Participation in the International Conference “The New Social Dimension in Higher Education Missions”

On October 30, 2019, on the basis of L.N. Gumilyov ENU the International conference “New social dimension in the mission of higher education” was held in the format of scientific and practical conference. The conference was attended by the first vice-rector, quality manager G.M. Rysmagambetova.

The purpose of the conference was to discuss the third mission of higher education in the context of positioning universities in the global world and consider them as drivers in the development of the country.

Conference work is directed on the solution of the following problems: definition of a role and value of the third mission of higher education in the modern world; consideration of a degree of involvement of the Kazakhstan higher education institutions in realization of the third mission of higher education; assistance to formation of culture of realization of the third mission in the Kazakhstan higher school; definition of social mission of universities and forms of their realization in the Kazakhstan society; consideration of interrelation of higher education institutions with business, various social institutes and groups, thus strengthening of their influence on the general public.

During the discussion, the participants stated that the public life of the modern world sets different requirements to higher education and its institutional structures that are able to respond and meet the new challenges of time. The “social orientation” of higher education institutions becomes important. The redefinition of the mission of higher education, its role in modern society is determined by the characteristics of modernity, its rationality and pragmatism, globalization and informatization, cultural multiplicity and variability of ways of social identification. In all countries higher education is a powerful catalyst for socio-economic, social and cultural development. In Kazakhstan, which is striving for a common educational space, higher education institutions have yet to become a factor of social and cultural development capable of ensuring the realization of society’s expectations related to changes in the quality of life.

The concept of “social mission” in the light of modernization of higher education entails changes in the understanding of the essence of higher education institutions. Mutual institutional exchange between higher education and society, which is taking place in many countries, is just beginning to take shape in Kazakhstan.

In Kazakhstan, as well as in most post-Soviet countries, the participation of universities in public life is still insignificant and is still in its infancy. There is still no tradition and shared understanding of this “social” mission of the university. The concept of “social partnership”, which should be based on the interaction of many partners: universities, government agencies, various public associations and non-profit organizations, and the population itself, is simply absent in modern conditions. For this concept to work, it is necessary to develop a strategy for implementing the “third mission” of the university, which will allow, on the one hand, to identify key priorities and define the main opportunities for implementing the social function, on the other hand, it will identify the main needs of the local community and the main partners.

At the first plenary session the international experience of implementation of the third mission of universities, new social dimension in the mission of higher education in the global world, national peculiarities in implementation of the third mission of universities and social responsibility of Kazakhstan universities were discussed.

Section meetings were held in parallel (3 sections). As a result of the work recommendations on the discussed theme were worked out.

As a result of the work, a resolution was adopted which was sent to the ministries, National Chamber of Entrepreneurs “Atameken”, National Office of Erasmus + Program, and universities of the Republic.

It was recommended to the higher educational institutions:

– to implement the third mission of higher education in their activities;

– to include in the development strategy of higher education institutions the measures aimed at interaction with the society in the framework of the third mission;

– to include in the system of planned indicators and KPI indicators, which contribute to the development of interaction with society;

– take action to foster a culture of commitment to the third mission of higher education: review the qualifications profiles and complement the professional assignments of the faculty with functions that implement the third mission;

– fully develop the volunteer movement among students, promote a culture of volunteerism, link it to the academic process and reflect it in educational programmes and educational activities;

– actively cooperate with local executive bodies, regional business structures, joining efforts aimed at solving urgent problems in the region, including acting as a dialogue platform;

– to invite representatives of the labour market and state and local government bodies to REMC meetings;

– ensure wide coverage of the University’s practice of interaction with society through mass media, University websites and social networks;

– to conduct research on the development of the city, region.

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