Medal for services to Kazakh education awarded

20 February 2008

Professor Stefaan Simons (UCL Chemical Engineering), UCL’s Special Advisor on Kazakhstan and Director of the UCL Centre for CO2 Technology, has been awarded a medal for services to education in Kazakhstan by the Kazakh Minister of Education & Science, Mr Zhanseit Tuimebayev.

Professor Stefaan Simons

The medal was presented by the minister in Astana, the Kazakh capital, following a high-profile forum for Bolashak scholars hosted by President Nazarbayev. The Bolashak scholarship programme (‘Bolashak’ meaning ‘Future’ in Kazakh) sponsors students from Kazakhstan to study undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses overseas.

UCL signed an agreement in 2006 with the Kazakh Centre for International Programs to support the admission of such scholars to its programmes and since then has received a number of Bolashak scholars at both undergraduate and graduate level. There are currently 34 such scholars studying in various degree programmes. There are also a number of independently funded Kazakhs that come to study at UCL each year.

Professor Simons said: “The medal is partly in recognition of my work over the past 14 years at the Kazakh National Technical University (KazNTU) in Almaty, developing modern chemical-engineering courses, and partly for the work that UCL is doing as a whole in educating Kazakhstan’s brightest students, who will take up positions in Kazakhstan’s government and industry and accelerate their country’s economic and social development.”

Professor Simons holds an honorary professorship at KazNTU.

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