ASTANA – As Kazakhstan prepares to host the International Education Fair, the largest education fair in Central Asia, from September 22-27, the country is seeing a growing demand for education abroad, said Aizada Koigeldiyeva, director of Univero, one of the organizers and one of Kazakhstan’s leading education agencies in an interview with The Astana Times.
According to UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the total number of students worldwide will increase from the current 97 million to 260 million by 2025.
“As experts in the field of international education, we believe that the child’s interests should not be hindered in educational matters. Leaping into the unknown greatly speeds up the process of rebirth from a teenager to an adult. Thanks to such positive changes, a child is separated from his parents, he learns to live independently, and future success largely depends on this. Being in a completely different environment will help you learn more about yourself, your strengths and your weaknesses. And understanding yourself is the first step in developing new skills,” Koigeldieva said.
Organized by Bolashaq Development Fund and Univero since 2017, the fair offers potential applicants the opportunity to explore educational opportunities abroad and to inquire about their interests directly from representatives of some of the world’s leading universities, such as Tsinghua University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, University of Tsukuba, KAIST, University of Manchester, University of Essex, University of Glasgow, New York Film Academy, George Washington University and University of California, among many others.
Over the years, over 60,000 people and almost 300 universities from more than 50 countries have attended the event.
“On average across OECD countries, around 57 percent of 15-year-olds go to university, compared to 95 percent in South Korea. At the same time, Asians are now regarded as the best students – they are characterized by an extremely high level of motivation. According to UNESCO estimates, in five years there will be 5 to 7 million foreign students worldwide, two thirds of them from Asia. Therefore, Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, are very attractive for global universities,” Koigeldieva said.
A new feature of this year’s fair is the extension to Uzbekistan. On September 26, Tashkent will host the fair for the first time.
“Our main goal is that every visitor makes the best use of the information he or she receives from the participating universities for admission to foreign and Kazakh universities. That’s why we integrated a free professional mentoring session into visitor registration this year. In this format, each exhibitor will identify their strengths with our expert and create a list of countries and universities that are ideal for their needs,” she said.
When asked about some of the top education trends, she identified four – distance learning, gamification, virtual reality learning, and the emergence of mobile apps in higher education institutions.
“The pandemic has absolutely removed all borders and accelerated the formation of the online education industry. Now everyone really has the opportunity to continue their education regardless of place, time or age. In the new academic year, the world’s leading universities have decided not to abandon online education and to combine it with the traditional offline format,” she explained.
Educators around the world are also increasingly applying game design elements in an educational setting. Games are no longer treated as a distraction from learning, but as a helpful tool to stimulate the learning process and make it fun and interactive.
Extended reality, a term that encompasses virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality, makes the learning experience more immersive.
“Universities are increasingly turning to AR and VR technologies to create a fully immersive learning experience. Immersing yourself in virtual space helps you learn complex topics, memorize large amounts of information and understand the connection between science and real life,” said Koigeldiyeva.
The exhibition will be held in four cities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time. Tickets are available for free on the official website.
09/22/2022 – Nur-Sultan, President of Rixos Astana
09/23/2022 – Shymkent, Rixos Khadisha Shymkent
09/26/2022 – Tashkent, Hilton Tashkent City
09/27/2022 – Almaty, Kazakhstan Hotel