The Condition of Higher Education in Kyrgystan

 While Kyrgyzstan has managed to introduce reforms in its higher education system, there is still a lot that needs to be done. The government hopes that with international help and funding, it will be able to bring higher education institutes in Kyrgyzstan up to international standards.

Types of Higher Education Institutes

There are 4 types of higher education institutes in the country. These include the following:

Universities – These are responsible for higher and postgraduate programmes that offer specialisations in a wide range of fields.

Academies – These higher education institutes are solely meant for higher education and postgraduate programmes in the field of science.

Institutes – These higher education institutes can be branches of a university or academy, and usually offer Bachelor’s or Master’s programmes in specific fields of study.

Specialised Higher Education Institutions – Such institutions are highly specialised and offer Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in wide ranging fields of study. These institutes offer pure and applied research, impart training to scientific and pedagogical personnel, and also offer re-training programmes.

Use of Technology in Higher Education

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Many of the specialised higher education institutions have computer laboratories. These institutions either purchase them or get them as donations from individuals and non-profit organisations. However, many times, these computers are not upgraded and, therefore, unable to provide the latest technology to students and pedagogical personnel. Other institutions of higher education, especially those lying in smaller cities and towns do not have access to technology, the Internet and computers.

Amongst the majority of the higher education institutions in Kyrgystan, lecture style teaching methods are being used. Hence, they do not make use of audiovisuals as teaching aids.

Budget crunch is another issue that is stopping the use of technology and modern teaching aids in some of the higher education institutions in Kyrgyzstan.

Challenges in Higher Education in Kyrgyzstan

Higher Education in Kyrgyzstan is facing many problems at the moment and these problems need to be addressed in the future if the country wants to be a part of globalisation. Some of the challenges that the country is facing are as follows:

• Have modern structure and content for higher education institutions
• Offer Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes as per the requirements of the labour market
• Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are not treated at par with specialist degrees and, hence, this has created a gap between what educational institutions offer and the market needs
• The country needs an effective quality assurance system. The present system in place does not monitor improvements in quality, and there are not fixed standards to assess the quality of education at higher education institutions
• Teaching material and resources are outdated and of low quality.
• The pedagogical staff and teachers require re-training to improve their teaching abilities and, thereby, enhance the quality of teaching
• Higher education institutions do not concentrate on research and as a result, there is no connection between higher education and research

Over 1.1 million people are employed by the education system in Kyrgyzstan and the government believes that higher education is one of the best ways to make the country a part of the world economy. However, higher education system in the country needs an overhaul, so that the country can produce individuals, who can get employed after finishing their studies. In addition, the lack of funding for equipment, buildings, infrastructure and teachers is making it difficult for the country. As a result, the country is facing a brain drain, with the brightest and best graduates moving to other countries for better opportunities and pay packages.

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