22 SES 14, The Impact Of Study-Abroad Programmes On Students' Academic Achievements And Employability In Eurasia: The Case Of Kazakhstan
With the intensive educational reforms towards Europeanization of the higher education sector, Kazakhstan is aiming to integrate in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). In 2010 the country became a signatory to the Bologna Process. The Eurocentric developments include the introduction of the European Credit Transfer System, the implementation of the European three-tiered system of Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degrees and a recently announced national strategy of boosting academic mobility for 2012-2020 with the focus on sending outgoing students as well as attracting incoming students from the EHEA. This paper presents a tertiary institution case study with the target groups of students who took part in the Erasmus Mundus Programme. Focus group interviews and surveys were conducted as an empirical part of the paper. The sample was gathered from the database of the international office of the tertiary institution. The case study helped us to reveal students' motivations and interests in study subject areas offered by European institutions, key differences drawn by the students between their local and international education contexts. The paper also points out institutional obstacles that hinder academic mobility development and challenges of integrating students' study-abroad experiences back in their home institutions' academic programmes.
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