Narxoz University has been accredited by FIBAA – the leading international agency for the quality and expertise of higher education, and its diplomas are now recognised by universities and employers in Europe.
Narxoz University President Miras Daulenov told why this is beneficial for students and graduates
Miras Mukhtarovich, tell us why Narxoz applied for FIBAA accreditation?
– Education and science have long gone beyond the borders of one country. It is impossible to develop education and conduct research in an isolated system. After all, many university graduates go abroad to continue their studies, and there are those who go to Europe looking for a job.
Assessment of the compliance of universities with European standards is carried out by accreditation bodies included in the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR) and other recognised organisations. In addition to being a member of EQAR, FIBAA is also a member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).
FIBAA accreditation is the recognition of Narxoz University diplomas by universities and employers in Europe. However, FIBAA accreditation is also recognised in the US and China.
How difficult is the process of accreditation?
– Narxoz applied for two types of accreditation at once: institutional and programme ones. Usually, universities first undergo programme accreditation and only then apply for institutional accreditation. From the very beginning, we were convinced that improvement of the quality of educational programmes is impossible without the institutional development of the university. Unlike programme accreditation, institutional accreditation evaluates the university’s strategy, financial position, quality assurance system, and transparency of the university’s procedures. As FIBAA itself states, institutional accreditation means a “comprehensive assessment” of a university. From my own experience, I can say that in practice it is much more difficult to pass institutional accreditation than programme accreditation. This is probably why only a few universities applied for FIBAA institutional accreditation, and not many received it.
Narxoz has received unconditional FIBAA institutional accreditation – this is the highest rating that universities in Europe can receive!
FIBAA has also accredited our programmes, which include Accounting and Audit (BA, MA, PhD), Management (BA), Marketing (BA), Applied Finance (MA) and Law (BA).
The complexity of FIBAA accreditation is also that it is the first international agency in Europe created by employers in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Employers evaluate universities in terms of the quality of training of graduates. To this end, the FIBAA commission members included leading European employers. In general, Narxoz was evaluated by independent experts selected by FIBAA according to a strict system of subject criteria.
The accreditation procedure itself began last summer. After that, we carried out a deep analysis of our academic and corporate processes with their adjustment, revised the content of our programmes, and adopted changes to the strategy. In this matter, all the governing bodies worked harmoniously. The academic council reviewed programme issues, the management board dealt with operational tasks and budget execution, and the board of directors adopted changes to the strategy.
All this led to the preparation of reports that were sent to FIBAA, and after that, a series of interviews of FIBAA experts with our employees, students, alumni and employers took place.
Unlike other accreditations, FIBAA is an evidence-based accreditation. Therefore, we had to constantly prove everything that we stated in the reports, in the strategy. As you know, one of the main features of the German character is “order”, in German – Ordnung. Therefore, during the interview, FIBAA experts double-checked everything that we showed in the reports.
Not so long ago, Narxoz opened the doors of its new campus. Has the infrastructure of the university been assessed by FIBAA experts?
– Of course. Comfort in learning has become one of the standards for the quality of education. Our new campus has a library that meets international standards: it is an open access library that uses the classification of the Library of Congress. The library is subscribed to key international full-text databases and, most importantly, works 24/7.
On the new campus, students also have access to 112 classrooms equipped with modern educational and multimedia equipment, 26 IT laboratories, an English court-style courtroom, open spaces where students can prepare for classes or spend their free time. Open-space working areas are available for lecturers.
Narxoz received high marks in Europe. What is the main message of this event for our society?
– The main message is that European level education is now available in Kazakhstan. Previously, to get an education of European quality, it was necessary to travel abroad, but now education that meets European standards can be obtained at Narxoz.
From this year, we have also started issuing European Diploma Supplements to all graduates. Obtaining FIBAA accreditation for the Kazakhstani and European labor market means only one thing – the high quality of graduates’ knowledge!
The constant development of technology leads to changes in the expectations of employers in the labor market. How does Narxoz adapt to new trends?
– Before launching an educational programme, we evaluate how capable it is of producing specialists who will be in demand in the labor market. Unless a programme is agreed with employers, it simply will not be launched.
We also offer students Minor programmes, where students can acquire specializations in conjunction with their main programme. The portfolio of Narxoz also includes dual programmes that we opened with The Ritz-Carlton Astana, Rixos Borovoe, EY. This allows our students to be trained at the employer’s.
Narxoz is the only university in the country that issues competency cards to its graduates, which show the level of “soft skills”, in addition to diplomas of its own type.
This year, we launched a graduate upgrading programme, regardless of the year of graduation, which gives students a lifetime guarantee for the quality of education that Narxoz provides.
The most important thing here is that we teach students the ability to learn. Knowledge becomes obsolete, but the ability to find and use information is something that will always come in handy in any field.
Having received FIBAA accreditation, can you say that Narxoz achieved its goal?
– Our goal is to achieve full international recognition of Narxoz by 2025. In this respect, international accreditations are like Michelin stars for a good restaurant, giving it recognition. This year we will apply for FIBAA accreditation for new programmes, for EFMD accreditation. The more “Michelin stars” a university has, the more recognised and prestigious its education becomes.