Reaching new heights

Students, Bence Balog and Lilya Hurrell, describe their experience visiting Uzbekistan as part of a University project.
Date: 8 May 2017

The IMEP (Internationalisation and Modernisation of Higher Education Processes in Uzbekistan) project, run by the Guildhall School of Business and Law and co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the EU, had reached a new height.

A few weeks ago, Liliya Hurrell, a BA Translation student, and Bence Balog, a BA International Relations and Law student, attended the academic conference on student engagement and employability in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. They would like to share their story.

Prior to our journey, we had a briefing about the project and the work we were about to get involved in. The London Met academics - Dr Alex Krouglov, Associate Professor of Translation and International Projects Coordinator, Danielle D’Hayer, Associate Professor of Interpreting Studies, and Professor John Gabriel – had already been actively involved in the project and had visited Uzbekistan a few times. However, this conference was different – the students from the UK, Latvia, Greece and Uzbekistan joined the academics, to voice their opinions and share effective practices in order to create guidelines for the modernization of education processes.

Upon arrival to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, we were greeted by the local programme directors and even had a full day of sightseeing. The next day, we took the brand new high-speed railway, heading for the conference at the Bukhara State University.

There we met the local students from all over Uzbekistan, who were selected amongst the best candidates to represent their universities. The students were absolutely lovely and friendly, full of their future dreams and goals! Their positive spirit was incredibly engaging. The curiosity was overwhelming at times because they wanted to know all about London Met, students’ life and culture. And we welcomed that, as we also wanted to get to know each other and establish strong multicultural links for developing a programme.

Some important issues had been brought up by the students during the conference in Bukhara, so the action plan had been devised for the EU approval and presented to the conference committee, with the help of the London Met academics who organised a really interactive discussion session. We both enjoyed being part of the project.

In addition Liliya was delighted to practice her interpreting skills during the conference and the cultural programme as not all delegates understood Russian while Bence was exploring the depths of International Relations which during the project was really live and active amongst the project participants.

The project is not over, and the connection is still ongoing with the other students via social media. Bence, in particular, is helping some students from Uzbekistan with a local project run by the British Council, and Liliya is developing links with the Translation students.