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Med Teach. 2018 Mar 11:1-7. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2018.1441989. [Epub ahead of print]

Transforming medical education in Kazakhstan: Successful case of internationalization from Karaganda State Medical University.

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a Karaganda State Medical University , Karaganda , Kazakhstan.



Medical education in Kazakhstan has been literally transformed in the past 10 years. Kazakhstan inherited the Soviet-time discipline-based teacher-centered system of education when no decisions could be made independently. The curriculum was mostly governed in a traditional way, with lectures being the core, little use of e-learning tools, and assessment through oral exams and multiple-choice questions. Most of the universities still preserve the subject-based curriculum with elements of integrated learning.


Being the most active member of International Space Education, Karaganda State Medical University (KSMU) took the initiative to adapt the full integrated curriculum mostly based on problem-based, team-based learning, and use of virtual patient cases. The given approach was chosen because of active involvement of our University in nine Tempus and Erasmus+projects including reforming of Public Health and Nursing curriculum, human resources development, active learning, credit mobility, and move towards autonomy of medical schools.


KSMU became the coordinator of two of these projects, taking its active position in internationalization of medical education. We actively use technology-based medical education, pro-actively adapting deliberate practice in acquiring essential practical skills, for which KSMU was recognized by an ASPIRE-to-Excellence Award in simulation.


Kazakhstan hopes to become the leader in medical education in Central Asia and suggests other Universities in the area to adopt its approach to internationalization of medical education.

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