Higher Education in Kazakhstan 2017

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Higher education policy is the key to lifelong learning and this is particularly important as the ageing population is increasing in many countries. It is a major driver of economic competitiveness in an increasingly knowledge-driven global economy and it also brings social cohesion and well-being. Countries are increasingly aware that higher education institutions need to foster the skills required to sustain a globally competitive research base and improve knowledge dissemination to the benefit of society. Kazakhstan’s higher education system has made progress over the past ten years.  However, there is scope for improvement in delivering labour-market relevant skills to Kazakhstanis, and in supporting economic growth through research and innovation.

In examining the higher education system in Kazakhstan, this report builds on a 2007 joint OECD/World Bank review: Reviews of National Policies for Education: Higher Education in Kazakhstan 2007. Each chapter presents an overview of progress made in the past decade across the main areas explored in the 2007 report. These include quality and relevance, access and equity, internationalisation, research and innovation, financing and governance. The report also examines policy responses to evolving dynamics in higher education and the wider socio-economic changes.

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Integration of education, research and innovation in Kazakhstan

This chapter focuses on how higher education can generate new knowledge through research and enable innovation processes outside higher education institutions. After setting out a framework for research and innovation in higher education, it analyses how the research system in Kazakhstan and recent developments fare according to this framework. It examines the current research capacity of higher education institutions and the PhD pipeline problem. It also discusses policies which can strengthen collaboration between higher education institutions and users of knowledge, as well as strengthen the diversity of the institutional mission of higher education institutions and clarify their role as distinct from that of research institutes. The chapter places particular emphasis on areas of priority for Kazakhstan such as increasing the currently low capacity for high-quality research and low number of doctoral graduates, and modifying the government’s too-narrow focus on a single aspect of innovation: commercialisation. The chapter also reviews approaches to diversification of the higher education system which lacks strategic coherence.


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