Universities in Kazakhstan
Universities in Kazakhstan by City:Almaty
About universities in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan, also referred to in official circles as the Republic of Kazakhstan, is one of the world’s few transcontinental countries, with land area in both Central Asia and Europe. Measuring just over one-million square miles, Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world in terms of land area, and the largest landlocked country in the world. Once part of the Soviet Union, the country gained its independence in December of 1991, and since that time there have been many changes in the cultural, political and economical landscape of the country, including significant advancements in the system of higher education.
Higher Education in Kazakhstan
Higher education institutions (HEIs) in Kazakhstan may be known by a few different names, including universities, academies and institutes. Some of these schools may have affiliated institutions either on or off campus, with names such as higher school, college or conservatoire, but these independent or self-standing entities are not officially included or recognized in the country’s system of higher education.
There have been a number of changes to the higher education system in Kazakhstan since the country gained its independence from the old Soviet Union. Perhaps the most notable of these occurred in 1993, when the legislature passed a law allowing the formation of private universities. In the 18 years since the passage of that bill, the enrollment figures in institutions of higher learning in Kazakhstan have skyrocketed, and the country now boasts 177 universities—109 private institutions and 68 public universities—along with 5 branches of Russian universities housed within the country’s borders.
Another major change, aimed at increasing the significance and competitiveness of the higher education system, came more recently and included a transformation of the credit and degree structure at all Kazakhstani universities. Instead of the country’s traditional model of education, which included instruction in over 300 very confined professional specialties, the country decided to adopt the system set in motion by the Bologna Process, a structural reform designed to standardize the credit and degree system in universities throughout the European Union and other cooperating European countries. Under this system, the instruction is much broader, and takes place at three distinct levels: Bachelor degrees (4 years of undergraduate study), Master’s Degrees (2 years of graduate level studies) and Doctoral Degrees (3 to 5 years of post-graduate work, which includes theoretical and applied research). Certain degrees programs, including medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and dentistry, typically require between 2-4 additional years to complete.
The Ministry of Education and Science is directly responsible for the higher education system in Kazakhstan, and each public university is headed by a rector who is given a significant amount of authority over the institution, including matters pertaining to personnel, curriculum and the admissions process. Private or for-profit institutions are also regulated by the national government, however the price charged for tuition and salaries for the faculty and staff are decided by the owner of the institution.
Each year nearly a million students are enrolled at the private and public institutions in Kazakhstan, and of these, nearly 70 percent are considered full-time students. Due to its enormity in terms of land area and relatively small population (15 people per square mile), distance education using current technologies is a very important component in the Kazakhstani university system, with nearly 50 percent of the total enrollment receiving their education in this format.