How our correspondent was tempted to go back to university.
Just yesterday, almost all the major publications reported that the owner of Google, the company «Alphabet» was recognized as the most valuable company in the world.
The rector of Inha, the most advanced university in the field of IT in Tashkent, Sherzod Shermatov wrote about it on his facebook page. The Head of the institution said that IT brands occupy the first four rows in the rankings of most expensive companies.This is a testimony to the rapid development of the industry.
"The main assets of these companies are their IT-specialists, rather than factories as it is in the real sector. Here's another reason to interest children in mathematics, physics and programming, so that they could become good specialists of IT-sphere in the future,” says Sherzod Shermatov.
We began to wonder what is the situation with preparation of IT- staff here in Uzbekistan. Are we ready to meet the demand of the global market? We went to Inha University to get some answers.
Our questions answered the vice-chancellor of the university, Nurilla Mahamat.
Tashkent University and its five regional branches were training IT-specialists in Uzbekistan for a long time. Three years ago Inha University was opened. Will there be an excess of these specialists in the market?
IT is a rapidly developing area of the economy, consisting of a plurality of directions. It is obvious that today no single institution can solve the issue of training for all branches of IT industry. At our university we are training specialists who will later be employed in e-government and become international specialists in the field of programming.
It is worth noting that our international partner is Inha University (South Korea). The university is a recognized world leader in the field of training in areas related to IT. This opens up new possibilities. In particular, we are laying the foundation of training in new directions in the field of IT, using the best international experience. We employ experts from Korea. In the future, we will have our own professional designers and managers in the IT sector at a high level.
In this regard, we simply divided the segments with the Tashkent University of Information Technologies. Our colleagues are faced with a different set of tasks and challenges, as they are training specialists for other areas of IT.
You mentioned foreign experts. Students who apply to Inha hope for international standards of teaching. Who teaches at Inha University in Tashkent today?
Lectures at our university are read only by foreign experts, but each of them has assistants from local educators, who organize seminars and laboratory work. This is done in order to give the local teachers experience. We need to prepare the specialists of international level, who will subsequently constitute the main backbone of the faculty.
Local teachers have opportunities to learn at Inha university, as a result of the internship they will be able to defend a master's degree or a PhD. Qualified teachers are needed for further development of our university.
Talking about the expansion of the university. Are you planning to increase the number of students?
To date, we have only two faculties: computer and software engineering. In the upcoming 2016/2017 school year, it is planned to establish another one, engaged in training specialists in the field of "Information Management and Logistics".
The press likes writing about the achievements of IT-developers. Not so long ago the Turin Polytechnic University in Tashkent, and later Tashkent University of Information Technologies said that their students began to develop robots, in our opinion, it is somewhat an exageration for marketing purposes. However, we never hear of any achievements on part of your students.
The learning process is very important to us. When something is created by our students - it's just a part of a learning process. Students are not tasked to develop and manufacture robots. It would be wrong to formulate it like that. The main purpose is to gain experience through applied research. For us, the priority is that they create, and thus gain the experience and knowledge to the benefit of their training. We are committed to encourage students to not waste time.
Our students take part in hackathons - developer forums, during which experts from different areas of software development, work together to solve a problem. Potential employers follow these events with interest. For example, the insurance company "Kafolat" made a specific order - to develop a mobile version of the electronic payment system for the brand. In general, our students develop many different software products for mobile phones and modern gadgets. By the way, they participate and win prizes in various competitions, not only in Uzbekistan.
All this is very important in terms of preparing successful professionals. We always tell students that it's easier to create a job rather than find a job. Today, you don’t go to the employer asking him to hire you, you go there and tell him how you can help to improve something in the company. Such specialists are in great demand in the labour market, these experts are sought after by almost all progressive companies.
What are the most effective incentives for students?
I think they get positive experience at our university. You know, all of our applicants come to the university on a fee basis. But each of them has the opportunity to be awarded a scholarship. To qualify, at the end of the semester you need to get into the top ten. We also have a system of training in Korea for strong students. It is not enough to just have good grades. Our students gather a portfolio, that includes their participation in conferences, their own creative and independent projects, everything that can give them a competitive edge. Our students spend a lot of time at the university. It is not unusual to see them working until 10 -11 pm.
Are graduates of colleges and high schools ready to enter your university?
- We've already admitted two groups and both times the entrance exams were conducted by experts from Korea. I emphasize that local experts do not take part in the assesment. Entrants are seated in a way that prevents them from cheating. The highest score was 80 out of 100 in the first year and the second time three applicants showed 100% result. Everything depends on the applicants themselves. All colleges and high schools of the country know about our university and students have the opportunity to prepare for the exam in advance. We will publish exam materials on our website for the benefit of the future applicants.