UCL in the News: Eastern scholar
28 February 2008
Stef Simons [UCL Chemical Engineering] has been awarded a medal for his services to education in Kazakhstan.
Professor Simons's relationship with the country spans 15 years, from when he joined UCL as a young lecturer in 1993. …
Ever since, he has been working to develop the teaching of chemical engineering in the country - vital, given its huge oil and gas resources.
"Although starting to change, Kazakhstan's degree programmes are long and very theoretical, based on the old Soviet-style system. They don't have a chemical engineering discipline as we would recognise it," said Professor Simons. …
In 2006, UCL signed an agreement to host students from the country through Kazakhstan's Bolashak (The Future) scholarship programme, which sponsors star students to study at universities abroad. …
Professor Simons has been made UCL's special adviser on Kazakhstan and now travels to the country once or twice a year. "I've seen a lot of changes. Things are moving very fast. Young people are starting to get into positions of influence and are very keen to progress Kazakhstan as a modern, developed country, away from their Soviet past."
Rebecca Attwood, 'Times Higher Education'