Higher Education and Research

B. Zh. Abdraimov,
The rector of the L.N. Gumilyov ENU

The Eurasian national university:
education, culture and integration

Nowadays one of the factors, promoting the socio-economic and political stability of the Kazakhstani society is the stable relations of the international peace. Kazakhstan is one of the post-Soviet states which succeeded to avoid national and religious cataclysms. On this occasion our country leader N.A. Nazarbayev in his Address to the people of the country «Kazakhstan on the way of speedy economic, social and political modernization» marked that «we are known to the world for our tolerance, national and religious acceptance and dialogue». It’s unique situation for the post-Soviet space still having islands and enclaves of instability.
Being created as one of the first in the CIS on the initiative of N.A. Nazarbaev the Assembly of the people of Kazakhstan became the important harmonization of the International relations institute. So Kazakhstan accumulated rich and unique experience for more than 15 years in this sphere. And it’s not occasional than not only former soviet republics began to adopt this experience, but states, having a centuries-old experience of democratic institutes and civil society functioning.
The Eurasian National University is the real embodiment of the Eurasian idea of new age, proposed by the President of Kazakhstan; it is a symbol of the Eurasian integration and neighborhood.
The L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University is accepted in the Eurasian Association of universities and Association of International researches of the CIS and Baltic countries, European Association of institutes of higher education and International Association of universities, and also International Academy of sciences of higher school, that is a confirmation of his international recognition.
Within the framework of the development of the international cooperation the university made treaties with more than one hundred institutes of Europe, Asia and America.
There are a lot of students of different nationalities in the L. N. Gumilyov ENU. By the dignity of all Kazakhstani people, and especially the students, there are no politicized motions on the national ground. At the same time the maintainance of the national consciousness of all people living in the Republic of Kazakhstan is always welcomed. Ethnocultural variety found the reflection in the work of the Small Assembly of the people of Kazakhstan at the university, showing, the potential in the development of the country, when all problems are solved together, openly and tactfully.
A vivid example of the mutual understanding, tolerance and respect are the students meetings with the representatives of the national cultural centers of Astana, where they discuss questions of interdependence and complementariness of the national cultures of Kazakhstan about the values of single political and civil community, about the influence on cultural and public life of all Diasporas representatives. Such meetings help students to find the points of contiguity in the questions of general cultural values, understand that unity is a main purpose of the democratic state which they have to build.
Different activities are constantly conducted at the university that helps to develop the intercultural connections between the institutes of the Eurasian continent. Students of the Eurasian national university participate the meetings with prominent cultural and art figures of different countries of the world, listen lectures of distinguished scientists of Europe and Asia with great interest.
In the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University actively works the ‘oralman’ board which was organized with the purpose of the support for students – ethnic Kazakhs, arriving from former Soviet countries and foreign countries. The dean of the faculty of social sciences, doctor of historical sciences, professor Kabuldinov Z.E. (he is from Russian Federation) was selected as the head of the board, he is well-known among scientists as a specialist on the history of the Kazakh Diaspora and an irredentist. There are outstanding public figures and scientists of the Republic among the councilors. For example, the professor of architecture Zhandarbek Malibekov, the author of national emblem of the Republic of Kazakhstan who arrived from Uzbekistan often addresses the kind words to the young people. A migrant from Mongolia, a well-known turkologist in the world Karzhaubay Sartkozha presently teaches students the secrets of understanding the stone inscriptions of the Turkic period. At the meetings with ‘oralman’ students the following questions are raised: strengthening of the international peace and the consent in the Republic, faithful service to the homeland.
It would be desirable to notice that the Kazakh young people of the Eurasian university arrived from China and Mongolia, show high interest in Russian, pursuing the presidential policy «triunity of languages» in practice.
An important event in spiritual life of students of the university was the meeting in October 2008 with prominent theologist, the recognized author of the most successful translation of Koran Iman, Valeria Porohovaya. The primary purpose of her arrival was strengthening the sense of tolerance, careful attitude towards the people and surrounding, kindness and cleanness of thoughts.
A significant event in students and teachers life was the arrival of the famous artist of the USSR and Russian Federation, deputy of State Duma of the Russian Federation, the outstanding public and political figure of the present time – Iosif Kobzon. Iosif Davydovich had the informal conversation with the students, teachers and the university staff, and performed people’s favorite songs in warm and friendly atmosphere.
In November 2008 the “Round-table” on the theme “Tolerance and reliability, the most important values of the nation” was organized as the result of the XIV Session of the Assembly of the people of Kazakhstan at the ENU by the Assembly representatives of Astana city together with the students of the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian national university. On May 13 in 2009 the international scientific-theoretical conference on the theme “the Assembly of the people of Kazakhstan as the institute of civilian society consolidation” was held at the ENU. The participants of the conference dwelt on discussion of the main directions of peacemaking and agreement between ethnics. The role of the President of the country N.A. Nazarbayev was particularly highlighted in the process of interethnic relations harmonization in the country.
In November 2008 the meeting-concert devoted to the Kazakhstani peoples’ friendship “Kazakhstan is our common home” was held. The representatives of Chechen-Ingush NCC (national cultural center) “Vainah”, the German unions “Videngeburg”, Polish NCC “Polonia”, Russian NCC “Lad” and many others participated the meeting. The atmosphere of warmth and friendship prevailed at that meeting will be a memory for all of its participants for a long time.
In February of a current year our university was visited by the Kazakhstani students’ delegation who studies at the Turkish institutions of higher education. The aim of the visit was the experience exchange between the leading institutions of higher education of Kazakhstan and Turkey. During the visit students, graduates and postgraduates of Turkish higher educational institutions performed their thesis on different topics the main aims of which was the intercultural ties development. The guests of the Eurasian university pointed to the unique common sense which is formed in those who are far from their historical motherland, namely strengthening the patriotic feelings when person living in another ethnic environment begins to estimate and respect motherland much more.
In March 2009 annual concert was held in honour of the holiday “Nauryz meiramy” at Moscow International Music Hall which was organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Russian Federation. The representatives of the diplomatic corpus, famous statesmen of science, culture and art, and the representatives of Kazakh Diaspora were at the concert. It is nice to know that on the stage of Chamber of Moscow Music Hall, the students of our university along side with the stage stars and the popular band of Russia “Na-Na” performed in front of the refined and a little spoilt audience of the capital introducing a specific colour of multicultural Kazakhstan.
To our regret it is necessary to confess that even in the brotherly Russia sometimes the population has vague ideas about the life and the way of life of Kazakhstani population which are often associated with the nomadic cattle-breeding life, yurtas, etc. In this relation the authoritative delegation of the ENU made a little furore in Moscow having introduced our country from the best side.
One of the main initiatives of the ENU in the case of cooperation between the institutions of higher education of the CIS is joint training of specialists with two diplomas. Particularly, in March 2009 the agreements about joint training of graduates together with the Russia University of People’s friendship and University of the city Dubna were signed.
In the end of April 2009 the delegation from the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian national university visited Syria and Jordania aiming at the signing of the important contracts and memorandums about the scientific-educational cooperation with the leading institutions of higher education of the Middle East – Damask and Amman universities. We should confess that the integration vector of the Kazakhstani institutions of higher education was directed to the countries of Europe and South America, and partly, the South-East Asia. But the middle-eastern region was undeservedly out of the sphere of the domestic education and science partnership, though Arab countries are traditionally powerful with their scientists. Exactly on this land the outstanding scientist, “Second Teacher”, our recognized and respected ancestor al-Farabi worked once. Besides, the flourishing of science, education and culture in the Arabic world was developed mostly owing to asceticism of our other compatriot – famous sultan Beibarys. Kazakhstani delegation got acquainted with the organization of scientific, educational, up-bringing activity directly at the faculties. They organized excursions around the laboratories, a meeting with students; showed a big lecture hall fund, libraries, museums to the guests from Kazakhstan. For instance, 14 languages as English, Portuguese, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian and others are taught professionally on the centralized and systematic basis at the Linguistic center of the Damask University. Those who want to learn the Arabic languages also attend classes of experienced teachers. So, recently the Linguistic center began to fufill a new function: applicants for the state work pass examinations on the state and the foreign languages by the method of testing there. The Jordanian university took the responsibility to train 20 graduates from the Eurasian university free of charge.
The Center of patriotic up-bringing aimed at the formation of the strong patriotic conscience of the youth was established at the L.N. Gumilyov ENU.
The Republic scientific-practical conference “Patriotism in Kazakhstan: history and modernity” was held on February 20 in 2009 devoted to the 20th anniversary of the soviet army troops withdrawal from Afghanistan on the university level. “Halyk Kakharmany” Bakhytzhan Yertayev whose name was given to one of the ravine in Afghanistan took part in this forum work.
Our renowned compatriot was awarded this great honour, who did all that was humanly possible, helping the long-suffering Afghan people to build the bridges and to overhaul the gutters at roadsides and mosques. Also, he as a battalion commander in Afghanistan defended many soldiers and officers in difficult and complicated militant actions.
The students of the university pay a special attention to including the patriotic education to the heroic past of Kazakhstani during the Second World War
The students of the ENU are the Members of the search-party “Memorial zone” and implement their activities upon all the post-Soviet space so many years.
The search-party has been finding the burials of unknown soldiers working under severe circumstances at times. It is included in the group of the best ten search-parties of Commonwealth of Independent States, but totally they are more than 500. During almost 20 years the students of the ENU have been working under the leadership of the commander M.K. Kussainov in the Sinyavskiye marshes and elevations, excavating the places of the soldiers and officers of the 310th infantry division formed in Akmolinsk.
Especially, it is worthy to speak about the traditional “The Kultegin Days”, which are annually celebrated at the ENU during nearly 13 years.
On May 23 in 1996 a great historical event happened important not only for the country or the city, but for all the Eurasian community: The Eurasia National University was established by the decree of the Head of the State N.A. Nazarbayev.
The Eurasian idea realization is one of our university main missions.
Making a new type of the institution of higher education was one of the first workable measures to implement the Eurasian Union idea underlined by our President in 1994 at the M.V. Lomonossov Moscow State University.
It is notable that the university is named after L.N. Gumilyov, an outstanding historian, a famous turkologist, a great Russian scientist.
It is also not casual phenomenon. Leo Nicolayevich’s creation shows true love and estimation of the rich history and unique culture of the Kazakh people and their Turkic ancestors. His remarkable scientific works “Ancient Turkics”, “Hunnu”, “Great steppe and Ancient Russia” and others point out it.
It is very important that one of the principal characters of his scientific researches was the ancient Turkic commander Kultegin, who lived from the end of the VII to the first thirds of the VIII century. He was brightly distinguished among his tribesmen because he devoted all his conscientious life to a noble matter to strengthen political might, territorial integrity and economic welfare of ancient Turkics. At that time Turkics lived on the vast territories from Dunai in the west and to the Pacific Ocean in the East, from the Northern Iran in the South to forestry steppe zone of the western Siberian plain in the North.
Till his last breath Kultegin defended with arms in the hands and at table of negotiations and took care of the gigantic Oikumen for descendants, one of whose main heiresses is the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The commander Kultegin with his not long but vivid and unique life showed us, contemporary generation, how to love and to appreciate our home, people and land, their unique culture!
In the Great Commander honour in 732, after a year of his death, the Chinese scabblers established a great monument with the Turkic runes about the famous commander great feats. Up to now this monument of written literature is a bright adornment of contemporary Mongolia’s steppes. On appraisal of some experts, at present in Siberia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan there are more than 250 big and small inscriptions here in Kazakhstan.
In 2001 on initiative of the Head of State N.A. Nazarbayev it was made a scientific copy of this great monument. Our president took part in its ceremonial establishment in the main atrium of the Eurasian university.
This monument is a regeneration symbol of the historical traditions, peaceful existence and good-neighbourhood of peoples on the Eurasian space.
The text of letter contains on appeal of the Turkic khaganat inhabitants to unity, integrity and courage.
These immortal words are very important nowadays, when our dynamic developing country strives to enter in the number of 50 the most developed countries of the world. That is why the Academic Council took the decision to call the birthday of the ENU “The Kultegin Day”.
The polyethnic, multiconfessional republic raises a problem of international communication and consent at the institutions of higher education of the country. The purpose of this political direction at the L.N. Gumilyov ENU is strengthening interethnic consent and tolerance, respect for culture and traditions of different ethnics, non admissibility of interethnic conflicts among the students.