The Uzbek higher education system consists of institutions, scientific and pedagogical establishments performing research work, and state body formations. 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 Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialised Education’s (MHSSE) 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. It 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.
The last four year (2017-2020) became a period of sweeping reforms and important decisions aimed at improving quality of higher education that resulted in multi-fold increase of the relevance thereof as well as the important role played by intensively developing international cooperation. The Concept of Higher Education Development in Uzbekistan by 2030 adopted on 8 October 2019 describes the strategy of the HE development and clarified the main goals of the HEIs. Two new Law on Education and Law on Science have been adopted in 2020. The new Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Education adopted in 2020 introduced for the first time the concept of inclusive education, considered dual education with work placement and distance education as one of the forms of education implemented through ICT and Internet.
One of the strategic development goals of the country's HE system is enhancing quality of training of creative and systemically thinking professionals, strengthening attractiveness of higher education system for investments, introducing the “University 3.0” concept that calls for close integration of education, research and innovation. The work aimed at expanding coverage of youth with higher education continued throughout 2020 through rapid growth in the number of new higher education institutions in the country and establishment of campuses by the world’s leading universities. The number of HEIs has reached 129 today as opposed to just 60 in 2017. In the last four years, 52 new HEIs were established in the country including 25 branches of foreign universities and 9 non-state universities. The government has decided to increase the list of universities, which is going to get financial and content related autonomy, including decisions regarding students’ admission, structural changes and introduction of new programmes/courses. Governmental decree No 402 from 23 June 2020 “On the approval of the regulations on the procedure of recommending women to participate in the competition and organisation of their admission to higher educational institutions within the entry indicators based on additional state grants” considers ensuring gender-balance at higher education institutions. With this decree the government provided additional grants for women to study at HEIs.
Pursuant to the Cabinet of Ministers’ Resolution No 824 dated 31/12/2020 “On measures to improve organisation of education process in higher education institutions”, education process in HEIs will gradually undergo transition to credit-module system starting 2020/2021 academic year. The document has approved the Regulation on introduction of credit-module system based on European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System - ECTS in the education processes of higher education institutions of Uzbekistan.
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 that national projects are designed to mainly consider priorities of Uzbekistan and also 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 the
DSINGIS – Doctoral Studies in Geoinformation Sciences (http://www.dsingis.eu/). The main objective of the project is to Develop a new doctoral programme, innovative doctoral courses and methodologies, supporting continuing professional development on the applications of GISc, and enhance the scientific level of academic and research staff at UZ partner universities in the field of GISc.
RENES – Development of Master Programme in Renewable Energy Sources and Sustainable Environment (http://www.reneseplus.uz/). The main goal of this project is to develop a new master's program on renewable energy sources and sustainable environment and implement the developed courses at all Uzbek partner universities. A wider objective of the project is to create educational base for training of a new generation of engineers in Renewable Energy sources and sustainable environment.
Another similar project has been launched by the World bank in 2016: Modernizing Higher Education Project (http://projects.worldbank.org/P128516?lang=en). The objectives of the Modernizing Higher Education Project for Uzbekistan are to strengthen the Recipient’s higher education system managerial capacity, and to improve both the labour market relevance and the learning environment of selected higher education institutions. There are four components to the project, the first component being Strengthening Higher Education Management. The project will support enhancement of the managerial capacity of the higher education system in Uzbekistan.