Kazakhstan to Host International Education Fair Next Week, Sees Growing Demand for Education Abroad

ASTANA – As Kazakhstan prepares to host the International Education Fair, the largest education exhibition in Central Asia, from Sept. 22 through Sept. 27, the nation witnesses a growing demand for education abroad, said Aizada Koigeldiyeva, director of Univero, one of the organizers and one of Kazakhstan’s leading educational agencies, in an interview with The Astana Times.

The International Education Fair is the largest educational exhibition in Central Asia. Photo credit: ief2022.kz

According to UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the total number of students in the world will increase from the current 97 million to 260 million by 2025.

“As experts in the field of foreign education, we believe that the interests of the child in matters of education must not be hindered. Jumping into the unknown greatly accelerates the process of rebirth from a teenager into an adult, it is thanks to such positive changes that a child is separated from parents, they learn to live independently and future success largely depends on it. 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 to developing new skills,” said Koigeldiyeva.

Organized by the Bolashaq Development Fund and Univero since 2017, the fair provides a chance for potential applicants to explore opportunities for education overseas and ask what they want directly from the representatives of some of the world’s leading universities, such as Tsinghua University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, University of Tsukuba, KAIST, the University of Manchester, University of Essex, University of Glasgow, New York Film Academy, the George Washington University and the University of California, among many others.

Over the years, over 60,000 people, and nearly 300 universities from more than 50 countries attended the event.

Number of people seeking education abroad is growing. Photo credit: ief2022.kz

“On average, around 57 percent of 15-year-olds in the OECD are going to university, and in South Korea, it is 95 percent. At the same time, Asians are now considered the best students – they are characterized by an extremely high degree of motivation. According to UNESCO estimates, in five years there will be 5-7 million foreign students in the world, two-thirds of them coming from Asia. Therefore, Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, are very attractive to global universities,” said Koigeldiyeva.

The novelty of this year’s fair is that it expands to Uzbekistan. On Sept. 26, Tashkent will, for the first time, host the fair.

“Our main goal is for each visitor to take maximum advantage of the information that he or she will receive from participating universities for admission to both foreign and Kazakhstan universities. Therefore this year we have included a free professional mentor consultation as part of the visitor registration. In this format, each participant of the exhibition with our expert will identify their strengths and determine a list of countries and universities that are ideal for their needs,” she said.

When asked what are some of the major trends in education, she outlined four – remote learning, gamification, learning in virtual reality, and the emergence of mobile apps among higher educational institutions.

“The pandemic has erased absolutely all boundaries and accelerated the formation of the online education industry. Now absolutely everyone has the opportunity to get an education regardless of location, time, or age. In the new academic year, the world’s leading universities decided not to abandon online education and combine it with the traditional offline format,” she explained.

Globally, educators are also increasingly applying game design elements to an educational setting. Games are no longer treated as a distraction from studies, but as a helpful tool to stimulate the learning process and make it fun and interactive.

The extended reality, a term encompassing 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. Virtual space immersion helps you learn complex subjects, 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 am till 5 pm local time. Tickets can be received for free on the official website.

22.09.2022 – Nur-Sultan, Rixos President Astana

23.09.2022 – Shymkent, Rixos Khadisha Shymkent

26.09.2022 – Tashkent, Hilton Tashkent City

27.09.2022 – Almaty, Kazakhstan Hotel

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