UNESCO IITE co-organized the High-Level Regional Policy Dialogue on the use of AI in higher education in Central Asia

On June 24, 2024, the High-Level Regional Policy Dialogue in Central Asia themed “Facilitating GenAI-driven Higher Education Transformation” was successfully held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It was dedicated to the topic “Promoting the transformation of higher education based on generative artificial intelligence”. During the discussions, participants explored a variety of strategies and initiatives related to the application of generative artificial intelligence in higher education – the event provided an opportunity for open dialogue between representatives of various stakeholders in the field.

The Policy Dialogue was co-organized by the Tashkent University of Information Technologies (TUIT), the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE), the UNESCO Almaty Regional Office (UNESCO Almaty), and the International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (UNESCO-ICHEI).

The event brought together more than 220 crucial higher education stakeholders from 14 countries in Central Asia and beyond, namely Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, France, Pakistan and China. The dialogue brought together leaders and representatives of ministries of education, universities and scientific institutes, UNESCO, IT companies and other organizations related to the field of higher education.

The Policy Dialogue was pivotal in fostering constructive exchanges, consolidating promising cases, and providing recommendations to higher education stakeholders in the region and beyond. Furthermore, it supports the creation of relevant policies and action plans for GenAI-driven higher education governance and teaching personnel’s professional development at a wide range of levels, including regions, countries, institutions, and individual levels.

The Policy Dialogue was structured into three thematic sessions: “Policy and Governance on GenAI in Higher Education at the Regional and National Levels”, “Institutional Approach on Policy, Governance and Practice of GenAI” and “AI Literacy and Professional Development for Higher Education Workforce”. These sessions facilitated in-depth discussions on various topics, including the opportunities and challenges of GenAI in education, the ethical use of AI, education governance, the formation of multilateral partnerships, and leveraging the International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) Micro-Certification Project to reskill and upskill higher education workforce.

The forum launched the second stage of cooperation between UNESCO IITE and the International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO within the framework of the project “Digital Transformation of Higher Education in Central Asia”. In continuation of their joint work to create and implement Russian-language online courses on learning analytics and media and information literacy, the partners planned the development of four courses on the use of generative AI in higher education. Representative of UNESCO IITE Tatyana Murovana took part in the session dedicated to literacy in the field of artificial intelligence and made a presentation “AI and professional development of teachers: the beginning of a long journey”.

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