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The fifth annual scientific forum on Central Asia, organised by the Kazakhstan PhD Association in the UK, was titled "Collaborative work for a sustainable future". The forum was attended by scientists and teachers, as well as undergraduate students from leading British universities such as University College London, Imperial College London and the universities of Cambridge, Leicester, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, Aberdeen and Nottingham. Forum guests also included representatives of Nazarbayev University and the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools.
In his speech at the opening ceremony, the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Kingdom, Erlan Idrissov, noted that the forum on Central Asia has become an interactive platform where Kazakhstan's doctoral students studying in British universities discuss important fundamental and applied issues, and demonstrated the results of their scientific research. The Kazakh diplomat stressed that every year, the Kazakhstan PhD Association in the UK plays an increasingly important role in strengthening close co-operation between scientific and educational institutions of the United Kingdom and Kazakhstan.
At the forum, the Professor of Genetic Evolution and Development at Imperial College London, Arhat Abzhanov, noted the growing potential of the event. According to Professor Abzhanov, the Kazakhstan PhD Association in the UK is becoming an important scientific and intellectual force, whose activities are already of great interest both inside the UK and abroad.
Presentations were also made by the Dean of the Faculty of Education of Cambridge University, Professor Jeff Heyward, Professor of Geology, Geophysics & Tectonics at Cambridge University, James Jackson, and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools, Nazipa Ayubaeva.
During the forum, PhD students presented reports and presentations on various topics, including in the fields of energy, chemistry, electrical engineering, biology, hydrology, and law.
The Scientific Forum on Central Asia was established in 2014 by the doctoral students of the international programme "Bolashak", who studied at Cambridge University, with the support of the faculty of education. The main goal of the annual forum is to unite scientists, teachers, researchers, undergraduates and doctoral students to discuss ideas and opinions on the contemporary issues of Kazakhstan and Central Asia.
The Kazakhstan PhD Association in the UK has 58 PhD students, of which 32 are women. The majority of doctoral students are trained in technical specialties, which are of primary importance for the needs of the Kazakhstan's economy, such as electrical engineering, energy, chemistry, biochemistry, hydrology and information technology. The head of the Association is Aliya Sembaeva, a doctoral student of chemistry at the University of Liverpool. Other key activists in the organisation include Khalida Azhigulova from Leicester University, Adina Kadyrbekova from Lancaster University, Symbat Moldabekova from Edinburgh University, Saule Kemelbaeva from Newcastle University, and many other young scientists who actively participate in Kazakhstan's public initiatives.