Kazakhstan National Report on Higher Education System Development
1. General Information
In 1991 Kazakhstan became an independent country. The sovereignty challenged Kazakhstan to join the world community that provided for integration of national education system with the international one. In this line the state education policy was directed at revision of the legislation, management and finance system of the education sector.
Qualitative reform of higher education is one of the state sovereignty formation, its actual political and economy independence.
Development of higher professional education provides solution of society development and is conditioned by the following social and economy regularities:
In Kazakhstan the reform of higher education has been implemented since 1995 but its pace and profundity are not sufficient whereas economy difficulties still obstruct implementation of essential reform.
As a result the implementation of social and economy reforms including the one in higher education sector indicated the following positive trends:
The reforms of Kazakhstan higher education sector implemented during the independence period can be divided into the following phases:
The 1st Phase (1991-1994): Formation of the legislation and normative base of higher education.
The primary goal of that period was to establish a network of HEIs and revision of higher education specialties directed at provision of independence in production of specialists, satisfaction of market economy, oblasts and regions needs. The Law on Education adopted by the government in 1993 secured measures implemented during that period. In 1994 the State Standard of Higher Education of Kazakhstan (Basic Regulations) was endorsed. The document established introduction of multilevel higher education structure of the country, academic degrees of bachelors and masters.
The 2nd Phase (1995-1998): Modernization of the higher education system, revision of its content.
This phase can be characterized by conceptual identification of the higher education system development that was reflected in the Concept of State Education Policy approved by the national Council for State Policy under the President of Kazakhstan on 4 August 1995. During this stage new normative acts regulating activity of HEIs were adopted. In 1995-1997 first Kazakhstan education standards for 310 specialties of higher professional education were adopted. In 1996 new formulation of the Classificator (List) of higher education specialties composed of 342 specialties was approved. Private education sector emerged and began to develop.
The 3rd Phase (1999-2000): Decentralization of education sector management and finance system, expansion of academic freedoms of education institutions.
During this stage a decentralization of the education institutions management system was implemented. Principles of admission to HEIs were revised and transfer to production of specialists with higher professional education based on state education projection was completed. In 1999 a new model of HEIs students enrolment formation was introduced. The model provided allocation of state education grants and loans to entrants on contest basis.
The 4th Phase (2001 – next years): Strategic development of higher professional education system.
Basic directions of higher professional education of 21st century have been identified.
What should be noted is that the initial stage of education sector reform completed and that allowed to set up strategic objectives and main directions of further reform and development of higher education, design a new national model.
Formation and development of education system in Kazakhstan is implemented on basis of national traditions and international trends in education area. This system provides for equal access to all stages of education, unity of all its components and requirements, succession of all education stages.
Higher education development tended to refusal from state monopoly on education, removal of rigid centralized management and strict regulation of HEIs activity that resulted in appearance of private education sector indicating creation of education services market. Public HEIs gained the right to admit and train contract students. That generated new finance sources in higher education sector.
The Law secures the following structure of higher professional education in Kazakhstan:
- higher basic education (Baccalaureate);
- higher special education;
- higher scientific and pedagogic education (Master Degree).
Formation of the multilevel structure of higher education is directed at provision of vertical multistage and alternative horizontal, dynamic and flexible training as well as its fundamentality and universality. This multistage structure of higher professional education requires further development aimed at provision of true succession between the stages, establishment of optimal connections between them including coordination and integration of education programs into common education system, completion of professional education at each stage clearly identifying status of bachelor, specials and master.
There are various modes of higher education: full-time, night and correspondence as well as distance education.
Presently HEIs in Kazakhstan are divided into three types: classic university, profile university or academy and institutes that can be referred to HEIs of university type.
2. Higher Education Sector Study
Today Kazakhstan system of higher education includes 171 civil HEIs including 34 public HEIs, 12 joint-stock institutions, 3 international ones, 122 private HEIs, 124 affiliations and 12 non-civil higher education institutions.
The number of HEIs of all ownership forms increased from 108 in 1995 to 170 in 2001.
During this period the enrolment increased from 272,7 thousand to ?? 442,4 thousand students. The explanation lies in increase in the number of private HEIs from 41 in 1995 to 123 in 2001. In the beginning of AY 2000-2001 the system of higher education consisted of 47 public civil HEIs including 28 universities, 13 academies and 6 institutes.
Total enrolment of all Kazakhstan HEIs (civil and military/security ones) is 514 thousand students including 331 thousand students (64%) of public HEIs and 183 students (35,6%) of private HEIs. The proportion of contract students is 32,8%.
Number of students per 10 thousand citizens is one of higher education development main indicators used by the international community. According to this indicator there is increase in total enrolment but at the same time the proportion of state budgetary students decrease. The indicator is 298 per 10 thousand citizens.
Academic staff of public civil HEIs is 20,914 people including 1,239 Doctors of Science or 5,9% and 6,967 PhDs or 33,3% (i.e. about 40% of the academic staff are doctors of science and PhDs).
All civil HEIs are reportable to the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan. Their are also 12 non-civil (military/security) HEIs, 1 of the is reportable to the Agency for Emergencies, 4 are reportable to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 2 are reportable to the Committee of National Security, 4 are reportable to the Ministry of Defense and 1 is reportable to the Ministry of State Revenues.
The Ministry of Education and Science implement coordination of all medical HEIs activity, except financial issues. Medical HEIs are funded through the Ministry of Healthcare.
The network of public HEIs has been restructured. Due to some peculiarities of the country development Presidential Decree ? 648 issued 5 July 2001 granted 8 leading university. These universities are expected to become leaders of the education system.
For the purposes of regional education development 18 regional HEIs were identified to act as centers of education, culture and science in each oblast of the country.
The Governmental Resolution ? 912, dated 17 June 2000 launched corporatization of public HEIs and 12 HEIs gained status of joint-stock companies.
The education system of the country produces specialists to projection of the government (state order) based on contest via obtaining of state education grants and loans. There are also contract students and those whose education is paid by parents or students themselves.
The government also fund private education sector, placing its order in private HEIs attested by the state.
Finance system of training has been changed. Grants and loans are allocated to students not HEIs. Reform of the finance mechanism provides normalization of state funds and generation of alternative finance sources. External grants, sponsor and charity aid, corporate funds, revenue from business activity, foreign contract students and pay services sales.
System of education loans allocation aims at further development of education in market economy, enhancement of education prestige and strengthening of HEIs students’ responsibility.
The state education loan is a designated loan allocated to students to get higher education in domestic HEIs. It covers the cost of education and has to be repaid.
The Finance Center of the Ministry of Education and Science is in charge for allocation, targeted use and repayment of such loans.
In 2001 government spending on education amounted to 9287 million tenge in 2001 and 9966million tenge in 2002. International cooperation is one of most critical directions of higher education development aimed at integration of national higher education with the international education system.
International cooperation in education area is regulated by the Legislation of Kazakhstan and implemented on basis of international agreements, contracts and conventions.
Presently agreements on cooperation in education area have been signed with Germany, Spain, China, Turkey, Bulgaria, the British Council of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, the American Council for Cooperation in Education Sector and Languages Study, the German Service for Academic Exchange, the National Center of France University Programs, the Soros-Kazakhstan Fund, the Svetoch Society, Russia, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Mongolia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
The activity directed at mutual recognition of qualifications regarding higher education in Kazakhstan and foreign countries, academic awards are of primary importance. Signing, ratification and endorsement of the Lisbon Convention on Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education by Presidential Decree ? 202-13 dated 13 December 1997 facilitated the process. The work is going on signing of bilateral agreements on acknowledge of academic awards with countries that did not join the Lisbon Convention.
Besides the governments of Belarus, Kyrgyzsytan, Russia and Kazakhstan signed the Agreement on Mutual Recognition and Equivalency of Qualifications, Academic Degrees and Ranks dated 24 November 1998. This Agreement was deposited in Kazakhstan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and came into force on 1 October 1998.
Such joint education institutions as the Khodja Ahmed Yassawi International Kazakhstan-Turkish University and the Kazakhstan-British Technical University have been established and operate in the republic. Kazakh affiliation of the Lomonosov Moscow University was established according to the Protocol signed between the Ministry of Education and Science and the Lomonosov Moscow University. The Kazakhstan- Russian Modern Humanitarian University was founded in Karaganda.
Today about 5,5 thousand citizens of Kazakhstan study in over 35 countries of the world. Boarders of cooperation geography in the area of education and science expand every year.
Kazakhstan students study abroad under the following programs:
The Ministry of Education and Science partakes in projects implemented by such international organizations as UNESCO, ACTR/ACCELS, UNDP, the Peace Corps, the USIS, the Soros Fund, the IREX, the British Council/Kazakhstan, the German Service for International Academic Exchange, the National Center for School and University Programs of France (CNOUS), the Bureau for Linguistic and Pedagogic Cooperation of French Embassy in Kazakhstan.
The Ministry of Education and Science has been cooperating with the ACTR/ACCELS in implementation of some education programs, scientific-research, human resources training and consultory assistance projects for 10 years already.
Cooperation with the TACIS and TEMPUS in implementation of the Program directed at establishment of academic relations between universities of Kazakhstan and the European union is rather successful.
The Ministry of Education and Science has done a considerable work aimed at formation of common the CIS education system and a universal criteria design. At the 5th Session of the Council for Mutual Recognition of Academic Awards, Degrees and Ranks of the Integration Committee that was held on 17-19 June 2002 in Dushanbe parties signed an agreement on obligatory accreditation of education institutions acknowledged by all member-countries of the Euro-Asian Economy Organization.
3. Main Indicators of Higher Education Sector Reform and their Efficiency for the Last Decade
Before 1999 the Law on Education and the Law on Higher Education adopted in 1992 and 1993 accordingly regulated legal basics of education system development. Anyway these laws failed to ensure legal foundation in new social and economy conditions due to a number of reasons.
This situation required establishment of an adequate legislation to adapt the education system to market economy, extension of the Constitution of Kazakhstan Article 30 content regarding the right to education, identification of private education sector role, legal norms regulating operation of foreign, international and religious education institutions.
Achievement of all these objectives is possible if there are appropriate legal regulations and the new Law on Education was adopted in 1999 to ensure the implementation.
For the first time in Kazakhstan education was declared a top priority area of the state policy secured by respective normative and legal commitments of the government.
The Law on Education divided competence and responsibility of central, local and executive education bodies. The Law on Education is effective on the whole territory of Kazakhstan. Considerable work has been done to design draft laws and other acts for consideration and adoption by the government.
On 20 July 1999 the government adopted the Resolution on Plan of Measures Directed at Enforcement of the Education Law. In this line a Draft Law on Revision of Education Legislative Acts and 28 governmental resolutions, 13 of them regarded higher education, were designed.
In 1991-2002 the government adopted more than 70 normative documents regulating activity of HEIs.
On 30 September 2000 Presidential Decree approved the State Education Program that considered all aspects of entire continuous education system and covered all education levels from preschool education to higher and post-graduate professional education.
In accordance with instructions of President Nazarbaev regarding necessity to introduce new principles of admission to HEIs the New Model of Public HEIs Enrolment Formation was designed and approved by Governmental Resolution ? 464 dated 24 April 1999. The model enabled to provide objectivity of entrants’ knowledge evaluation, select gifted entrants, stop patronage and exclude many negative things typical for admission campaign.
The new model provided for evaluation of all admission exams results by one independent body and a competition for each academic specialty. The National Center of State Education Standards under the Ministry of Education was established according to the Governmental Resolution ? 1850 dated 3 December1999 to ensure implementation of the model.
The main goal of the new model introduction is to provide entrant with the right to select academic specialty and HEI as well. Establishment of regional commissions enabled to do that at oblasts of entrants’ residence.
Much attention is paid to improvement of higher education content aimed at enhancement of training quality. Thus in 2001the new Classificator of Higher Education Training Directions and Academic Specialties in accordance with the International Classificator was introduced. The new Classificator included 283 academic specialties of special education, 70 master and 46 bachelor degrees training programs.
That was required by the multilevel structure of higher professional education secured by the Law on Education, a necessity to establish a common education system on the territory of the CIS, implementation of the Lisbon Convention on Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education in the European Region and compliance with the International Standard of Education Classification approved by UNESCO General Conference at its 29th Session in 1997.
In line with the new Classificator new generation state education standards are designed. The main difference of the new standards is that 70% of academic load is the state component and the rest 30% of academic hours are implemented by HEIs in accordance with their profile and scientific school. That enhances academic freedom and mobility of HEIs and takes into account peculiarities of labor market demand in specialists.
The State Obligatory Higher Professional Education Standards are compulsory for all HEIs regardless their ownership forms and types.
The Unified Standard has been designed and issued for cycles of social disciplines, natural sciences and humanities included in general education professional programs of higher professional education. That has been introduced with the aim to implement one ideology and humanization of higher education. Such unification enables academic mobility of students and technologic character of education process.
The State Education Standard defines general requirements to higher education content. The following cycles of invariant disciplines obligatory for study have been identified for each academic direction and specialty:
- cycle of general social disciplines and humanities;
- cycle of general natural sciences;
- cycle of general professional disciplines (for each academic direction or specialty);
- cycle of special disciplines.
It is necessary to underline that professional training programs include obligatory disciplines and training courses to students’ choice, optional courses and possibility of individual programs design what is in common practice of oversea HEIs.
The main distinction of modern approach to education standard is requirements to HEIs graduates’ qualification.
Introduction of obligatory education standards is supposed to assist design of new education standards, formation of alternative text-book market, instructional media, implementation of various pedagogic concepts and ideas.
The entire higher education system stage-by-stage transfer to credit technology of education is planned for 2002-2003.
Humanitarian and secular education, priority of common for all mankind values, free development of personality, respect to human rights and freedoms are top priorities of higher education in Kazakhstan.
The National Council for State Policy under the President of Kazakhstan approved the Concept of Humanitarian Education. Respective program was designed based on the Concept by the Ministry of Education and is implemented now.
Informatization of higher education system is going on. National HEIs are equipped with up-to-dare computers. Most of them are connected to Internet and have their own computer centers. Education management information system and distance education are under development
The Concept of Education System Informatization for 2002-2004 was approved to implement informatization of the education system. A draft of the State Program for Education System Informatization has been designed and submitted to consideration of the government.
Level of graduates’ qualification is one of the critical factors defining national economy development level. Some studies report that the country has sufficient qualified human resources.
The proportion of specialists with higher education increased from 9,7% in 1990 to 13,5% in 2001. Today the unemployment rate in Kazakhstan is 12,7%, the proportion of specialist with higher education amounts to 7,7%.
Statistic data show that graduates face difficulties to find employment. Many HEIs have no responsibility for their graduates’ employment, first of all that regards contract students. Duplication of public and private HEIs results in overproduction of the same specialists. Expansion of pay education services very is not properly regulated. Admission to some faculties of private HEIs exceeds estimates projected by the state and engenders social problems. Issues of uncompetitive specialties exclusion are solved rather slowly and HEIs continue to produce specialists for whom there is not much call at the labor market.
According to some estimates only 30-40% of graduates find employment. Many students intend to get second higher education in parallel. Since salary in healthcare, science, and education sectors is relatively low many graduates find employment that does not correspond their specialty. Some of them work as drivers, consumer service employees etc., any place where wages is higher than in above-mentioned sectors.
Today the higher education system does not provide training oriented to technology progress and production of universal specialists required by acceleration of industrial and technology development as well as by fast alteration of labor market opportunities.
According to estimates of the Ministry of Education and Science the demand in specialists with higher education for 2002 are 28,737 people. The demand of oblasts for such specialists for the same year is 16,380 people that make up 57% of the total demand.
Actually the government on basis of the state budget projected this demand. In other words the Ministry of Education and Science orients to possibilities of the state budget and total demand of national economy in specialists is not estimated.
Some reviews show that the projection is made mainly for specialists of education, healthcare, local and central administration, i.e. branches funded by the state budget.
According to estimates of the MOES there is high demand in teachers (18,3%) of the total call for these specialists. Oblasts’ demand in teachers is even higher (36,8%).
Next category that is less in demand are specialists in economy and administration - 12,3%, and 8,5% accordingly. Medical specialties take 3rd place with demand of 8,0% and 5,6%.
Academic staff of HEIs is a key component of high quality training. The staff includes scientists too. Academic staff is composed of professors, docents, senior lectures and assistants. Scientific-research staff is composed of chief scientists, leading scientists, senior scientists, scientists and junior scientists.
The main task of academic staff is implementation of teaching and methodology, scientific-research and creative activities during the period stated in contract. Focus on one component of activity can be compensated by less work in another one during a shorter or longer period of time.
Average monthly salary of HEIs academic staff amounts to17,215 tenge in 2002. In 2001 it made up 12,558 tenge. In addition academic staff is paid extras for Doctor of Science and PhD degrees.
Average monthly salary of administrative and auxiliary personnel in 2002 amount to 7,532 tenge. In 2001 it was 5,854 tenge.
Regular training and retraining is a factor that provides development of academic staff.
What should be noted is that no funds have been allocated for these purposes by the government during the last decade. HEIs provided training and retraining of their academic staff at their own cost. In 2002 the republican budget was 32 million tenge but this amount is enough to train 700 teachers only whereas the annual training need is 4,600 people. Thus only 15% of the total need is met. Therefore there are plans to establish a network of training/retraining faculties in national and leading specialized HEIs of the country and the Republican Institute for HEIs Academic Staff Training to provide coordination and methodology provision functions.
Scientific and scientific-research staff training is implemented in Master Degree and post-graduate departments.
Process of education and science integration is going to become a humanitarian priority of the 21st century.
The international practice provides existence of academic complexes composed of education institutions and scientific-research institutes. They ensure integration of science and education and enable to conduct common scientific/technologic and education national policy.
Amalgamation of HEIs and scientific-research institutes is most efficient form of integration.
The State Education Program approved by Presidential Decree ?448 dated 30 September 2000 also provides, among other tasks, for a stage-by-stage integration of academic and sectoral science with higher education.
Adoption of the Law on Science in 2001 was an important event for development of this area. The Law defined main goals and principles of the state scientific and technology policy.
Today there are a gap between education and scientific process and narrow direction of scientific research with domination of applied sciences, its inefficient return, lack of complete scientific cycles aimed at production of final product, insufficient support to scientific staff.
Fundamental and applied researches are not sufficiently developed. Results are not introduced in production. That regards engineering first of all.
The MOES undertakes concrete measures to implement the stage-by-stage integration of scientific institutes and HEIs.
On 14 February 2000 the government adopted Resolution ? 236 on Some Measures Aimed at Integration of Education and Science in Kazakhstan. Restructure and reorganization of some scientific and education institutions took place via amalgamation. 30 scientific-research institutes and scientific centers were established under 11 HEIs.
54 scientific-research organizations were defined as bases for implementation of professional practical work of students.
Quality of training deteriorated in public and, first of all, in private HEIs for the last few years. Introduction of the State Accreditation of HEIs in 2001 was aimed at solution of this problem. Today 59 HEIs (37 public and 22 private ones) including 36 universities, 9 academies and 14 institutes have been accredited.
The governmental Resolution issued 28 November 2001 was directed at enhancement of training quality of training in HEIs. It toughened qualification requirements of HEIs licensing.
In 2001 29 HEIs underwent state attestation, 2 of them were not attested.
From the start of 2002 the state attestation was implemented in 20 HEIs including 3 public, 2 non-civil and 15 private ones. 12 HEIs were deprived of their licenses for 51 academic specialties; licenses of 9 HEIs were suspended for 22 academic specialties.
4. Accumulated Experience and Lessons of the Last Decade
Analysis of the education sector reform shows positive and negative results. Retaining of social unity is the main achievement of Kazakhstan during the decade of the independence. That is an obvious outcome of instrumental cooperation between sectors of the national economy and contribution of the education sector is enormous.
Presently higher education of Kazakhstan differs by its continuous education structure providing for life-long learning, modernization based on national and the world education traditions, equal access to all stages of education, unity of all its components and requirements, succession of all training stages.
In the higher education sector enhancement of training quality, development of scientific research and technologies, formation of additional higher professional education are considered top priorities.
Access of Kazakhstan citizens to higher education is provided due to pay education services sales. The state projected order for students placed in public HEIs amounts only to 1/3 of the total enrolment. Experience of developed countries shows that state education policy should be directed at satisfaction of an individual’s personal and social needs as well as at production of specialists for economy sectors. That’s why state projection should exceed needs of national economy. To increase access of young people, including ones from low income families, oralmans and orphans, to higher education according with international requirements it is necessary to provide access to public education at least of half of the general education school annual graduation.
State projection heeding prospective needs of economy is still a problem. So far the state projection for production of specialists with higher professional education has been estimated based on requests from economy sectors that are not always scientifically grounded. Therefore the MOES has developed methodologies for medium- and long-term forecast of demand in specialists with higher professional education at the labor market and programs for HEIs graduates’ employment. Today the MOES, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and the Ministry of Economy take measures to test this program in 4 oblasts of the country.
Analysis of the current situation in developed countries shows that Kazakhstan has more HEIs per 1 million of population (12) than the USA, France, Japan, Germany or Russia. Formation of the education services market in Kazakhstan is a good point but there is a huge network of small private HEIs that do not always provide education quality.
The turbulent growth of HEIs and their affiliatiosn was not a result of investment attraction in development of their education and material base as it was expected. That took place due to the liberal legislation, which allowed establishing universities without material base and qualified academic staff.
Training experience of private HEIs, which account for 70% of the total number of HEIs in the country shows that most of them offer education services of low quality at fees lower than their expenditures. That hinders development of the whole education system and results in deterioration of training quality and Kazakhstan academic awards value decrease at the world labor market.
In strategic direction it is planned to bring Kazakhstan higher education system and its education programs into accord with norms and requirements of international procedure, first of all, with the model laws adopted by the CIS countries.
Provision of high quality training is interrelated with principles of student enrolment formation. That’s why the MOES included a clause providing obligatory testing of all HEIs entrants into the Rules of Admission to HEIs irrespective their ownership form and reportable ministry/department. The National Center for the State Education Standards and Testing was established to implement that activity.
The new principles of admission are widely approved by entrants and their parents. Thus in 1999 43,649 entrants (23%) of all general secondary school graduates filed their applications for participation in the complex testing. In 2000 this number grew to 10,2919 (50%), in 2001 there were 142,623 (68%) applicants and in 2002 121,606 (89%) young people were going to pass the testing procedure.
The MOES started to attract employers to education process. In February of current year representatives of big companies, enterprises, and organizations gathered at a meeting organized by the Confederation of Kazakhstan Employers to consider issues of social partnership in production of specialists with higher education. During the discussion it was agreed that today quality of training depends on material base of HEIs and a possibility to have practical work at enterprises and organization under supervision of high quality specialists. Students can do their term papers and degree works at enterprises. Current Tax Legislation does not stimulate material or finance support rendered to education institutions. Therefore the government considers a possibility to revise the Tax Code and include additional clauses to provide tax credits in education sector financing. There is a proposal to consider funds allocated by enterprises and organizations to be their expenditures not allocations from the profit.
Training of teachers for small schools is another critical problems faced by the education system. The proportion of such schools is over 50%. Our HEIs produce enough teachers. The state order (projection) exceeds the official demand. Anyway the problem is that graduates don’t want to work at rural schools due to low salary, absence of good accommodations, incentives, discounts for utilities etc. This problem is still under consideration of the government.
The network of HEIs is being restructured. 18 oblast HEIs mainly produce specialists for their own needs and carry out scientific researches directed at solution of local problems whereas local authorities are not able to render assistance to development of HEIs material base and allocation of grants due to lack of interbudgetary relation clear regulation.
A study of public HEIs corporatization/privarization procedure showed that corporatization and privatization of some HEIs evoked dissatisfaction of their collectives and the society. In line with this it was proposed to revise respective governmental resolutions to provide state inspection of privatized HEIs.
The experience of corporatization/privatization of some HEIs of sectoral specialization shows that the best way of their maintenance is attraction of big national and foreign and investments as it was done for the Karaganda Metallurgy Institute where investors put money in construction of new education facilities, dormitories, equipment for laboratories, purchase of text-books and computers etc. All this will stay in Kazakhstan for the good of the people.
The MOES implements monitoring of education quality via licensing and attestation of HEIs.
Unfortunately current normative and legislation base does not provide neither license suspension nor recall at first disclosure of license requirements infringements. After expiration of correctional process a State Attestation Commission inspects HEI again. Some heads of suspended HEIs try to cheat such Commissions lending library stock, equipment, computers and renting facilities from other HEIs for the period of inspection.
Adoption of the new Law on Labor caused problems in recruitment of academic staff that complicates monitoring of HEIs operation and their academic staff performance during attestation procedure. Liberalization of the Labor Legislation resulted in joint-appointments of some lectures in 5-6 HEIs at one time. That’s why it is planned to include a clause of full-time lecture employment in the Law on Education; toughen license requirements for HEIs; introduce strict indicators of curriculum provision with education and methodology literature, requirements to academic staff qualification that would be identified by proportion of full-time teachers and academic degrees for each specialty.
Another weakness of the normative base is a huge number of universities in Kazakhstan, which awarded themselves with status of international universities not complying with requirements set for such education institutions.
There are also problems in informatization of higher education system. National communication system capacity is unable to meet requirements of education informatization, the normative base of infornatization is not sufficiently developed, and there is lack of electronic products in Kazakh languages, software for design of education portals, absence of virtual libraries. Information resources are not protected. Distance education is undeveloped. As it was mentioned above an informatization program has been submitted to consideration of the government to solve these problems.
5. Formulation of New Visions, Goals and Future Strategy
Today no one country can claim economy and political leadership in the new millennium without reform of its system of professional education.
Higher professional education accounts for civilization development and identifies level of social, economy and technology development and has a powerful potential for self-organization and self-adjustment. It defines requirements for the rest education levels, establishes their standards and provides society with high quality human resources.
Higher education system should accumulate potential for its revision from this standpoint. That regards revision of conceptual and methodology basics of higher professional education taking into account best national and foreign achievements of higher education system world-wide.
It is necessary to carry out a comparative study of all components of national and foreign education system levels heeding its structural integrity, system creating connections and hierarchic interrelation of its components.
The primary goal of higher professional education system development is satisfaction of long-term strategic interests of the society, the state and citizens, education quality enhancement through systematic and targeted reform of higher education sector.
Main directions and the strategy of higher education system development are stated in the Kazakhstan Strategy Development Plan up to 2010, endorsed by Presidential Decree ?735 dated 4 December 2001.
The most important directions of higher professional education system development are:
- Strengthening of universities leading positions in education of Kazakhstan; support to and integration of Kazakhstan HEIs into the world education system; coordination of approaches to state education standards; activity enhancement of students, academic staff, scientists and other specialists within of one education system; expansion of interstate information exchange in education area; development of coordinated criterion and technologies of education quality monitoring, trends of education development in member-countries.
- Solution of specialists training quality at all stages of pre-diploma and post- diploma training through regular revision of education and professional programs based on new scientific and pedagogy foundation ensuring high level of education. Education process should contain methodology training in each discipline. Commonality of fundamental training should create equal possibilities for life-long education; enable creative development and personality fulfillment. That can be possible if HEI provides its graduate with interdisciplinary methodology of professional activity, train him as a methodologist who can use each discipline in interdisplinary connection with other subjects as a mean to solve problems faced in cognitive and occupational activity.
- Design of new, flexible and adequate to time technology of education process management –credit-system, that means an integrated process based on credit-hour as a unit to measure education professional programs and establishment of interdisciplinary equivalents of education content for independent and mobile education process planning with optimal classroom/independent ratio.
- Further development and upgrade of student enrolment formation new model directed at assurance of access to higher education for all including education to choice principle.
- Development of distance and virtual education as a system ensuring access to life-long education, training/retraining, meeting education needs of individual oriented to continuous development.
- Design of new concept of fundamental university science development and enhancement of HEIs role as of scientific-research institutes through amalgamation of academic universities, scientific-research institute, industrial-military complexes and attraction of well-known scientists to education process; support to priority themes and directions, scientific breakthroughs aimed at new technologies development; further development of humanities.
- Provision of more efficient management of economy and finance activity of HEIs to ensure social security of employee and student.
- Bringing university management system to conformity with increasing and fast changing demands of the time.
The higher education reform is aimed at prosperous development of Kazakhstan, well-being of Kazakh nation and each citizen of the country.
Deputy Director of Higher and Post-Graduate
Professional Education Department, Professor