The Taraz Declaration
Following the signing of the Magna Charta over the last three years by some twelve universities from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Observatory investigated if and how the Magna Charta could be presented and further used in Central Asia to help focus the transformation of higher education on the principles outlined in the 1988 document – academic freedom, institutional autonomy, social responsibility and the dissemination of the humanist tradition based on the development of the person.
In Taraz University, South-East Kazakhstan, the Secretary General was invited by the Rector as well as the Minister of Education of Kazakhstan to address* some 300 university people on the importance and development of Academic Values, also in Central Asia.Among them were 50 Kazakh rectors, who had come also to sign the Declaration of Taraz. This document had been prepared by some of the rectors who had been in Bologna to sign the Magna Charta: it sets the main points of the charter in the Kazakh context and calls for the creation of a Kazakh Higher Education Area based on the principles and values of the Bologna 1988 document. The Minister was there to attend the signing ceremony, thus recognising the autonomy the universities needed to develop to become full partners of the government efforts in the modernisation of the country.