Kazakhstan Education System
Kazakh higher education is taught in 3 languages: Kazakh, Russian and English. Kazakhstan has taken part in Lisbon conference and signed a Convention of Council of Europe – UNESCO on recognition of qualifications, regarding the higher education. In March of 2010, Kazakhstan signed the Bologna Process which was initiated by the European Commission.
Secondary education in Kazakhstan is conducted by general secondary schools, training schools, and lyceums that provide general secondary and initial vocational education, as well as by colleges providing secondary vocational education. There are in total 779 private and state-funded colleges in Kazakhstan that offer technical and intermediate vocational programs.
Admission to Higher Education
Until 2004, students were admitted to higher education based on their Certificate of completed general secondary education (Жалпы Oрта білім туралы аттестат/Аттестат об общем среднем образовании) and entrance examinations were set and administered individually by institutions. Since 2004, there has been compulsory Unified National Testing, or UNT. This national test serves as both:
- a final examination document;
- a higher education entrance examination.
Students sit the UNT for 5 subjects: Kazakh, Russian (depending on the language of instruction), mathematics, history of Kazakhstan, and an elective.
Higher Education system
At present, there are universities, academies, and institutes, conservatoires, higher schools and higher colleges. There are three main levels: basic higher education that provides the fundamentals of the chosen field of study and leads to the award of the Bachelor degree; specialized higher education after which students are awarded the Specialist’s Diploma; and scientific-pedagogical higher education which leads to the Master’s Degree. Postgraduate education leads to the Kandidat Nauk (Candidate of Sciences) and the Doctor of Sciences. With the adoption of the Laws on Education and on Higher Education, a private sector has been established and several private institutions have been licensed.
Over the past few years, we have noticed a growing interest in Kazakhstan for postgraduate, business, and economic programs. In Almaty there is a growing demand for economics and MBA programs. In Astana (nowadays Nur Sultan) we see a strong interest in Law and Political Science programs. The fast paced economic and social developments in Kazakhstan have resulted in a pressing need for skilled labor. This is an important contributing factor to the popularization of overseas education, particularly in the English-speaking countries.
Bachelor programs take 4 years to complete. Degree awarded Bakalavr
Master degree programs usually take 1 to 2 years to complete. Admission requirement: a Baklavr or Specialist Degree. Degree awarded: Magistr.
The doctoral degree (PhD) requires 3 – 4 years of study. Admission requirement: a Magistr degree.