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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Quality and relevance of higher education in Kazakhstan

This chapter focuses on the quality and relevance of higher education in Kazakhstan. It deals with the quality of student and faculty qualifications, faculty workloads and professional development, pedagogy, curriculum design and regulatory processes. It also discusses the overall outputs of higher education in light of the needs of the 21st century economy. Priority areas identified for Kazakhstan include resolving the barriers and implementation gaps in the Bologna Process and targeting inefficiencies in the current quality assurance system. Faculty development opportunities are scarce and instructional methods require improvement, while curriculum and the processes that support curricular design are not yet structured well enough to generate academic programmes of consistently high quality. The chapter stresses that the available data on student learning and the labour market outcomes of students are not sufficiently detailed to permit an extensive analysis of the quality of higher education outputs and outcomes.


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