doors to the first cohort of students at a ceremony at the Zhubanov campus in Aktobe attended by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Tamara Duysenova, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Sayasat Nurbek, the Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Askhat Shakharov, the Akim of the Aktobe Region, the UK Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Kathy Leach and representatives from both universities.

Among them was Professor Mark Biggs, Vice-Principal and Provost of Heriot-Watt University, who said:

“This is an exciting development, one that goes to the heart of what we stand for as an institution.

"Heriot-Watt has a tradition of being pioneering in international education driven by our values of access to higher education and outstanding performance in graduate employability.

"Today’s formal announcement marks the next step in our pioneering journey and is a historic milestone for both institutions and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

The event also saw appearances from business and industry representatives who have links to both universities and play a key role in the economic development of Kazakhstan, in particular the Aktobe region.

The academic programmes will be delivered within a dedicated location within K. Zhubanov Aktobe Regional University, with classroom teaching and lab facilities and student support services to ensure a first-class student experience.

Central to the partnership’s success is a desire to nurture high-level graduates equipped with the knowledge, attributes and confidence required by today’s industries. As with all Heriot-Watt degrees this is informed by research-led teaching and partners will develop collaborative scientific activity, including collaborative research, training and doctoral research activity over the next five years as phase two of the strategic development.

Sayasat Nurbek, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, said: “The main goal of the cooperation with Heriot-Watt University is to improve the quality of education according to international standards and to prepare strong staff for the western region of Kazakhstan.”


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