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Academic Exchange Experience

Principal Investigator of the Research Laboratory for Analysis and Modeling of Social Processes (Saint-Petersburg State University), Professor of Islamic Studies Department of Near Eastern Studies University of Michigan Alexander D. Knysh assisted in training of a student from the Kazakh National University Mr. Azamat Nurshanov. Mr. Nurshanov is a doctoral student of the Department of Religious and Cultural Studies at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, who specializes in the study of non-traditional religious movements in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Mr. Nurshanov’s home institution, the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU), is a member of the International, European and Eurasian Associations of Universities, the World Universities Consortium. International academic mobility and scholarly exchange have been an important priority for KazNU in recent years. Working in partnership with major global institutions of higher learning is an important part of the University’s effort to promote the development of higher education and state-of-the art research in the Republic of Kazakhstan. This goal is to be achieved by integrating its teaching and research agendas by facilitating scientific exchanges and cooperation programs with academic partners worldwide. Concrete forms of realizing this goal include by KazNU include joint educational programs and projects; encouraging joint research activities and academic mobility; participation in global academic workshops, seminars, and conferences.

Being an academic advisor Alexander Knysh provided Mr. Nurshanov with unique opportunities such as participation in several academic seminars and workshops, including one that explored the methodology of New Religious Movements theory with special reference to the study of Islamic/Islamist movements today. Mr. Nurshanov made a presentation on the topic “New Islamic/Islamist Movements in Kazakhstan  within the Context  of Global Politics.” In preparing this presentation he was leaded and assisted by Professor Alexander Knysh.

Under the supervision of Professor Knysh Mr. Nurshanov conducted extensive research in the Hatcher Graduate library of the University of Michigan. Professor Knysh also introduced Mr. Nurshanov to the curators of the Slavic and Central Asian collections who assisted him in assembling the bibliography for his doctoral dissertation “New Islamist Movements in the Context of Contemporary Geopolitical Realities.” The collaboration between Mr. Nurshanov an Alexander D.Knysh resulted in an article for publication in high-ranking academic journals, in particular, Islam in the Modern World (http://islamjournal.idmedina.ru/jour).

On a broader scale, this cooperative work has contributed to the agenda of international cooperation, it once again has shown the effectiveness of the international educational and academic exchange.