The Condition of Higher Education in
Turkmenistan is a Central Asian Republic that was
formerly part of the USSR. Speaking in 2011, the President of the
country, Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov, said that he was keen to make
his country more computer literate with greater Internet access
available for Turkmenistan's citizens. As recently as 2002,
Turkmenistan had a literacy rate of 98 percent, but there have been
concerns in recent years about a decline in standards due to
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With the help of USAID, a Promotion of Information Communication
Technology in Turkmenistan (PICTT) program has been implemented. The
main aim of PICTT is to help increase computer literacy for
students, by way of providing technological tools. This program aids
the learning of students, including in higher education in
Turkmenistan, and strives to include Information and Communications
Technology (ICT) as an important aspect of education in the country.
Turkmenistan students attend secondary school, and the next step is
higher education. There are many institutes in Turkmenistan, and
also a state university. Students have to pass an exam to secure a
place in any of these places of higher education. The exam will be a
combination of both written and oral work, and there is an emphasis
on both forms of learning throughout the education system in
When admitted into higher education, a student in Turkmenistan will
be taught by teachers who have gained a degree from the country's
institutions. Social pressures in Turkmenistan often make it
difficult for the country's young women to take up courses, as they
are expected to marry at a younger age than students in the West.
When free tuition fees were abolished in 2003, this also affected
many young students who were hoping to go on to higher education.
The students that show the most promise in higher education will
have the option to continue their education either at university
level, or at an institute. The institutes are designed to cater for
students who are strong at specific subjects, and there are
institutes for economics, world languages, art, and culture.
Another major university is The International Turkmen-Turkey
University, which was founded as recently as 1994. This university
specializes in subjects that include history, applied mathematics,
computer science, English language and literature, and international
At present, higher education in Turkmenistan doesn't compare so
favourably with the West. But as overall educational standards were
higher than many countries in the West as recently as a decade ago,
it seems that there are two reasons for the decline. Firstly, a
simple lack of investment, and, secondly, lowering by two years the
amount of time a child in Turkmenistan has to spend at school.
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