HomeEducation and ExchangeEducation as the Cornerstone of Enlightenment and Spirituality: Shaping the Nation's Future

Education as the Cornerstone of Enlightenment and Spirituality: Shaping the Nation’s Future


Fazliddin Ruzikulov

When we examine the internal and external policies of civilizations at their peak throughout global history, it becomes evident that attitudes towards education and supportive measures are central to processes that have profoundly impacted human memory and the annals of world history. This is arguably the most crucial factor. Indeed, no society or system can forge a remarkable history, one that future generations will admire and take pride in, without a robust education system and a populace enlightened through learning.

Currently, as Uzbekistan embarks on a new phase of its independent evolution, the increased focus on education and science is no coincidence. The transformations within the educational sector in recent years have not only captured the attention of our nation and its people but have also garnered interest from the international community.

As an illustrative example of significant progress in education within our country, it is pertinent to highlight a recent resolution by the head of our state titled “On Additional Measures to Accelerate Reforms in the Field of Education.” This resolution outlines several critical tasks aimed at enhancing the capabilities of educational personnel, elevating the quality of educational services to meet international standards, fostering systematic development of tertiary institutions that train educators, and improving guidance for youth toward professional careers.

A notable innovation introduced by this resolution is the establishment of the “Center for Educational Projects” project office. This office is actively engaged in developing forward-thinking initiatives to overhaul the education sector, analyzing recommendations from international organizations, consulting firms, and experts, and facilitating the effective implementation of viable initiatives. The resolution also identified priorities for the further improvement of the higher education sector:

  • Additional expansion of opportunities for students from vocational education institutions to continue their studies at higher educational institutions. Beginning in September 2024, efforts will be focused on strengthening the integration between vocational and higher education through the adoption of educational models such as “2+2” and “1+3” schemes.

It’s significant to mention that following this framework, substantial international cooperation initiatives have been undertaken at our Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages. Specifically, over eighty memoranda and cooperation agreements have been executed in the last three years with esteemed universities and research centers globally, including five partner universities within the ERASMUS program. Six joint educational programs have been launched at our institute in collaboration with higher education institutions from countries such as South Korea, Malaysia, Spain and the Russian Federation, along with research and program centers from nine international universities. Additionally, academic staff at the Institute are engaged in eight international grant projects, collaborating with 25 foreign experts.

  • Enhance the educational process and evaluation systems in higher education by adopting advanced foreign methodologies. Specifically, for the academic year 2025, key initiatives include refining the assessment and monitoring of student knowledge, embracing best practices in fostering independent learning, and integrating anti-plagiarism software within higher education institutions.
  • Strengthening the alignment of higher education with international labor market demands to both enhance the quality of education and boost the export of educational services. A pivotal goal for the 2025/2026 academic year is to assess the global demand for highly educated personnel and to tailor educational programs accordingly.

It is important to highlight that researchers at the Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages are conducting interdisciplinary studies that respond to contemporary needs and the demands of the current labor market, aiming to link their research directly with the practical needs of the economy. To facilitate these connections, the institute has established a business incubator and a startup center and collaborates with over ten leading global scientific centers on more than twenty innovative projects. In this dynamic environment, our institute’s specialists actively develop solutions for promising projects and conduct impactful research.

  • Facilitation of training and internships for faculty members of higher educational institutions abroad. In June/July 2024, a directive was established to identify and dispatch professors and instructors under the age of 40 for further education or internships overseas, to integrate the advanced foreign expertise acquired into the pedagogical methods of higher education institutions. The period from September to December provides a valuable opportunity to deeply engage with and learn from the educational frameworks of renowned foreign universities.

The effective execution of these initiatives, as mandated by the government decree, is an urgent matter that has been under discussion for some time. The Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages has accrued considerable experience in this area. For instance, faculty members have participated in exchanges at Finland’s Universities of Jyväskylä and Helsinki, and the University of Sanderton in Sweden, as well as at educational institutions in Muurame. These experiences have not only enhanced their pedagogical skills but have also facilitated the establishment of the “Startup Projects and Innovative Ideas” center at the institute. Presently, this center serves as a hub where numerous students and faculty members are actively engaged in scientific and innovative projects inspired by the Finnish educational model. This example illustrates one of the many innovative approaches being explored at the institute, reflecting broader educational reforms in Uzbekistan that are progressively adopting and adapting successful international educational practices, particularly in public and secondary education sectors, with notable positive outcomes.

Under the strategy to advance Uzbekistan’s higher education system through 2030, transitioning higher educational institutions to a self-financing model is pivotal. This move towards financial and academic autonomy is intended to fortify the material and technical infrastructure of the educational system, thereby creating conducive learning and teaching environments that align with contemporary requirements.

In line with these objectives, the Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages has initiated extensive construction and refurbishment projects to enhance the educational facilities. These initiatives include the outfitting of educational buildings with state-of-the-art equipment to facilitate modern teaching and learning modalities.

Moreover, the institute is committed to promoting physical education and sports among its students. In this context, a budget initiative project facilitated the construction and inauguration of a new outdoor mini-football field at the Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages, demonstrating the institution’s ongoing efforts to improve student welfare and engagement in sports activities.

The Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages, which trains experienced specialists in foreign languages, is one of the first higher educational institutions in our country to switch to a self-financing system. This transition allows the institution greater autonomy in managing its resources, previously reliant on securing funding through state investment programs, which did not guarantee annual allocations.

This financial independence enables the institute to undertake construction and renovation projects independently, enhancing the educational environment significantly. For instance, in 2023, a major renovation was completed on an educational building, which was equipped with the latest educational technologies and adapted to accommodate 1000 students, transforming the facility into a modern educational space. This initiative reflects the institute’s commitment to providing high-quality education in optimal conditions.

The Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages accommodates approximately 13,000 students and features eight academic buildings with a total seating capacity of 6,200. Additionally, a new academic building capable of accommodating 2,000 students and a newly renovated student dormitory with 350 beds has been established on the institute’s premises at 43 Gagarina Street, all outfitted with modern facilities.

In line with the Development Strategy of the new Uzbekistan for 2022-2026, which emphasizes the adoption of “green” energy, the institute has proactively engaged in this initiative. Notably, in February 2023, solar panels capable of generating 40 kilowatts of alternative energy were installed on each of the two four-story academic buildings, each with 1,000 seats, at the institute.

The quality of education and the efficacy of the teaching system are crucial for producing well-informed graduates who are proficient in their fields, accountable, and contribute to national development. By providing both moral and material support, the institute fosters the growth of its talented youth, encouraging them to excel further in their disciplines.

For instance, in 2023, the institute supported 19 students from the “Youth Register” with contractual contributions and provided financial aid to 71 socially vulnerable students. Such support mechanisms are vital for nurturing a generation that will dedicate themselves to the progress of the country.

Our goal is to prepare qualified and competitive specialists, intellectually mature, masters of their profession, with deep modern and professional knowledge for the labor market by ensuring the competitiveness of educational institutions.

*The author is the acting Rector of the Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages 

**The opinions in this article are the author’s own and may not represent the views of The Diplomatic Insight. The organization does not endorse or assume responsibility for the content.

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