In September 2017, Turkmenistan adopted the Concept of development of the digital educational system, the implementation of which will modernize the activities of educational institutions through the widespread introduction of digital resources and ensure compliance of the educational process with international standards. In solving this task, an important place is given to the exchange of “know-how” with the leading academic centers of the world.
A year later, in November 2018, three major Turkmen universities – the International University for the Humanities and Development, Oguz Khan Engineering Technology University and the State Power Engineering Institute – joined the EU-funded project “Modernization of Higher education in Central Asia through New technologies” (HiEdTec). Its initiator and main coordinator is the Angel Kanchev University of Ruse, Bulgaria, which has a solid experience in the implementation of two dozen projects of educational cooperation under the new European program to support education and vocational training Erasmus+.
These days in Tashkent, HiEdTec project host the third coordination meeting of partners, which is attended by leading experts from Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal, Luxembourg, as well as 15 universities from Central Asian countries – Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
The forum participants discuss measures to further improve the higher education system, dictated by modern digital realities.
The concepts of adaptation of the higher education system to the digital generation developed by the project for each partner country, to be considered and approved during the current meeting in the capital of Uzbekistan, will contribute to achieving this goal.
It is expected that the concepts will help the Central Asian countries to respond effectively to the ongoing fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), which is not only rapidly changing all aspects of human life through, for example, the Internet of things, artificial intelligence, but also transforming the labor market. And this, in turn, creates the need for digital transformation of the education sector at a faster pace.
Another important subject of expert discussions will be the topic of equipping centers of innovative educational technologies and interactive classrooms in partner universities.
Such classrooms will create environment for everyone to learn at any time and anywhere using any device – computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
In all five countries of Central Asia, the processes of digitalization of economic systems have been launched, which has caused an increase in demand for highly qualified ICT specialists.
In January of this year, Turkmenistan started a seven-year Concept for the development of the digital economy, the first stage of which provides, among other tasks, the adoption of systematic measures to improve the skills of personnel. The higher schools has actively joined the process of forming a cluster of specialists who will promote the implementation of conceptual tasks in practice. The universities of economic and technical orientation have developed curricula for such specialties and disciplines as e-commerce, e-business economics, smart-technology, information security.