New System, New Opportunities

Speeches Shim

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

The University of World Economy and Diplomacy (UWED) is one of the top educational institutions in Uzbekistan. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in international law, international economics and management, and international relations. Many of the university’s alumni go on to occupy leadership positions in the Government of Uzbekistan. 

With USAID support, through the USAID Legal Reform Program, in the Fall of 2020, the university introduced an academic credit-based system which replaced an outdated rating system. The new system was customized to the university’s needs, and faculty and management were trained in best teaching and learning practices in a credit-based system, including the development of curricula, courses, and educational modules.

Under the old system, students were treated as passive recipients of, mainly, theoretical knowledge and were not able to choose courses or professors according to their individual needs. The old system also restricted international options for students because international universities did not recognize the ratings system.  

More than a third of UWED’s 1,500 students are now studying under the credit-based system. The new system has brought about a shift towards a more targeted, demand-based education, with lectures and theory making room for an increase in practice-based lessons, giving students greater exposure to real-life challenges, and allowing them to gain practical skills at a much earlier stage.

Fuzail Makhmudov, the Head of the Education Department and an UWED alumnus, shared that: “Under the old system, it took a lot of time and effort to get all the approvals necessary to change the curriculum, the academic schedule, and professors’ and students’ predetermined workloads. Now, with the new academic credit system, we have more freedom and flexibility at UWED. It allows us to be more responsive to the requirements of the job market. The credit-based system also gives more freedom to students and empowers them to take an active role in their own education. This will put students in good stead in their future professional lives in which they will most likely be faced with continuing education requirements.” 

Greater freedom and academic flexibility are not the only benefits that UWED reaped from introducing an academic credit system. Dr. Makhmudov added: “Academic mobility is, of course, another great – possibly the greatest - advantage that we gained. With academic credits recognized by foreign educational institutions, students have more opportunities to participate in international exchange programs and to continue their education abroad. It also makes it easier to engage foreign professors.” 

The change to a credit-based system has driven an increase in UWED’s ranking among Uzbekistan’s universities from the 17th to 12th position. The State Inspection for Supervision of Quality in Education under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan determined that UWED graduates are now better prepared for the rigors of professional life in Uzbekistan, most notably those graduates seeking careers in law. 

USAID is proud to continue to support Uzbekistan’s efforts in building the capacity of legal professionals and legal training institutions. To date, through the Legal Reform Program, USAID has supported the development of 36 legal courses that are now incorporated into the curricula of several colleges and universities. USAID has also trained more than 3,500 legal professionals on research methods, distance-learning education, intellectual property, judicial ethics, and other subjects.

Last updated: September 23, 2022

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