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    Opportunities of the Great Silk Road discussed at Al Farabi KazNU

    Al Farabi KazNU: The recent development and opportunities for collaboration between Japan and Kazakhstan on the Great Silk Road have been discussed a scientific and practical seminar at Al Farabi Kazakh National University. The scientific-practical seminar for Japanese faculty and students was held in the framework of the development of KazNU’s external academic mobility, the program for the implementation of the strategic academic relations and in accordance with the Agreement with the University of Tokyo.

    During the event, lecturers and students from the University of Tokyo familiarized themselves with the peculiarities of the “multi-vector” foreign policy of Kazakhstan in the international arena, the country’s contribution to the development of the concept of the “New Silk Road” and the impacts of China-led “One Belt One Road” strategy on the future of economic, social and education development in the region. The participants also discussed Kazakhstan’s approaches to the development of cooperation on the Great Silk Road and possible collaboration with Japan on various projects, especially infrastructure projects. This course is conducted within the framework of the winter school and the program “Regional Studies: Politics, Economics and Culture of Central Asia”, and includes field research in Kazakhstan.

    At the opening ceremony, the first vice-rector of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Professor Mukhambetli Burkitbayev discussed the educational collaboration between Japan and Kazakhstan focusing on the joint projects of the University of Tokyo and Al-Farabi KazNU. One of the fruits of this long-term cooperation with the University of Tokyo University was a joint state-of-the-art project of creating a “Nanosputnik” for Kazakhstan. He also discussed the development of academic and educational exchanges between Al Farabi KazNU and the University of Tokyo.

    Professor Rafis Abazov – a former visiting research scholar at the University of Tokyo – currently the director of Ban Ki-moon Institute for Sustainable Development, author of books and textbooks for American universities “The Central Asian Republics” and “The Palgrave Concise Atlas of Central Asia” presented a lecture and seminar for and conducted a stimulating interactive discussions with the students of the winter school.  The agenda included such topics as: the policies of Kazakhstan on the Great Silk Road; technological, educational and research collaboration between Kazakhstan and Japan on the sustainable development of the Great Silk Road. During the presentation, the guests were familiarized with the structure and activities of the Kazakh government and its policies on the Great Silk Road. During the seminar, the students from the University of Tokyo brainstormed various ideas and topics for research projects about the role of Japan on the Great Silk Road with the support from their mentors-lecturers from the University of Tokyo – associate professor OKADA Terue and associate professor MATSUDA Yasuyuki.

    The organizers of this event were the Far Eastern Department at the Faculty of Oriental Studies at KazNU, Ban Ki-moon Institute of Sustainable Development, MDP Global classroom, and Model UN-New Silk Way. Professor Yktiar Paltore, the Dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies highlighted that this scientific workshop was organized for faculty members from two universities and that these most prestigious universities in Kazakhstan and Japan respectively should develop further their joint educational and research projects.

    The photo is courtesy of Rafis Abazov, Ban Ki-Moon Institute for Sustainable Development at KazNU

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