The TRUNAK project officially started at the end of 2017 with a kick-off meeting in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. The project, supported by the European Union under Erasmus+, seeks to enhance university autonomy in Kazakhstan.
The project runs until October 2020. It is coordinated by Karaganda State Medical University and includes five other Kazakh universities, the Ministries of Health and of Education and Science of Kazakhstan, as well as six EU universities. It aims at developing both the management and governance of Kazakh universities, as well as the capacities of national authorities to modernise their higher education systems by supporting the definition, implementation and monitoring of reform policies. The overarching aim of the project is to encourage the transition of the Kazakh higher education system towards decentralised, autonomous governance.
As part of the project, EUA is supporting the Kazakh partners in conducting a state-of-play and needs analysis on the basis of EUA’s University Autonomy Scorecard methodology, paving the way for the development of an adequate model of university autonomy in Kazakhstan. EUA will also advise the partners on developing guiding material on university autonomy, forming a consulting group around the results and disseminating them to other Kazakh universities. The bottom-up approach retained by the TRUNAK project stimulates the dialogue between universities and ministries, and thus enables the consortium to contribute more effectively to extending the autonomy of Kazakh higher education institutions.
In this project, EUA makes use of its long-standing expertise in addressing the issues of autonomy, accountability and funding through promoting conferences and workshops, and engaging its members in an evidence-based debate on improving university governance and leadership competencies and updating funding structures.
EUA’s Autonomy Scorecard compares a wealth of indicators that reflect the degree of autonomy of universities in 29 systems in the EU. EUA has been invited to use these tools to provide advice to several countries seeking to develop governance reforms for the sector. It has the expertise to deliver in-depth analysis of the state of university autonomy in different countries, identifying pressing challenges and providing recommendations for a governance reform. EUA developed bespoke structures and processes to design and implement roadmaps outlining necessary steps for reform of the regulatory frameworks. EUA encourages inclusive approaches to governance reforms and helps build capacities to modernise university governance and management.
The European University Association is the representative organisation of universities and national rectors’ conferences in 47 European countries. EUA plays a crucial role in the Bologna Process and in influencing EU policies on higher education, research and innovation. Thanks to its interaction with a range of other European and international organisations EUA ensures that the independent voice of European universities is heard, wherever decisions are being taken, and that it will have an impact on their activities.