III International Conference of The European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS) opened at Nazarbayev University in Astana. The event gathered more than 200 participants from 16 countries of Asia, Europe and North America. For the first time, ESCAS conference takes place in Central Asia.
Alexander Morrison, ESCAS President and Kadisha Dairova, Vice-President of Nazarbayev University hold speeches at the opening ceremony. “We are fortunate that Nazarbayev University has really bright researchers with the research background in Central Asian and Eurasian Studies. This is the second event this year for us that we organize in the Eurasian region, recently we held the Eurasian Higher Education Leaders Forum” said Kadisha Dairova.
During three days participants will discuss recent research in the fields of anthropology, history, political science, art, sociology and education covering issues of migration, national identity, civic development, material culture, music, Kazakh literature, education, agriculture and population, famine, the history of Islam in the region, the history of the borders and sovereignty of the countries of Central Asia.
Roundtable discussion on popularization of Science in Media became one of significant events in the first day of the conference. Experts from the United States, Germany, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan discussed the ways of promoting research topics in media. Nazarbayev University shared its own experience on dealing with media.
“Our professors and researchers often present in media as experts in their professional fields. In 2012 the university received and responded to more than 200 inquiries from media to interview and film university staff and students. In total this amount exceeded the number of working days in that year. So you can see that the university is working at a frontline here” Dinara Kussain, representative of the Department of Communications and Marketing of Nazarbayev University, noted in her presentation.
It was also noted that in addition to traditional media, the university also focuses on new media. Nazarbayev University today is #1 among Kazakhstani universities by the number of followers on Twitter and subscribers on Youtube.
The first conference of The European Society for Central Asian Studies took place in 1987 in London, UK and was convened by the School of Oriental and African Studies. Since then, the event has been held in 11 countries around the world with a frequency of once in two years. The ESCAS conference in Astana, the first ever in Central Asia, will be namely at Nazarbayev University. The previous conference took place in 2011 in the UK at the University of Cambridge.