Innovating Higher Education in the Age of Disruption

7 June - 8 June, Astana, Kazakhstan

VII annual Eurasian Higher Education Leaders’ Forum will take place on June 7-8, 2018 at Nazarbayev University (Astana, Kazakhstan). The Forum aims to bring together education stakeholders to share their ideas and engage in lively debates on issues that higher education leaders are facing worldwide. This year, we have come up with a series of interesting sessions geared to the theme of “Innovating Higher Education in the Age of Disruption”.

“Create.Innovate.Disrupt.” – an exhibition of the Innovation Cluster of the Nazarbayev University Astana Business Campus (Upper Atrium). The exhibition of the Innovative cluster Astana Business Campus will demonstrate the experience of Nazarbayev University in developing an innovative eco-system, implemented on the basis of the Technopark of the University. Today in the Cluster projects portfolio there are more than 30 successful startups, innovative projects and projects, commissioned by the industry. All of them will be presented at the exhibition – “Create.Innovate.Disrupt.”

Participants of the EHELF forum will get know the activities of the business incubator and business accelerator, the commercialization office and the infrastructure of Technopark


Forum Grand Opening Ceremony

Plenary Session 1


Mr. Shigeo Katsu, President, Nazarbayev University

Keynote Speaker:

Prof. Laura Poole-Warren, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research Training) and the Dean of Graduate Research, University of New South Wales (UNSW) (Sydney, Australia)

Dr. Jamil Salmi, Global Tertiary Education Expert

Dr. Stavros Yiannouka, Chief Executive Officer, World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) (Doha, Qatar)

Coffee Break & Networking

Plenary Session 2


Dr. Loretta O’Donnell, Vice-Provost, Academic Affairs, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan

Keynote Speaker:

Prof. Charalabos Doumanidis, Vice Provost for Research and Interim Dean, Nazarbayev University, Graduate School of Mining and Geosciences

Dr. Vassilios Tourassis, Dean, School of Science and Technology, Nazarbayev University

Dr. Aida Sagintayeva, Dean, Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education

Dr. Patrick Duparcq, Dean, Graduate School of Business, Nazarbayev University

Dr. Hui Weng Tat, Dean, Graduate School of Public Policy, Nazarbayev University

Coffee Break & Networking

Plenary Session 3


  • 18:30-20:30
  • Reception
    Venue: Ball Room, Nazarbayev University

Breakout session 1


Prof. Benjamin W. Wah, Provost and Wei Lun Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

Keynote Speaker:

Prof. YU Shijie, Deputy Director, Ministry of Education Research Center for Online Education (Beijing, China), Director, Tsinghua MOOC, Tsinghua University

Mr. Almas Tuyakbayev, CEO, Zero to One Labs

Dr. Rinat Iskakov, Provost, Satpayev University

Prof. Alex James, Associate Professor, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nazarbayev University

Breakout session 2

Coffee Break & Lunch

Plenary Session 4


Dr. Ilesanmi Adesida, Provost, Nazarbayev University

Keynote Speaker:

Prof. Charles F. Zukoski, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of New York in Buffalo (Buffalo, NY, USA)

Prof. Isak Froumin, Academic Supervisor, Institute of Education, Higher School of Economics

Ms. Annie Lo, CFA, CIPM, CAIA, Senior Vice President and Chief Officer in Asia Pacific, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) (Singapore)

Xiaoqiu WU, Vice President, Renmin University of China

Plenary Session 5