The Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialised Education has 31 higher education institutions under its mandate. There are also a number of specialized HEIs coordinated by other sectoral ministries. For example, the Ministry of the Public Education is responsible for 4 pedagogical institutes, the Ministry of Health - 7 (and 7 more branches in regions),the Ministry of Culture and Sports affairs - 4 (and 1 branch in Nukus), the Ministry of Agriculture - 6 (and 2 branches in Bukhara and Nukus), the Cabinet of Ministers - 1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - 1, the Ministry of Justice - 1, the Ministry for development of information technologies and communications - 1 (and 5 branches in regions), the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan - 1, JSC "Uzbekiston temir yullari" (Uzbekistan railways) - 1 and the Navoi State Mining Combinat - 1.
According to the National Programme for Personnel Training, higher education builds on academic achievements of specialised secondary education (academic lyceum) and/or vocational education (vocational college) and includes two levels: Bachelor degree and Master degree.
The MHSSE's responsibility is to organize the academic year, including the length of the semesters, examination periods and academic holidays.
The academic year starts on September 2nd and lasts until the end of June. The academic year is divided into two semesters with holidays ranging from 10 to 12 weeks:
• 1st semester - from early September to late January;
• 2nd semester - from the beginning of February to the end of June, although the duration of the semester can vary depending on the status of the HEIs or on the study programme.
First level - Bachelor programme
This basic higher education provides fundamental knowledge in one of the branches of higher education for a minimum period of study of four years. Upon completion of the Bachelor programme graduates are awarded Bachelor degree and a state diploma (in Uzbek: Bakalavr), which entitles them to start professional activity or to continue studies at Master level.
Second level - Master programme
This level of higher education provides knowledge in specific areas and lasts for at least two years after the Bachelor degree. Master programme graduates are awarded a state diploma (in Uzbek: Magistr), which entitles them to work in the relevant professional areas or to continue education in postgraduate education establishments.
More detailed information about the higher education system in Uzbekistan can be found in the country fiche on http://erasmusplus.uz/images/shared/countryfiche_uzbekistan_2017.pdf or here.
In the last two years several changes in the field of higher education have occurred in the line with other sectors of the country. One of the considerable reforms in 2016 is the full modernisation of bachelor and master curricula, in consideration of the best practices of successful universities of the world. The modernisation considers new requirements for teaching staff; e.g. they should present good knowledge in foreign languages and IT skills apart from their professional subject(s). Study programmes are revised and updated taking into account changing labour market requirements. Moreover, new study materials (mainly books) have been introduced with translation into Uzbek replacing some old literature. It is notable that Tempus, Erasmus+ CBHE project achievements in curricula development are being widely implemented into the higher education system.
Another important document on the issue is the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Uzbekistan's Development Strategy for 2017-2021” from 7 February 2017. In the priority areas of development of the social sphere (#IV): Development of education and science refers to all main aspects of the education system of the country like continuous education; strengthening of the material-technical base of educational institutions; improving the quality and effectiveness of higher education institutions through introduction of international standards; quality of teaching; gradual increase in admission quota in the higher educational institutions.
Furthermore, the government’s decree PF4958 on “Improvement of studies after higher education” from 16 February 2017 is going to be applied into the education system from 1 July 2017. These days the main document – a charter on doctoral studies - is being developed. It has been decided that from July 2017, a two-level doctoral degree (PhD and Doctor of science) will be introduced in the country.
Actually all Tempus and Erasmus+ projects are aimed to introduce some value in the development of HE in the country with components like capacity building, curricula development and equipment. It should be noted national projects are designed mainly considering priorities of Uzbekistan and have considerable impact with sustainable results. More information about completed and ongoing projects can be found in the NEO’s annual publications on http://erasmusplus.uz/publication/NEO-publications/index.htm. Below a couple of projects of Tempus and Erasmus+ projects:
MECHATRONICS – Introduction of a new Master program and Doctoral courses in Mechatronics in Uzbekistan (http://tempus-mach.com). The main objective of the project is to produce a new generation of engineers capable of performing constructive engineering works in the mechatronics field meeting today’s and tomorrow's technological challenges.
IMEP - Internationalisation and Modernization of Education and Processes in the Higher Education of Uzbekistan (http://www.imep.bimm.uz/). The main objective is to contribute to the internationalization and further enhancement of the Quality Assurance System in Higher Education of Uzbekistan through the development of continuous professional development, student and employer engagement in teaching and learning.
From beginning of 2016 to May 2017 four TAMs in Uzbekistan and one joint regional TAM have been organised in Kazakhstan. For a full list, please click here.