SWOT analysis of Higher Education systems in Central Asia countries to develop distant learning 1. 1. Availability of Normative base for Distant Learning Organizations. In Higher Education system of Independent State countries tuition by correspondence exists for students who work and are not able to attend the classes regularly. It was a traditional way of teaching during the soviet period. This form of teaching let the students learn the pedagogical materials, to perform the written works on each subject individually, and at the end of each term the students had to pass their exams at the university. This form of teaching still exists, but what is bad of it is the students do not do their individual works, don’t come to their exams. Therefore, this form of teaching doesn’t give any knowledge to the students; the student formally gets the diploma. In this connection every year the Ministry of Education reduces the number of students for tuition by correspondence. The share for this type of teaching accounts for only 20%. But there are students who work and at the same time would like to study at a distant. Many universities began organizational teaching process at a distant, and under Distant Learning each university understands separately. Weak side: Neither the Ministry nor the universities have normative base for Distant Learning organizations. Ministry of education is interested in creating such normative base to control the quality of Distant Learning. Otherwise, distant education will be the same as the tuition by correspondence with a formal approach to education process. Strong side: It is necessary to note that a number of universities realized TEMPUS project with European universities have experiences on Distant Learning, provided with equipments, rich in pedagogical materials and use ECTS systems to build teaching plan.
The SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is a strategic planning method which is usually applied to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats involved in a project. It has been mainly used in businesses planification, nevertheless it can also be applied in research methodology, above all, when trying to identify the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve certain objectives in innovative projects, as it is the case in virtual mobility.
Recommendation: It is necessary to create normative base to develop Distant Learning in Central Asia universities.
2. Experience availability in physical mobility. The Universities of Central Asia in TEMPUS and Erasmus Mundus projects have physical mobility experiences. The Universities prepare educational agreements, where they indicate their subjects in parallels indicate the subjects of accepted European university, and at the end of the term ,when the student returns home university all the subjects and the marks taken in accepted university are valid and a student can continue his/her education without losing his/her academic year. Educational agreement is made in ECTS credits. Besides, there is a state program “XXI century specialists” in Kyrgyzstan, In Kazakhstan state program “Bolashak”, In Uzbekistan there is also a student mobility state program, where the gifted students are provided with state scholarship to study at European universities and the USA, after they have to work for 5 years in state institutions. There are also bilateral agreements between the universities of Central Asia and Europe on student mobility. In this case all the costs are paid by the parents of the students. Strong side: physical mobility has the place, every year the quantity of the students studied abroad is increasing. Weak side: no transparency in selecting the students, no access to scholarship availability information for the students. Recommendation: There must be a site with full information about the possibility of student mobility both on scholarship and...
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