Education is one of the most significant subsystems of social arena of a state that provides intellectual potential of the society and, therefore, economic and scientific-technical progress. Economic growth of a country is usually equaled to professional characteristics of its labour.
Nowadays Kazakhstan faces challenges and necessities to reform. The country transfers to the way of innovative economy, international competitiveness, globalization. President of Republic Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has outlined that «…the country moves to post-industrial world where the triad «education-science-innovations» rules… We consider knowledge as economic resource of a state, a factor of production. Me gradually modernize out national education system, thus making it closer to international standards».
«Any country develops through education. All developed states invested into the improvement of education system for a powerful economic breakthrough» – speaks the Minister of education of Republic Kazakhstan.
But any modernization implies changes in the present condition as well putting a new foundation for the future. These are not only political and economic changes, but also forming people with a new thinking who can work in new conditions.
If we study the worldwide competition process, we can put is simply as follows: the country that produces a better commodity provides leadership and prosperity to itself. Later prosperous countries has come to the idea that it is better to possess machines and equipment to produce good, and it has become a more important, prior goal, as producing goods is was no longer a problem. As countries were developing they came to an understanding that even equipment is not the most promising resource, and a country that supplied itself with technologies becomes a leader. «…such countries as Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia prosper due to the mastership in executing their ideas and technologies, their persistence and hard work»1. Thus, competition for technologies has become the third stage of competition. At the same time leaders come to understanding that competition for knowledge or, in other words, educational system, is even more promising idea. And so, leading countries compete not only for technologies, but for education systems and for attracting talented youth into it. Later they, like a chain, will create a necessary technology, necessary equipment, and commodity for their country.
We fall behind the world leaders as nowadays our economy solves problems of industrialization and transition towards post-industrial world, in other words, forms a foundation of the third level. We do not create a technology itself yet. However, our institutions, as they get involved into research programmes, can quickly adopt headmost ideas and start forming their own scientists who are able to create new technologies in available areas.
Are universities ready to carry out these goals? Regretfully, we have to state that nowadays many institutions are mainly educative organizations rather than a place of generating new knowledge through studies and science. Knowledge tends to age in institutions that prior educative function. It is similar to a moral wearing of equipment. Besides, knowledge is copied and spread like on a conveyor. Providing an institution with new qualitative knowledge stays a secondary problem. We can also feel insufficient use of new methods of transferring knowledge though encouraging, motivating students to gain knowledge independently and think alternatively.
Let us recall the etymology of the term «student»: it comes from Latin word «studiare» that means «to study», «to examine» through searching and adding knowledge. Unfortunately, the present situation in transiting knowledge in the educational process devaluates the initial purpose of studentship and academic environment. Educational paradigm of translating aging knowledge and deficit in transferring new knowledge from scientific-research environment is put onto a way of mass stamping of diplomas. As a result, graduates of many institutions remain uncompetitive at the labour market and are not ready to respond to challenges of global economy.
But, at the same time, we observe low efficiency in activity of the majority of scientific-research centers and laboratories, weak commercial significance of the carried research, insufficient relations with Kazakhstan and leading foreign laboratories, centers, industrial enterprises and companies.
Modernization of economy that is claimed by the president means not only development of new industries, is implies development of new forms of social life.
In this case the role of a university as a social institution changes. Now it forms new settings, value guidelines and life standards, and university and scientific education has to change first. Universities always form new generations of educated people, they have to «push» time forward continuously. Universities, as «agents of world reformation» create the future. It is an axiom, proved by the whole experience of development of the humanity. There must be a clear realization of the fact that a generation that lives today is formed by us, and is something in the development level of our country does not satisfy us, then we, as a university, are responsible for it and, what is the most important, have to change ourselves.
Nowadays we witness a process of intense development and renewal of knowledge. We come to a situation when youth knows more and it is more receptive to new forms of life (technological, informational, social networks, etc.). And this situation will only become more obvious. That is why the realization of an institution’s role is absolutely necessary for the spread of effective forms of social life, spread of new life forms, and harmonic modernization. An institution needs to become a place, physical and virtual space that is able to provide harmonic link «education-science-innovations».
Explorative approach in education methodologies has already proved its efficiency in the leading universities of Great Britain and Europe, that implement general methods: discovery-based learning technique, problem-based learning, and case studies. Successful universities of West and Europe actively unite processes of research and education at all levels so that students with interesting ideas could consult with the leading experts of their field without leaving their university.
A distinctive characteristic of the leading world universities is that they are large economic subjects that provide employment and social business of a significant part of their local population. For example, annual budget of universities Stanford and Manchester Metropolitan in about $1 billion, Texas university – $3 billion.
The most demonstrative fact of educational activity according to the programme of Massachusetts technological university is that even students of bachelor programmes are paid for their researches. For many specialties researches form a part of even larger project when a student needs to work directly with his scientific chief up to 10 hours a week during a semester, and he gets about $ 1000. Carnegie Mellon University sponsors explorative work of 250 bachelor students annually. Every year more than 450 students speak with a report during the whole-university symposium «Meeting of minds» in May. Researches of bachelorship in California technological institute take place simultaneously in a number of different research centers. Within programmes of Young explorers of summer bachelorship students work under the leadership of experienced tutors, and then present their works.
Since the moment of their emergence universities were considered as «reformers of the world». They are able to form new directions of human thought. And these new ideas that excess the limits of academic walls with students, transform economic, political, and scientific reality.
If graduates are to become social leaders in modern conditions, they need to be provided with high-quality education at all stages of education and prepared for efficient actions at the world economic arena with an extremely high competition level. Solving this problem requires studying foreign experience on actual problems of education quality and creating international educative programmes that could provide students with the skills of international interaction and experience of communicating with scientists of the leading foreign universities.