The role of digital technologies in higher education institutions: The case of Kazakhstan

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The ways of education development are changing, which is largely determined by the introduction of digital technologies and the desire to improve the efficiency of management of educational processes at universities. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the challenges and opportunities in universities related to the use of digital technologies (social media tools, digital online platforms, digital learning platforms) in higher education institutions in Kazakhstan. A sample included respondents (N = 69) from 16 educational institutions in Kazakhstan that combined teaching (conducting training courses or working with students) and administrative management (management or planning of the educational process). The data were obtained using an offline questionnaire and processed using SWOT methodology. Representatives from 16 public and private universities responded to the questionnaire: the rector (2%) and two vice-rectors (3%), deans of faculties (23%), directors, and heads of various departments of universities (71%) were interviewed (managers are engaged in teaching). As a result, six thematic outcomes demonstrated the opportunities for technology application in education: enhancing management quality, motivation, access to electronic resources and materials, transparency and objectivity in grading, the possibility of implementing distance learning, and simplification of routine tasks. It is also noteworthy to mention five thematic outcomes as challenges, which encompassed issues with security, technical errors, reduced communication, dependency, and complexities in grading.

Acknowledgments
The study was carried out within the framework of grant funding by the Science Committee of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan “Modernization of the system of distribution relations and reduction of income inequality of the population of the Republic of Kazakhstan” BR21882165.

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    • Figure 1. Description of the study sample
    • Figure 2. Social tools of Kazakhstani universities
    • Figure 3. Average values for the level of technical equipment
    • Figure 4. SWOT analysis of using digital technologies in universities
    • Table 1. Technologies used by Kazakhstan’s higher education institutions
    • Table 2. Demographic data of university administrators
    • Table 3. Distribution of respondents by age
    • Table 4. Rating the quality of websites of Kazakhstani universities
    • Table 5. Digital online platforms used in the universities
    • Table 6. Digital learning platforms for grading at the universities studied
    • Investigation
      Dana Nurtayeva, Anna Kredina, Azimkhan Satybaldin
    • Resources
      Dana Nurtayeva, Azimkhan Satybaldin
    • Writing – review & editing
      Dana Nurtayeva, Anel Kireyeva, Azimkhan Satybaldin, Nazym Ainakul
    • Data curation
      Anna Kredina
    • Formal Analysis
      Anna Kredina
    • Funding acquisition
      Anna Kredina, Azimkhan Satybaldin, Nazym Ainakul
    • Methodology
      Anna Kredina, Anel Kireyeva
    • Software
      Anna Kredina, Anel Kireyeva, Nazym Ainakul
    • Visualization
      Anna Kredina
    • Writing – original draft
      Anna Kredina, Anel Kireyeva, Nazym Ainakul
    • Conceptualization
      Anel Kireyeva
    • Project administration
      Anel Kireyeva
    • Supervision
      Anel Kireyeva