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KATU and Michigan State University: unique opportunity to cooperate in many directions

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The executors of the project "Building educational and research potential for renewable resources and their use in Kazakhstan"candidate of technical sciences, senior lecturer of the department "Technology of food and processing industries" of KATU K. Bekbaev and assistant of the department "Technology of food and processing industries" A. Tuleugazykyzy have completed an internship within the framework of the UniCEN international project in partnership with Michigan State University (MSU), USA.  

The director of the Department of International Relations Saltanat Meiramova, who accompanied the young scientists on the trip, shared with us about the results of the trip.

- Dr. Saltanat, could you tell us more about the UniCEN project?

- It is a Central Asian University Partnership Program funded by the US Embassy in Kazakhstan. Its implementation began in May 2020 and is coming to an end in December of this year. Thanks to the opening of borders, we were able to go to the United States to undergo an internship by our scientists directly at MSU itself and in its subsidiaries. The executor of the project from MSU is the famous scientist Wei Liao - Ph.D., P.E., Professor and Director of the Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Center (ADREC) for Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at Michigan State University.

-The trip program was quite intense. What specific directions of mutual cooperation did you manage to outline during the trip?

-Indeed, the program was pretty intense and effective. Thanks to the warm welcome of the hosts, we were able to visit different places that, I hope, will become points of cooperation between KATU and MSU in the future.

Thus, the first point of our visit was the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS). It is Michigan State University's largest off-campus educational complex and one of the best field stations in North America.

The research site of the station is a leading location for field experimental research in aquatic and terrestrial ecology, taking advantage of a variety of managed and unmanaged ecosystems. KBS's diverse habitat includes forests, old fields, streams, wetlands, lakes and farmland.

Shared facilities are specifically designed to support researchers - resident and non-resident educators, and there are funding opportunities for doctoral and postgraduate students to develop research and participate in educational programs.

And most importantly, this university is ready to accept our master and doctoral students, as well as teaching staff to participate in projects for scientific research within the framework of academic mobility and internships. We also discussed the possibility of developing joint projects financed from both sides, developing an educational program within the framework of double-degree education.

As part of our visit, we also had a meeting with Professor Karim Maredia, Director of the Training, Capacity Building and Technology Transfer Program (WorldTAP); Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Training, Capacity Building and Technology Transfer Program, PhD Cholani Weebadde, as well as Dr. Ramji Gimir, a specialist in areas of international agricultural development and agricultural spread.

I would like to note that cooperation with WorldTAP is very beneficial for KATU in terms of the exchange of teachers, master and doctoral students, attracting professors and scientists, since all master and doctoral students at MSU are involved in scientific projects at the international and local level, and most of the curriculum of master and doctoral students is practice-oriented, conducted in research institutes, industrial and business enterprises and agricultural farms.

We discussed the possibility of short- and long-term courses, as well as conducting research for undergraduate students and conducting project research for graduates.

- Dr. Saltanat, let's summarize the results of the trip. What could be the future of cooperation between MSU and KATU?

- Cooperation can be in several directions: joint training of scientific personnel by appointing MSU professors as scientific consultants for PhD students at KATU; scientific internships within the Bolashak program; development of the curriculum and teaching methodology within the CLIL; attraction of MSU professors to give lectures at KATU and exchange of scientists and teaching staff; internships for master / doctoral students for at least 1 year; development of joint textbooks; preparation of students for passing the GMAT for admission to American universities for a diploma, including a double-degree education. These and many other common touch points are shared by KATU and MSU. And I hope that in the near future we will realize our intentions.