Uzbekistan Ambassador to the United States Javlon Vahobov and senior officers from the Uzbekistan embassy met last week with Syracuse University officials to discuss educational partnerships between their country and the School of Information Studies (iSchool) and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The visit included meetings with leadership of both schools, a tour of campus, and meetings with students.

Uzbekistan’s President, Shavkoat  Mirziyoyev, has recently identified six priorities for public administration reform in the country. They include improving the institutional, organizational, and legal framework of executive authorities’ activities and creating an effective system of professional civil service, and introducing effective mechanisms to combat corruption in the system of executive authorities.

“Uzbekistan is undergoing perhaps the most dramatic change in the region at this moment,” says Robert Murrett, professor of practice of public administration and international affairs at the Maxwell School. “The country is at a key inflection point since the departure of President Karimov in 2016.”

The Uzbekistan initiative represents the second recent Central Asian partnership for Syracuse University. In spring 2018 Maxwell signed a memorandum of understanding with the Academy of Public Administration (APA) under the president of the Republic of Kazakhstan to develop Executive Education programs to secure students, external scholarships, and develop research connections.

“Maxwell’s history and commitment to strengthening governance by working with governments and ministries around the world is a critical dimension to the School’s mission,” says David M. Van Slyke, Dean of the Maxwell School. “President Mirziyoyev’s commitment to developing public service leaders and his priorities for public administration reform are aligned with the research, teaching, and executive education strengths of the Maxwell School. We are excited to work together to transform governance in Uzbekistan.”

At the iSchool, discussions centered around the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the School and Uzbekistan’s Tashkent University for Information Technology. The MoU paves the way for the exploration of an agreement between the two institutions to allow Tashkent students to take courses at Syracuse and transfer credit to their home school.

“It was a pleasure to meet with Ambassador Vahobov and explore the ways that we could work with higher education institutions in Uzbekistan,” says Susan Corieri, Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management and Special Academic Program Initiatives at the iSchool. “The new strategic initiatives underway in Uzbekistan are incredibly admirable and impressive. The emerging economy and large youth population offer great potential for technological development through advancements in higher education.”

“We are confident that establishing a longstanding partnership with Syracuse University and having its presence in Uzbekistan will bring tremendous asset in nurturing future leaders and top professionals not only in Uzbekistan, but in the entire region” says Ambassador Vahobov.

A partnership with Uzbekistan also supports Maxwell’s vision to strengthen its programs in Central Asia and the Middle East, and follows President Mirziyoyev’s recent commitment to public administration reforms and capacity building efforts in Uzbekistan.

Representatives from the iSchool and the Maxwell School will visit Tashkent University for further discussions later this month.