Ambassador Pamela L. Spratlen’s Remarks with Students on the Role of IT in Today’s World

Tashkent University of Information Technology
Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 2:30 pm
(As Prepared)

Good morning! Assolom Aleykum.  I’d like to thank Rector Zakirovich for the opportunity to speak with you today.

Earlier during our meeting, I learned more about your university.  I was pleased to hear about your academic programs and the history of your institution, and I was particularly interested to hear about a developing University Partnership with U.S. University, Webster.

It is fitting that a university focused on innovative technology and its applications would also look to implement innovative educational approaches. And we wish this partnership success.

Technology plays a significant role in our modern lives.  This is true in Uzbekistan or the United States, in the Fergana Valley or in Silicon Velley.

Technology impacts all aspects of modern-day society, including education, agriculture, business, transportation, communication and healthcare.

The ability to master technology and apply it to solve problems will bring you success individually in your professional careers, but will also allow you to help address the issues of tomorrow.

When you graduate, you will be the ones that others look to for modern solutions and breakthroughs such as online transactions for commerce, cutting-edge innovations in healthcare or solving large scale problems like water supply.  As leaders in the technology field you will have the chance to help shape Uzbekistan’s future.

While here at University, building your technical skills, I hope you also take the chance to broaden your studies to include foreign language. A foreign language can open doors in the same way that mastering a coding language can.

The Government of Uzbekistan acknowledged the importance of language skills in 2012 through the issuance of a Presidential Decree focused on foreign language study.  The U.S. Embassy shares the Government of Uzbekistan’s goal to support education and is here to help, particularly regarding English Language.

We have a number of U.S. Government-sponsored exchange programs for students, professionals and faculty, which I encourage you to consider.  We also have an Information Resource Center at the Embassy and run weekly programs in English with native English speakers.  Kirsten and Saida from our Public Affairs Section are here with me today and would be happy to discuss these programs in detail with you afterwards.

I will leave you with a final thought; we live in the Information Age.  Technology has brought many positive developments like the improved ability to communicate with those far away or to process complex data almost instantly.  But, it has also brought new challenges such as hacking and the spread on disinformation online.

I encourage you to use the skills you learn here to help shape this field for the better, harnessing the positive aspects and reducing the impact of the negative, for the benefit of your home country and today’s interconnected world.

Thank you for your attention.  Khatta Rakhmat.