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Higher Education in Kazakhstan 2017

image of Higher Education in Kazakhstan 2017

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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Internationalisation and higher education in Kazakhstan

This chapter focuses on policies to help ensure that graduates develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a globalised world. It deals with the benefits of and effective practices in, internationalisation before looking at the policy implications for Kazakhstan in terms of governance, quality assurance, student and staff mobility and curriculum. It also traces how the Bologna Process, the Bolashak programme and Nazarbayev University have influenced the system. The chapter places particular emphasis on areas of priority for Kazakhstan in dealing with barriers to this internationalisation process. These include increasing the currently limited academic autonomy of higher education institutions and improving the level of English language proficiency of students, faculty and staff. The chapter points out the lack of an effective system of external quality assurance and the weakness of international academic partnerships. It also highlights gaps in data for institutional and system planning and the financial barriers facing students who wish to study abroad.

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