​Anuar Ayazbekov "Institute of Diplomacy of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan: Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow"

Anuar AYAZBEKOV,

PhD, Director of the Institute of Diplomacy

Institute of Diplomacy of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan: Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow

With the rapidly-changing geopolitical and geo-economic environment, Kazakhstan's diplomatic service faces an array of new challenges and opportunities. To adequately and timely respond to them, the diplomatic corps must have a multidisciplinary combination of knowledge and skills in public policy, economics, diplomacy, PR, analytics and international relations.

Kazakhstan promotes an active foreign policy agenda and has made tangible progress in foreign policy by setting new goals. In this regard, the Institute of Diplomacy is to become one of the key elements of the training and career development of Kazakh diplomats.

Guided by this mission, the institute is now transforming into a professional diplomatic school. At this stage, the institute makes every effort to preserve, on the one hand, the continuity and traditions of this unique institution, and, on the other hand, to introduce international practices in the educational process.

A brief historical overview. The Institute of Diplomacy traces its history to September 1996, when the Higher Diplomatic School of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan was established by the government decree. Subsequently, the school was renamed the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan and joined the single system of diplomatic service agencies of the country. In October 2000, the Diplomatic Academy became part of the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian State (now National) University. Myrzatay Zholdasbekov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, PhD in philology and professor, became the first rector of the academy.

At the last stage of restructuring, in accordance with the Presidential Decree of May 31, 2005, the Diplomatic Academy became part of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan as the Institute of Diplomacy.

From 2006 to 2012, Tuleutay Suleimenov, first Minister of Foreign Affairs of the independent Kazakhstan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, PhD in political science and academician, was the Head of the Institute of Diplomacy. Now, Suleimenov continues sharing his rich diplomatic experience with the younger generation as a professor at the institute.

Since the establishment of the Institute of Diplomacy, 559 students have graduated with Master's and PhD degrees, as well as completed advanced training. A great many renowned diplomats, politicians and statespersons are alumni of the institute: Azamat Abdraimov, Aidar Arifkhanov, Madi Atamkulov, Yersultan Bekturganov, Ruslan Bultrikov, Yergali Egemberdy, Beibit Issabayev, Arman Kyrykbaev, Ardak Madiyev, Akan Rakhmetullin, Nurbakh Rustemov, Adil Tursunov, Kuatzhan Ualiyev, Kairbek Uskenbayev and Nurlan Zhanabilov.

Today, the Institute of Diplomacy is the only specialised institution in Kazakhstan that trains professional diplomatic and international relations specialists.

Students mostly include diplomats and public officers working with foreign counterparts, as well as foreign diplomats and citizens of Tajikistan, Georgia and Mongolia holding United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) grants.

In fact, the Institute of Diplomacy fills the gaps in the professional training in 6M020200-International Relations of bachelors who have graduated from various national universities and, in accordance with the requirements of the customers represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other state agencies, raises the level of professional training of diplomats, as well as public officers involved in international cooperation.

The institute combines the two most common models of diplomatic schools. The first model focuses on the organisation of higher education (department or faculty of the university) aimed at academic Master's and PhD programmes. The second model is based on the diplomatic academy under the Foreign Ministry, which centres on the practical advanced training of diplomats. Until recently, there was a certain imbalance in the Institute of Diplomacy in favor of theory.

In order to balance the two models and ensure the mutual enrichment of academic programmes and short-term courses with human and organisational resources, training programmes at the institute were restructured in 2017, taking into account the world's best practices in the organisation and functioning of diplomatic academies and schools. To that effect, the programmes and methods of activity management of the Vienna Diplomatic Academy, the Estonian School of Diplomacy, the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, the British Centre for Political and Diplomatic Studies and the diplomatic academies of the foreign ministries of Brazil, Great Britain, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine were studied.

The duration of the Master's programme was reduced from two years to one year. Thus, the entire programme and syllabuses are adapted to one-year training, which implies a wide coverage in a short time. In accordance with this task, the following disciplines are taught at the institute: foreign policy analysis; geographical and functional priorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan; diplomatic, consular service, state protocol, world economy and foreign economic priorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan; methods and design of research; modern international relations and world politics; diplomacy and media.

In order to take into account the interests of the Foreign Ministry as the main client of the institute, curricula, topics of Master's and PhD theses, programmes of examinations and entrance examinations are considered and approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Along with this, orientation programmes are developed for those who just joined the diplomatic service and for public officers to be posted abroad for the first time. These courses are an addition and, in some cases, an alternative to the existing practice of retraining and advanced training of diplomatic service officers.

The institute reconsidered the approaches to foreign internship. In the recent past, Master's students were sent to foreign diplomatic academies as part of the internship. Today, internships take place in Kazakh embassies and diplomatic missions abroad. The Foreign Ministry provides invaluable assistance to the institute in this regard.

A distinctive feature of the educational process is instruction in the state language; individualised training, i.e. focused instruction of small groups of students in English, French, and Spanish.

The institute faculty consists of international relations specialists with extensive experience in teaching international disciplines. Special courses are taught by ambassadors-at-large and heads of structural units of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, leading experts and experienced practitioners in politics and economics. Currently, the institute has 21 professors, including three doctors of science, two PhDs and seven candidates of science. Seven employees of the institute have diplomatic ranks, including one holding the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.

The national and foreign diplomatic corps accredited in Kazakhstan give regular guest lectures during the Ambassador Hour.

The staff and students of the institute, in cooperation with foreign partners, actively participate in organising and holding conferences, workshops and trainings on various topics in diplomacy and international relations.

In summary, training and continuous career development of public officers, promotion of foreign policy and foreign economic interests of Kazakhstan remain the institute's priority. The Institute of Diplomacy makes a significant contribution to develop the Kazakh diplomatic service and provide Kazakhstan's diplomacy with qualified human resources.

As for the prospects and further evolution of the Institute of Diplomacy, the institute's transformation into a modern and prestigious, professional, up-to-date diplomatic school that adapts its programmes to Kazakhstan's current foreign policy agenda and the proactive stand of the country in the international arena seems like a logical way that correlates with the world trends in diplomatic education.



Created at : 12.04.2018, 20:00, Updated at : 12.04.2018, 20:00