2012.12.05 > For Immediate Release
contact: Shane Pekny - International Studies and Programs
phone: 402.554.2376 - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
After UNO Program, Educator Will Work for Brighter Future in Kazakhstan
Omaha - Twelve participants from five countries will complete the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) International Professional Development (IPD) program, an intensive English-language program tailored to professionals in diverse industries, this Friday, Dec. 7. Among the honorees is Togzhan Mukatayeva, the first recipient of Kazakhstan’s prestigious Bolashak scholarship to study at UNO.
Bolashak, which means “future” in Kazakh, provides all-expenses-paid fellowships to Kazakhstan’s most promising students and professionals. Established in 1993, Bolashak aims to teach Kazakhstan’s young people about democracy, to develop skilled workers for a strong economy and to support the development of the country’s burgeoning higher-education system. Recipients must return to Kazakhstan and work for five years after completing their studies.
Mukatayeva is also among the first recipients of the Bolashak short-term, non-degree fellowship; a new effort to open international opportunities to more leaders in the fields of teaching, engineering, science and medicine. As an instructor and the head of international relations at the University of Law, Humanities, and Innovation in Semey, Mukatayeva will use her enhanced English skills and new international contacts to grow the global reach of her home university.
“In an era of globalization, students need to be ready,” she said. “They need to shift toward learning languages and culture, becoming multilingual, in order to survive and succeed.”
Lamenting that only a fraction of universities in Kazakhstan teach more than one language (either Russian or Kazakh), Mukatayeva aspires to create an international learning center that could increase the capacity for foreign-language instruction, especially English, across the country’s education system.
Since 1993, about 8,000 Kazakh students have received Bolashak scholarships, about one-third of which have come to the United States and Canada. Almost half have studied in Europe, while others have studied throughout Asia.
Mukatayeva came to UNO because the intensive, eight-week International Professional Development program allowed her to improve her English, business and intercultural communications skills without leaving her personal and professional obligations for an extended period. Mukatayeva said she has enjoyed the experience, including seminars and visits hosted by some of Omaha’s major employers, even though adjusting her presentation style has been challenging at times.
“In Kazakhstan, we speak like this,” she said, standing erect and clasping her hands behind her back. “If I return home and use hand gestures, people will say, ‘She must have been to America.’”
International Professional Development offers five sessions regularly during the year. The program also works with international clients to develop custom courses for the specific needs of their businesses and organizations. About 60 professionals complete the program each year.
For more about International Professional Development: world.unomaha.edu/ipd.
The full list of professionals who will be celebrating their completion of International Professional Development at UNO this Friday, Dec. 7:
Tetsou Abe, Japan
Ahmed Al-Majrafi, Oman
Takuya Azuma, Japan
Shuqiong Fu, China
Shinichi Fujimoto, Japan
Junichi Hirota, Japan
Togzhan Mukatayeva, Kazakhstan
Michio Nakaki, Japan
Morio Nishida, Japan
Moritatsu Nishimura, Japan
Ivan Reyes, Colombia
Mary Ricon, Colombia
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