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Supporting enhancement in higher education governance in Uzbekistan

07 Mar 2024 | Advance HE The second phase of a long-term HE governance project in Uzbekistan will be underpinned by a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovations.

Advance HE is supporting the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovations, Republic of Uzbekistan, in a long-term programme to enhance governance in the Republic’s higher education institutions. The project has been facilitated through the British Council to contribute to large-scale national reform in Higher Education and to contribute to systemic and sustainable development of the sector.  

The first phase has established a readiness for a HE sector Code of Governance which will be developed and implemented in future phases of the project. The second phase will be underpinned by an MoU between the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovations and Advance HE, formalising the partnership between the two organisations. 

Alison Johns, Advance HE’s Chief Executive, who was in Tashkent to sign the Memorandum of Understand and to speak at the Uzbekistan – United Kingdom Education Forum, hosted by Westminster International University in Tashkent (WIUT), said, “The governance project is an important collaboration between our organisations. I am very pleased to be signing this MoU to formalise our partnership.  

“Good governance provides the assurance to stakeholders that in turn enables autonomy and delivers innovation. This helps to deliver impactful education and research and gives confidence and trust to stakeholders to invest in and partner with higher education institutions delivering a win/win for all appropriately engaged. We very much look forward to working on the next phases of this project.” 

Speaking at the Forum, Komiljon Karimov, First deputy minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovations of the Republic of Uzbekistan, said, ‘’Education is an integral part of the bilateral partnership agenda between Uzbekistan and the UK. We are working together to implement in Uzbekistan a cutting-edge experience in modern higher education. Our joint efforts focus on quality assurance, university governance, the teaching of English, and other areas. 

"It is great to see that the Forum is gradually becoming a tradition in Uzbek-UK relations. This is an important platform where both sides identify and deepen promising areas of collaboration in the education sphere.’’

His Majesty’s Ambassador Timothy Smart, said, “Education is one of the strongest pillars of our bilateral relations. It is symbolic that this Forum is taking place at Westminster International University in Tashkent – the first UK and the first international University established here, and still one of the most successful. We are very proud with how far the engagement in education has progressed, under the British Council’s leadership. We now have more than 10 strong partnerships between British and Uzbek higher education institutions and are expecting these numbers to grow.”

Alison Johns was chairing and speaking at a panel session at the Forum. Fellow panel speakers include Inojatullo Nematov, Head of Division, Ministry of HESI, Vicki Stott, CEO, QAA, Julie Till, Head of Global Business Development, QAA and Jamilya Gulyamova, Deputy Director, British Council Uzbekistan, discussing, “Ensuring excellence in university governance and quality assurance: case studies in good practice.” 

MoU signing Advance HE and R of Uzbekistan 2
Komiljon Karimov, First Deputy Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovations, and Alison Johns, Advance HE’s Chief Executive


Advance HE’s work contributes to large-scale national reform in higher education in Uzbekistan as part of the Year of Quality Education 2023; in which the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovations of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the British Council launched the University Governance project with Advance HE which aims to establish the basis for the creation of a University Code of Governance, contributing to systemic and sustainable development. 

Demonstrating its intention to implement a national Code of University Governance is a part of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovations, Republic of Uzbekistan Ministry’s (MHESI ) strategy to realise its internationalisation ambitions.  

Advance HE's work with the Ministry and Uzbekistan HE institutions is designed to support transnational education (TNE) partnerships and enable quality assurance systems and links with industry.   

Advance HE is working with MHESI and other stakeholders to explore and identify key dimensions of a university governance code to: 

  • review current governance practices and unpack the value and benefits of good governance in universities 
  • share good international practice and develop capacity and capabilities to build the code and for the code and associated documents to be implemented 
  • develop a plan to create, implement, and embed a university code of governance through the capacity development Change Academy programme.  
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Good governance is critical to success in higher education. Advance HE produces and shares a wide range of guidance, research, news and toolkits to help institutions thrive through robust, effective governance.


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