|Kyrgyz higher ed leader visits campus|
President Charles Kupchella is hosting Mukhtar Orozbekov, rector (president) of Osh State University in the Kyrgyz Republic, for a four-day official visit that will focus on UND’s distance learning and online degree programs.
“We look forward to Dr. Orozbekov’s visit and to a mutually beneficial dialog about distance learning in the Kyrgyz Republic and possible collaborations between our two institutions,” Kupchella said.
In a phone interview prior to his trip, Orozbekov, whose doctorate is in technical sciences (industrial technology) and includes expertise in concrete and cement, detailed the key reasons for approaching UND about its distance learning systems.
“We have a Fulbright scholar--Dr. Sabyrkul Kalygulova, dean of the our department of world languages--at UND who is researching distance learning,” said Orozbekov. “She told me that UND has a remarkably broad and very well organized distance learning system in place, so we resolved to learn lots more about it because we want to strengthen our distance learning and rural outreach here in Kyrgyzstan.”
With 27,000 students, Osh State University is one of the largest higher-education facilities in Central Asia and is known for a rich multicultural environment that includes many ethnic tribal minorities, says Kalygulova, a linguist and philologist who also teaches English.
Kerry Kerber, associate dean for continuing education, and a key player in Orozbekov’s visit, say he’s eager to showcase UND’s distance learning technology and curriculum development program.
“Dr. Orozbekov's visit presents an opportunity to partner internationally and for us to help improve the distance learning practice at Osh State University,” says Kerber, who is organizing the distance learning and online course demonstrations for Orozbekov. The demonstrations will include the use of online and other kinds of distance delivery systems, says Kerber.
Other contacts include Ray Lagasse, director, International programs; Susan Nelson, College of Business and Public Administration; Gerald Groenewold, Director, Energy & Environmental Research Center; Henry Borysewicz, director, UND Aerospace Network and Scientific Computing Center; and Robert Rubeck and Nassar Hammami at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Dr. David Marshall, a UND English faculty member and former Fulbright scholar who has spent several years in Central Asia, is co-host for Orozbekov’s visit.