Europe and Eurasia

Central Asia EdNet


Client: United States Agency for International Development



CARANA implemented this project to improve higher business and economics education in the five Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. The project established the Education Network (EdNet) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to serve as a reservoir of educational resources and encourage linkages among scholars and higher education institutions throughout Central Asia. Members can tap into EdNet’s Country Resource Centers, business and economic faculty training, participation in events, free teaching materials, and the ability to participate in scholarship and grant programs. Membership includes over 300 Central Asian higher education institutions and NGOs: 1,000 rectors and deans of business and economic departments, nearly 12,000 faculty members, and almost 200,000 students.

EdNet focused on:

  • Education reform to improve governance; mitigate corruption; improve flexibility and responsiveness to market needs; and encourage mobility of students through standardized testing, accreditation, promulgating student rights, public education, and conversion to an internationally-recognized credit system
  • Capacity building of human resources, including graduate-level business and economic courses offered to faculty through EdNet Academies; quarterly seminars on teaching methodologies for faculty and administrators; video conferences linking stakeholders to share ideas, programs, and insights; scholarships for faculty; and specialized training on current issues including distance education and use of technology in teaching
  • Direct assistance to universities, including visiting professors, teaching materials (e.g., CD-ROM and web-based Russian language materials—including cases, syllabi, course materials), internet connectivity, and grants for books and research projects

EdNet's many accomplishments included:

  • Establishment of a regional EdNet Association to provide services and faculty development
  • Training and assistance for more than 5,000 professors
  • Registration of EdNet Academies in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to provide faculty retraining on an ongoing basis, while offering a resource center with libraries and events to support faculty professional development
  • Agreement by three countries to implement credit hour systems
  • Registration of the EdNet Association, election of country Boards of Advisors, and a regional Board of Directors, which provide ongoing governance
  • Approval and implementation of a fee structure for courses and services

Recognizing CARANA's successful management of EdNet, USAID awarded us the follow-on contract, the Central Asia Business and Economics Education project.