UA Ruhr News Center

11. 12. 2023

Go East: New Perspectives and New Connections – Central Asia/ South Caucasus

Connections to the Central Asia and South Caucasus regions are being intensified.

The political "turning point" has made it possible: following the outbreak of war against Ukraine, the focus of cooperation with the regions of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the South Caucasus has changed fundamentally. Ruhr-Universität Bochum is intensifying its contacts with universities in Uzbekistan and Georgia and concluded corresponding cooperation agreements on November 28, 2023.


Ruhr-Universität has concluded an agreement with Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on the academic exchange of students and teaching staff. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Rector Prof. Dr. Martin Paul and Prof. Dr. Ikrom Rikhsiboev, Dean of the Graduate School at the Uzbek university. Initiated by Johanna Rust's research work in the context of EU-China relations in Central Asia, a foundation for joint projects and cooperation plans has been laid in recent years at Prof. Dr. Sebastian Bersick's Chair of International Political Economy of East Asia.


In addition, a framework agreement on cooperation in doctoral training has been concluded between Ruhr-Universität Bochum and Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed for the Georgian side by Rector Prof. Nino Doborjginidze.


"Due to the changing world structure, the academic world also needs a new focus and greater diversification," says Rector Paul. "Central Asia, for example, is strategically relevant not only in politics and business, so this should also be reflected in specific research projects. And we also want to promote academic exchange and knowledge transfer with the South Caucasus region."

© Finn Kantus

Hosts and guests in exchange in Bochum (from left): Prof. Dr. Sebastian Bersick und Rector Prof. Dr. Martin Paul with Prof. Dr. Nino Doborjginidze, Prof. Dr. Saule Rakhmetullina (Rector of the East Kasachstan Technical University), Prof. Dr. Ikrom Rikhsiboev, Prof. Dr. Zjanseit Tuimebayev (Rector of the National Al-Farabi University, Kasachstan)

Representatives from four universities from Central Asia and the South Caucasus were guests in Bochum at the end of November, including two from Kazakhstan (East Kazakh Technical University and Al-Farabi Kazakh National University) in addition to the universities from Uzbekistan and Georgia. They were invited by the Chair of International Political Economy of East Asia with the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence on EU-Asia Connectivity at the Faculty of East Asian Studies and the Liaison Office of the University Alliance Ruhr for Eastern Europe/Central Asia. The higher education policy dialog took place under the motto "Go East: New Perspectives and New Connections - Central Asia and the South Caucasus", sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service. Further approaches to cooperation in research and teaching are also to be explored in the future.

Goeast Foto2

Rector Martin Paul (left) signs a memorandum of Understanding with the Westminster International University in Taschkent, represented by Ikrom Rikhsiboev.

Goeast Foto2 Goeast Foto2

Goeast Foto3

Another agreement was signed by rector Nino Doborjginidze (left) from the Ilia State University Tiflis.

Goeast Foto3 Goeast Foto3