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Nazarbayev University Foundation Program Shigeo Katsu President October 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Nazarbayev University Foundation Program Shigeo Katsu President October 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nazarbayev University Foundation Program Shigeo Katsu President October 2014

2 Overview 1.Why does NU need the Foundation Program? 2.Overview of current Foundation Program 3.Statistics of Students Applied, Accepted to Foundation Program and Progressed to NU Schools 4.Student Support Services 5.Assessment of the Current Foundation Program 6.Main Features of the new Pre-University Program 7.Preliminary model of admission process 8.New Quality Assurance Framework 9.Pros of implementing Foundation Program in universities on Kazakhstan’s way to K12 10.Implementation of Foundation Programs in universities: issues to be addressed 11.Annex 1, 2

3 1. Why does NU need the Foundation Program? Foundation program is offered to prepare students for: Academic, Research and Linguistic challenges they will meet at Nazarbayev University (hereinafter - NU) Undergraduate programs Secondary education of Kazakhstan (11 years) does not prepare students for studies in academic environment of NU which is built based on best international experiences of its partners Aims of the Foundation program are: – smooth transition of students into English academic environment; – to provide students with laboratory (hands-on) experience; – to help students with understanding of academic integrity (cheating, plagiarism), study skills (note taking, proper citation), time management, self-study skills, etc.; – a more informed choice of future degree programs

4 2. Overview of current Foundation Program Nazarbayev University was established in 2009 and accepted first cohort of students (484 students) for the Preparatory Certificate Program (hereinafter – Foundation Program) in Foundation Program is a mirror program of the University College London. The contract period is: 2010 (February) – 2015 (August). Aim - to provide students with the academic and research, critical thinking and practical skills, conceptual tools, as well as the Academic English language and study skills required to be successful on any undergraduate degree program at the University Academic year: September – June Number of staff: Senior Staff -6, Administrative -6, Academic - 67.

5 3. Statistics of Students Applied, Accepted to Foundation Program and Progressed to NU Schools * Successful completion of the Foundation Program does not guarantee admission to NU Undergraduate Program

6 4. Student Support Services Personal tutorials – provided by a personal tutor (member of the CPS Academic English team). 30-minute weekly tutorial individually or in small groups at a regular time. At tutorials students can discuss problems they experience, e.g. difficulties with friends, accommodation, health or any other aspect of their life and studies. Moodle – a virtual learning environment. Through Moodle courses students receive important academic information including homework and other sources that can help with their academic progress. Self-Access Centre (hereinafter – SAC) provides comprehensive facilities for self-study. Facilities include an on-line DVD library, Computer Assisted Language Learning, resource books, journals and newspapers. Writing Centre provides additional help if students experience difficulty in writing for core modules. EAP tutors offer 20-minute consultations. There are also workshops available throughout the year on subjects such as academic style and writing thesis statements. Counseling Center – supports students through the individual counseling and psychological diagnostics, On-line counseling, trainings and lectures for students, long-term supporting groups.

7 5. Assessment of current Foundation Program SuccessesChallenges of current Foundation Program (mirror program of UCL): Provides merit-based and transparent admission process Difficult fit with NU Academic Calendar Prepares students for demanding English- speaking academic environment Lack of flexibility: NU programs constantly evolve, but the Foundation Program does not adapt to NU’s needs and requirements Helps students make informed choice of future degree programs Foundation staff is hired by UCL Development and enhancement of: critical thinking skills soft skills study skills IPRs belong to UCL, so: NU cannot share its experience with other universities No sustainability for NU Provides hands-on laboratory experience Serves as a tool to evaluate student’s ability to be successful in his/her future academic life

8 6. Main features of the New Pre-University Program: Features of the new Pre-University Program (hereinafter – PUP) in cooperation with a new strategic partner: Intellectual Property of Nazarbayev University The Foundation Program will have a national impact, providing other universities with a model for foundation level studies, which will enhance the quality of higher education across the country Full integration with Nazarbayev University Foundation program will be fully integrated with NU undergraduate schools and aligned with NU’s strategy and needs. The program will evolve based on the feedback given by professorship of NU. Curriculum New Foundation will have a NU Academic Calendar with 2 semesters: 1 semester – generalized timetable with a focus on Math, English and Kazakh languages; 2 semester – specialized timetable. Focus on Mathematics during 2 semesters for all students regardless of their track. Student Support (in addition to all services provided at current Foundation program) – Office Hours – Academic examples classes: practical academic sessions where students can complete homework and assignments with support of undergraduate and postgraduate students – Careers information, advice and guidance: additional advice and support will be provided by student careers and skills team alongside the existing provision available at NU to support students’ progression to undergraduate study. Local capacity building: to provide transition of the program to NU, a new partner will design and implement targeted professional development for program staff ; develop an increasing network of school-based partners; create opportunities for school improvement across the region

9 7. Preliminary Model of Admission Process Admissions: Funneling system of entry tests Use of standardized and internationally benchmarked entry assessments Recruitment and admissions working group

10 8. New Quality Assurance Framework Robust quality assurance framework with both internal and external validation. NU will appoint an external auditor to provide independent scrutiny and validation of the program. Student progress will be monitored and improved through the six assessment points across the academic year with a sample of assignments moderated through second marking to ensure consistency of assessment and the validity and reliability of the data. The quality of teaching will be monitored and improved through peer observation, regular staff training and sharing of best practices. Students will have regular opportunities to provide feedback on their experience through a Staff-Student Liaison Committee and the regular completion of an online feedback form.

11 9. Pros of implementing Foundation Program in universities on Kazakhstan’s way to K12 Starting from 2015 Kazakhstan will be implementing K12 as a pilot project to be fully introduced in schools by 2020 and Foundation Programs are seen as a “temporary measure” to prepare students for undergraduate studies. Pros 1.Students are better prepared for their undergraduate studies through: development of academic and research, critical thinking and practical skills; Academic English language (for universities with English language of instruction); study skills; laboratory experience 2.More informed choice of future degree programs 3.Merit-based and transparent admission process

12 10. Implementation of Foundation Programs in universities: issues to be addressed Issues to be addressed In relation to Kazakhstan’s education system: 1.Should introduction of K-12 eliminate the need for a PUP or complement it? 2.Lack of hands-on laboratory experience in schools (poor infrastructure) 3.Should PUPs be a part of secondary or tertiary education? 4.Cost: free or fee-based? fee-based: State or self-funded? fee-based → self-funded → limited access for low income families 5.Should universities create consortiums or offer PUPs on their own? 6.Cost evaluation for Government/University/Student 7.External validation of the program to provide quality assurance 8.Admission requirements an graduation standards for PUPs In relation to NU experience: 1.Adaptability and relevance of NU Foundation program to other Kazakhstani universities 2.PUP or Direct Admission: who should go through Foundation? 3.Benefits of Foundation program: academic preparation (English language, subject courses, study skills) VS preparation to adulthood (soft skills) 4.Merit-based and transparent admission process

13 11. Annex 1: Application timeline and admission criteria Stage 1: APTIS test (assessment of general English, applicants with valid IELTS or TOEFL score may be exempted) Stage 2: Subject Entrance Test (evaluates academic readiness for studying at University) Stage 3: IELTS or TOEFL Admission to NU Foundation Program Timeline: Stage 1: February - March Stage 2: March - April Stage 3: May Results posted: August (beginning) Tests can be submitted in all regions of Kazakhstan. Admission Criteria: School of Science and Technology & School of Engineering – IELTS min 5.5 (with no component below 5.0); School of Humanities and Social Sciences – IELTS min 6.0 (with no component below 6.0);

14 12. Annex 2: Modules and Successful Completion of the Program MODULE Subject Economics & International Relations Biology & Chemistry Mathematics & Physics Science and Society English for Academic Purposes Compulsory To successfully complete the Foundation Program the student must: 1.Satisfy 80% attendance requirements of all courses 2.Obtain the following minimum marks: 1.At least 60% in EAP; 2.At least 40% in Science & Society or Academic Research and Methods; 3.At least 40% in each of the two core modules. 3. Pass the final examination in two subject modules with more than 40%. Successful completion of the Foundation Program does not guarantee progression to NU undergraduate programs.


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