An official website of the European Union. See all European Institutions
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Respectful representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan,
Educational experts from EU countries and in particular from Latvia and Poland,
Educational experts from Kazakhstan,
I am very pleased to have a chance to welcome you today at the National Meeting on Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (HE) and Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Astana organised by the Central Asia Education Platform project.
As you may aware the Central Asia Education Platform (CAEP) was established in 2012 by the EU to promote policy dialogue supporting reforms in the education sector in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. CAEP focuses on Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training. It is the key pillar of the European Education Initiative (EEI) launched in the context of the EU - Central Asia Strategy for New Partnership in 2007.
Coming back to the history let me please remind you that during the first Ministerial Meeting of Ministers for Education of the EU and Central Asia countries in Riga in June 2015, the Ministers agreed on National Qualification Frameworks (NQF) as well as on Quality Assurance and Accreditation as main topics for continuing the successfully implemented policy dialogue at regional, national and technical level. As you may know Latvia and Poland are the Lead EU Member States supporting the exchange for Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education (HE) respectively.
The Ministers acknowledged that adapting educational systems to meet the demands of labour market and needs of individuals in the 21st century is an essential task for the EU and Central Asia countries. They underlined the importance of modernising education as an imperative for sustainable socio-economic development and stability, contributing to mutual understanding, respect and intercultural dialogue and the preparation of future generations.
It is obvious, that the quality of educational services provided both in Higher Education and in VET, depends to a large extent on the existence of independent and transparent national quality assurance and accreditation systems. Only then the trust of employers, professional organisations and students in the quality of VET and HE alike will be strengthened. Therefore it is important to keep in mind the direct linkage between establishing a National Qualifications Framework and coherent internal and external quality assurance processes. The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) provides the standard measures against which assessment systems are designed and tested. Consequently, the CAEP has addressed and will address both aspects in its activities also in the future.
The European Union has supported this challenging process to modernise the education systems for many years – one example is the successful completion of the Tempus QUADRIGA project (Qualification Frameworks in Central Asia: Bologna-based Principles and Regional Coordination) in 2015, which provided valuable input to the elaboration of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) in Kazakhstan by mobilising national expertise and facilitating exchange at regional level with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Let me please to point out that last week, the Ministry of Education and Science of Tajikistan hosted the CAEP Regional Conference on Quality Assurance and Accreditation, where some 30 education specialists and ministry officials from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan participated. I am pleased to have a chance to welcome here as well member states experts, who arrived with the strong wish to share good practice on quality assurance and discuss with their Kazakh colleagues how to strengthen the quality of education services provided here in Kazakhstan.
I am very glad to learn that Kazakhstan has undertaken major efforts in setting up independent accreditation and enhancing the quality of education provided by state as well as private education providers.
Today, this national meeting will serve as excellent opportunity to take stock of the national achievements reached so far, as well as addressing further areas in the quality assurance system where improvements are still to take place.
Looking forward for the future let me please attract you attention to the important up-coming event on 22-23 June that will take place in Astana. This is the Ministerial Meeting that will allow the Ministers of Education from the CA countries and the EU and high-level representatives from the European Commission to come together to discuss aspects for a further deepening of mutual relations and cooperation in Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training. We expect that this meeting will be a strong sign for the mutual interest to intensify cooperation in this central field of education, enabling our youth and societies to prosper in the future.
We hope that meetings at expert level like the one started today will contribute and strengthen mutual ties and make a valuable contribution to improving our educational systems by learning from each other’s best practices.
Let me please to finish my welcoming remarks with a wish of success in today event and give floor to Ms Banu Narbekova, Head of content and methodology education unit, Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan our long term and reliable partner.
Thank you for your attention!