Kyrgyz Study Tour, May 4 - June 1, 2008
Faculty and staff of the University of Montana's (UM) Office of International Programs and School of Education's Department of Educational Leadership and Division of Education Research and Service partnered to provide an enriching training program for 24 Kyrgyz educators.
Over the course of a month, the visiting educators participated designed to support the efforts of the Kyrgyz Ministry of Education to modernize primary and secondary education through student-centered curriculum, improved learning assessment, and the development of new textbooks and other learning materials. In addition to the lectures and seminars held on campus, they participated in sixteen separate field observations across the state involving five separate school districts as well as state government. The participants met with school principals, teachers, students, school superintendents as well as the Montana's State Superintendent, Linda McCullough. These experiences provided the participants a view of pre-school/early childhood education as well as elementary, middle and high schools educational systems.
Naryn State University
In 2002 President George Dennison traveled to the Kyrgyz Republic to sign a collaborative agreement with Naryn State University committing to cooperation and academic exchange. The Rector of Naryn State University, Almazbek Akmataliev, spent 5 months as a visiting Fulbright scholar at UM from October 2003 to March 2004 to learn about American Higher Education. In addition, Taalaibek Karpekov, head of International Programs at Naryn State University, spent several months at UM as part of the collaborative agreement.
Kyrgyz Legal Education Project
This three year program was a collaboration between The University of Montana and Osh State University (Kyrgyz Republic). The program helped Osh State's Faculty of Law develop curriculum and teaching methods based on American models, particularly in clinical training and the integration of theory and practice in the classroom. A two-way faculty exchange program over three years assisted Osh State to develop a mission statement, define relevant and necessary learning outcomes, integrate theory and practice, and assess student performance. The project established the Central Asia Law Institute (www.umt.edu/cali) at the University of Montana to help promote on-going relationships among professional colleagues in the Central Asia and Caspian Basin region. The program was funded by the United States Department of State.
Five Osh State University Faculty of Law members visited UM. They observed UM Law School's in-house and external clinics, observed classroom teaching, reviewed syllabi and lesson plans for both classroom and clinical education., and participated in seminars on teaching and clinical legal education. They attended lectures in international and comparative law and presented lectures in the Central and Southwest Asia Program and at the Law School.
In 2007, UM law faculty conducted a national conference on legal education in Bishkek. The well-received conference included the first Russian translation of the US's Clinical Legal Education Association's 2007 treatise, "Best Practices in Legal Education."
UM Law School and Other Activities
In 2001, UM and UMLS led a water law, policy, and science team of experts to Bishkek to conduct a 1-week workshop, along with a comprehensive review of Kyrgyzstan's water laws and treaties.
Beginning in 2003, in conjunction with the Montana National Guard, UM and UMLS have conducted rule of law and law of war training for Kyrgyz officer cadets. The next such training (for cadets from the Bishkek High Military College) will take place on September 12-13, 2007.
In 2004, UM and UMLS faculty conducted a legal education needs survey of all of the Kyrgyz Republic's major universities.
In 2006, UM hosted then Education and Science Minister, now Vice Prime Minister, Nur uulu Dosbol and former Education and Youth Minister Camilla Sharshekeeva. In 2007 Education and Science Minister Osmonaliev Kanybek spent five days at UM collaborating on a forthcoming treatise on the culture, religion, and history of the Kyrgyz people. Minister Nur uulu is planning a second visit in Fall 2007.
UM and UMLS have inked partnership agreements with the Kyrgyz State Academy of Law and American University - Central Asia