The Condition of Higher Education in
Higher education in Kazakhstan is comprised of
higher secondary school, vocational training, and university
education. Students enter higher education at 16 years of age.
Depending on the course and the track chosen, they can remain in
higher education for another 2 to 6 years.
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Whether general or vocational, higher secondary education is
provided free of charge, as it is included in the budget allocated
to education by the government. University education is partly
funded by the government, although private universities charge full
Higher education facilities in Kazakhstan
There are approximately 150 universities and
higher education institutes spread throughout the country, although
the capital, Almaty, has the highest concentration of facilities and
also the most varied choice of subjects. Some of the most renowned
- Kazakhstan's National University, the oldest public university in
- The Kazakh-American University, based in Almaty. This university
was the first in the country to provide higher education based in
the American educational model. All courses are taught in English
and there are degrees available in technical subjects, the
humanities, and economics. The university also offers an MBA
programme and year abroad options
- The Eurasian National University in Astana, which offers
Bacherlors, Masters, and PhD degrees and that is known for being a
pioneer of academic mobility in Kazakhstan
- The University of Central Asia, an educational joint venture
between Kazakhstan,Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
The use of new technologies in education in
For many years, higher education in Kazakhstan
mirrored the educational model of the former Soviet Union, to which
it belonged for more than seventy years. This model was
characterised by a high degree of specialisation and the rigidity of
Once Kazakhstan became an independent nation, some of the country's
educational facilities began to look towards the West and tried to
import some aspects of their educational model. These include the
use of new technologies like the Internet, which are slowly being
introduced in higher education institutions. As of 2008, 97 per cent
of university students had to pay in order to access the Internet
in-campus, so 1 in 2 students interviewed claimed to use the
Internet only very rarely. Basic equipment like computers and
printers is generally outdated, especially at public universities.
Future areas for improvement in Kazakhstan's
higher education system
A 2007 report by the World Bank pointed out at
Kazakhstan's high degree of specialisation as one of the country's
main strengths. However, research facilities have suffered from a
lack of funding for several years, so further investment in research
and development is essential to improve the quality of education
within the country.
Currently, the majority of university courses on offer are five-year
degrees. These could be shortened and the number of contact hours be
reduced in order to be more in line with international educational
models. The implementation of a credit-based system similar to that
used in Western countries is another area of opportunity. Similarly,
part-time degrees are still a rarity in Kazakhstan. Adopting this
mode of study could facilitate the inclusion of a wider student base
into the higher education system.
Plans for future development of the higher education system in
Kazakhstan also require the widespread adoption of the English
language as a vehicle for instruction. The attraction and retention
of a higher number of highly qualified lecturers and researchers
from other countries could also help bring the educational standards
closer to international requirements.
The last area of opportunity concerns the higher education
curriculum, which could be fine-tuned in order to reflect more
accurately the needs of the labour market.
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