State administration of higher education in the Republic of Kazakhstan: problem and perspectives


Object: identify current problems of higher education in the Republic of Kazakhstan, aimed at improving the competitiveness of education, the development of human capital by ensuring the availability of quality education for sustainable economic growth. The article also discusses the current state and development trends of the higher education system in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Structure of higher and postgraduate education in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Data on the priority directions of development of the higher education system at the present stage, as well as the implementation of program goals and objectives defined in international and national strategic and program documents, are analyzed.

Methods: the article uses theoretical and empirical research methods: the works of foreign and Kazakhstani authors on this topic, legislative and program documents are studied. In order to identify problems, an analysis of official statistics was conducted.

Findings: the analysis and forecast of the faculty of the higher education system. Analysis of the dynamics of changes in the number of students in the higher education system of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The analysis of the ratio of students in the form of ownership of universities, the ratio of students in the form of payment for education, as well as the dynamics of the contingent of students in the regional context.

Conclusions: as a result of the study, conclusions were drawn and development prospects and methods for improving the monitoring of higher education in the Republic of Kazakhstan were đеţегтİпеđю


The economic and political achievements of the last decades have made it possible to shift the state priorities to the main value — the quality of human life and life. In the Address to the People of Kazakhstan on October 5, 2018, the President said that “the growth of the welfare of Kazakhstanis should be a priority”, and the main priority is the well-being of the people of Kazakhstan, which is directly dependent on increasing the income and quality of life (Nazarbayev N, 2018). Education plays a key role in human resources development.

According to the Human Development Index, which takes into account the UN's Interstate Indicator of Quality of Life (Atherton et. al., 2016), in 2018, out of 189 countries with the highest human development indicators, Kazakhstan ranked 58th in 59 countries. Human Capital Development by the World Bank According to the Index, Kazakhstan ranks 31st out of 157 countries (UNDP, 2018).

According to the index, the child labor productivity of a child born in Kazakhstan today is 75 % of his or her potential, which is achieved through full education and improved health (TWB, 2018).

Both countries have shown positive dynamics in Kazakhstan's rankings, but the state needs to make some efforts to improve the welfare of its citizens. By the way, mechanisms are being created, which now create favorable conditions for professional growth and self-realization, providing quality education for all citizens of the country. In solving these important tasks, Kazakhstan has high hopes for young people. For the sustainable development, the Incheon Declaration adopted has identified 17 youth as a key factor in development. However, economic growth is possible only if young people have the skills and abilities necessary to unlock their potential. In 2019 the World Economic Forum focused on the main theme: The role of young people in shaping global architecture and building a better world in the era of the fourth industrial revolution (WEF, 2019). The head of state has designated 2019 as the Year of Youth, in which the growing generation can expand his horizons of knowledge and skills focused on the modern labor market in a fast-growing world. Human capital is one of the key factors in sustainable growth and reducing poverty.

This article discusses the priorities for the development of higher education at the current stage of data analysis on implementation of program goals and objectives identified in international and national strategic and program documents.

Hypothesis: Improving public administration monitoring of the higher education system by means of:

  • – implementation of the principles of the Bologna Declaration in order to provide students with modern knowledge and mastery of foreign languages. The activities of the Ministry of education and science of the Republic of Kazakhstan are aimed at promoting international best practices in the field of managing the process of providing high-quality educational services;
  • due to the fact that higher education institutions have a certain degree of autonomy in operational management and financial matters, there is a tendency to reduce the scope of application of state standards and expand the variable component. Based on this, implement a system of University management based on the principles of autonomy, strategic planning and quality management.

Literature Review

After all, more and more, this will result in a change in the quality of more than one image. Tuck, G. Shrikanthan et al (UNESCO, Stat., 2013). Undermines the uncontrollability of developing a single-grain model with a higher image quality. E. Van Kemenade (Srikanthan et. al., 2002) portrays divisive aspects, varying in the quality of image formation. The basis of this technology is the technology of the formation of a variable, the monitoring of the instrument of the enhancement of the coherence (Van Kemenade et al., 2008; Kingsbury et al., 1989; Lord, 1980). J. Lyotard & Dr. (Wess et al., 1984) Defined to be institutionalized (formal) process, based on the basic object of the transfer, the degree of change, and the value of the single item, group, family. It can be said that you are interested in the area of objective institutions, as well as in the criteria criteria, as well as in the monitoring of the monitoring of the training and analysis of the results of the results. The value of the value of the information is reflected by the accuracy of objective information, valid information about the status and results of the visualization process. By the way, the emphasis on the ability to work, the process of the formation of the process with the help of the self-organization, with the result of the results of the correction of the need for the correctness of the work in the day of the day. One-to-one effectiveness is based on the constant focusing on the current, as long as the method and instrument are used (Lyotard et al., 1984; Athiyaman, 1997; Ham et. al., 2003; Suhre et al., 2017).


In its use theoretically-empirical method of study: the study of the written and the Kazakh authors on the basis of the subject, the program and the document. In the case of problem solving, this is done by analyzing official statistics and analyzing statistical methods.


The structure of higher and postgraduate education of the Republic of Kazakhstan is regulated by the Law “On Education” (July 27, 2007). According to the latest changes and additions in the legislation the following regulations are established:

  • Bachelor's degree programs are designed for higher education with the award of a “Bachelor” degree in the relevant specialty;
  • Postgraduate education Master's degree, residency and doctoral degree programs of higher and (or) postgraduate education, scientific organizations in the basic profile of activities and training, as well as scholarship holders of “Bolashak” international scholarship in the manner prescribed by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan leading foreign higher and (or) postgraduate education on full-time education according to the list of approved specialties annually. Send read ιmdarιna;
  • Training in a magistracy is carried out on the basis of educational programs of higher education in two directions: the scientific and pedagogical term of training not less than two years and the period of training not less than one year;
  • Training of doctoral candidates is carried out on the basis of magistracy educational programs in two directions: educational term not less than three years scientific and pedagogical and profile period not less than three years.

The increasing share of the middle class and young people encourages the concentration of higher education in the world. A few decades ago, higher education was elite. Today, countries recognize the value of higher education for the well-being of adults and society as a whole. In that sense, it will be accessible to most middle class individuals. At the same time, the share of young people around the world is growing. At the beginning of 2012, the world population was more than (TWB, 2017) billion, and young people under 30 made up more than half (50.5 %) of this number. These and other reasons have doubled the number of students in the world over the last two decades: 1998 — 89 million people, 2017 — 200 million people (Salmy, 2018).

Created on November 28, 2018 as World Higher Education Achievement Day — World Access to Higher Education Day (WAHED). The event was attended by experts from 100 professional associations from 30 countries. This day has been celebrated in 15 countries through 40 different activities on inequality in access to tertiary education at local, national and global levels. The initiative was presented by a national network of educational opportunities in England (TNEON).

WAHED prepared and published the International Report “All around the world — Higher education equity policies across the globe”. The report, written by expert Jamil Salmi, analyzed the politics of state equality in about 70 countries, including the fragmentary statements about Central Asia. The analytical framework is based on the identification of two types of incentives for access to higher education: non-financial and financial (Table 1). A more effective policy of inequality in tertiary education is recognized by experts as a combination of financial and non-financial support measures (VSHE, 2011). The state plays a key role in the distribution of any mechanism at the national level.

Table 1. Mechanisms to Encourage Access to Higher Education in J. Salmi, 2018




Subsidized education (in whole or in part)

Preparatory programs

Holistic access strategies up to the establishment of a special government agency aimed at:

Poverty scholarships and grants / targeted grants

Establishment of uniform requirements / Reduction of entry requirements

- timely implementation of certain mechanisms;

Educational loans

Establishment of branches in remote areas

- ensuring consistency between the various goals of state policy, including equitable access for different population groups, allocation of adequate resources and compliance with quality assurance criteria

Redistribution of state finances of higher education to providing

Distance education


Fair access

Specialized units for underrepresented groups


Other financial regulatory measures

Career support (career guidance)


Possibilities of changing the trajectory / re-reading of the previous training


Retention Programs


Note: Salmi J. (2018), All around the world — Higher education equity policies across the globe, story=20181203055421486

Non-financial mechanisms to encourage higher education include measures that do not require direct cash investments. The study by Jamila Salmi, covering 71 countries worldwide, showed that the most common non- financial measures involved reforming admission criteria, preparation programs (in 28 countries), retention programs (in 24 countries) and other mechanisms of motivation for universities (38 countries) (Fig. 1.). According to the study, formerly socialist countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia misuse non-financial support for tertiary education, as we are convinced that the key to equality is a meritocratic entrance exam. In most of these countries, such examinations were introduced as part of the transition from socialism to market economy.

In the Kazakh context, the UNT is defined as the main intangible measure to ensure equal access to higher education. In 2018, school leavers passed the UNT 15 times. Over the years of UNT testing more than 1.6 million school graduates. From 2017, they have passed the final attestation in the form of (1) Secondary Education Certificate and Altyn belgi and (2) School Graduation Exams with UNT and state scholarships to study at universities. Applicants have the opportunity to take the UNT again on a paid basis. 5 334 school leavers took the opportunity to take the UNT. In 2018, the average UNT score was lower than the average score based on the results of the main tests — 77.96 (–5.12). Only 21 % of the graduates who passed the UNT in August failed to score the maximum score (1,132 people). Thus, according to the results of additional testing, 4,202school leavers got a second chance to enter the university. Entry to the university is possible only on a paid basis after passing the test, state grants are allocated after passing the main UNT.

Figure 1. Spread of non-financial support measures in higher education, 2018, Unit

Note: Salmi J. (2018), All around the world — Higher education equity policies across the globe

In 2018, the UNT indicators remained the same. 102 447 graduates applied for participation in the UNT. This is 71.6 % of the total number of school graduates. 98 698 or 96,3 % of applicants for UNT participated in testing. The highest proportion of UNT participants from the total number of graduates who applied for the test: Zhambyl region — 99.4 %, Almaty region — 99.3 % and SKO — 98.9 %. The lowest proportion of UNT participants was observed in Kostanai region — 87.6 %, NKR — 88.3 % and Almaty — 87.5 %. In 2018, the number of graduates who passed the threshold score, as well as their average score increased. The average score across Kazakhstan was 83.1 (+2.6) out of 140 possible points. In creative specialties, on the contrary, the average score dropped from 0.79 points to 40.3 points out of 40 possible. 84 065 people passed the threshold, or 85.2 % of the total number of participants (2017 — 81 %).

In 2018, the graduates were given the opportunity to take the test in English for the first time. 28 graduates from 7 cities of the country took advantage of it (1 — Pavlodar, Ust-Kamenogorsk, 3 — Kostanay, 5 — Almaty, Nur — Sultan, 6 — Shymkent, 7 — Atyrau). The average score was extremely high and reached 84.89 points. These graduates were allowed to use test tasks in the Kazakh and Russian languages in order to save the contents of the question and compare it with the original language.

In 2018, the differences between urban and rural school graduates reached the lowest. The average score of city school leavers made up 86.04 points, and rural — 79.75 points. The gap between city and rural schoolchildren reduced to 6.29 points (Figure 2).

Figure 2. 2013–2018 UNT results in city-village division, points Note: authored by NCT


Basic courses or basic programs are designed to prepare the candidate for admission to the university. Today, the quality of graduate education varies from school to school. The core programs are designed to bridge the gap in pre-university education and ensure equal access to university. In the world there is a sharp increase in demand for training programs. Thus, in 2015 alone the stock market's software market volume reached $825 million and, according to experts, it will continue to grow (Aljamova, 2017).

Experience of preparatory courses in Kazakhstan is at the stage of formation. In accordance with the Rules for Organizing the Activities of the Preparatory Units of Higher Education Institutions of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the courses offered at the HEIs are organized to increase the level of general education and language training for entering citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, foreigners, oralmans and stateless persons residing in Kazakhstan (Order MON RK 554, 2011). In 2018, the state educational grant for training students of the preparatory departments of universities was 2 650 places, for students of Nazarbayev University — 700 seats, for oralmans — 1,200 places, for improving the level of language training — 450 places, for foreign citizens — 100 places.

Another non-financial measure to support domestic higher education is the co-operation of universities with schools and colleges. However, this is traditionally done as part of career guidance work during the recruitment period before the start of the school year. Today, vocational guidance activities include: Job Fair, Open Day, preparatory courses at higher education institutions, field lectures with representatives of higher education institutions with school and college graduates and their parents, presentations and work on future majors in the form of an interview with suppliers. Finding out the effectiveness of higher education institutions and colleges in collaboration requires further research.

There will be part-time and distance learning systems equivalent to part-time education. 2018 year was the last year of traditional part-time education. From January 1, 2019, the ban on extramural education came into force. Within the framework of expansion of academic autonomy of higher education institutions the flexible and low focus on terms of studying of educational programs is formed. Further education is focused on the subjects and their credit volume. Due to this, the need for part-time education is gone. After giving up part-time education, higher education institutions will switch to full-time distance learning technologies and use the part-time system, with part of the courses being held in the evenings and weekends. In addition, parttime students can earn up to a degree. In 2018, part-time enrollment was 39,017, or 24 % of the applicants. In general, 19 % of the total contingent of higher education institutions is part-time education.

In the 2018–2019 academic year, 53 594 educational grants were allocated for the preparation of bachelors (Table 2). The largest number is provided for the group of specialties of “technical sciences and technologies” — 19 111 (excluding quotas).

Table 2. Higher and postgraduate education state order for preparation

Level of education

Year of study

2018–2019 to %








41 508

39 435

39 728

49 221

68 338



34 115

32 168

31 700

37 932

53 594



6 737

6 682

7 400

10 004

12 504


Doctoral studies




1 285

2 240


Note: Created by the author according to Statistics Committee of the Ministry of National Economy

The comparative indicators of the contingent of higher and postgraduate education show that in the 2018– 2019 academic year the number of students on a paid basis prevails. At the same time, the number of students on a paid basis decreased compared to the previous academic year by 17 113 people (Table 3).

Table 3. The ratio of contingent of higher educational institutions on the form of payment for the 2014–2018 academic year, people

The form of study

Year of study

2018–2019 to %







Government order

157 301 ~

154 447 ¯¯

156 863 ¯¯

163 159 ¯¯

179 645 ¯¯



354 676

337 092

355 814

371 262

354 149


Note: Created by the author according to Statistics Committee of the Ministry of National Economy

Opening of the University's branches will help to increase their prestige abroad. Promotion of Kazakhstani universities, including the opening of student admission committees, is one of the strategic directions in the development of education and science in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2016–2019. Higher education institutions of Kazakhstan work on opening representative offices on the basis of higher educational institutions of the CIS. For example, in accordance with the Agreement, an office of EKSTU was opened in the Republic of Mongolia. S. Amanzholov. In Uzbekistan M. Auezov SKSU has opened educational and consulting center. This was one of the reasons for the increase in the number of applicants from Uzbekistan to 60.6 % of the total enrollment in Kazakhstani universities.

The level of education of the population of Kazakhstan is relatively high and approaches the middle level of the OECD member states. About 40 % of the adult population aged 25 and over have secondary education, 30 % graduate college and 25 % higher education (ND IAC, 2017).

According to the Ministry of National Economy, in the 2018–2019 academic year the number of universities in Kazakhstan was 521,571 students, including undergraduate programs — 479,914, graduate programs — 36,720 (scientific and pedagogical direction — 19,431 people, profile direction — 15,178 people), PhD — 4937 people (Table 4.).

Table 4. Contingent of universities of the Republic of Kazakhstan 2014–2018, people

Level of education

Year of study




2017–2018* In 122 higher education institutions

2018–2019* The number of ESUV in 115 grammatical schools


477 387 ^

459 369 ¯

477 074 ¯

496 207

479 914


32 527

29 882

32 839

34 609

36 720

Doctoral studies

2 063

2 288

2 710

3 603

4 937


511 977


512 677

534 421


Note: Created by the author according to Statistics Committee of the Ministry of National Economy

As a result of regional comparisons of the contingent of higher education institutions of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the 2014–2018 academic year, it was found that the largest number of students is concentrated in Almaty, Shymkent and Astana region, Mangistau and North Kazakhstan oblasts (Table 5). This is due to the large number of students and the large number of universities in these regions. Against this background, since 2014, Kazakhstan has been implementing the State Program “Serpin-2050” “Mangilik El zhastary —Industry”. The purpose of the program is to train and employ young people in the southern regions of the country with a high staff deficit in the northern, western and eastern regions of Kazakhstan. The program was implemented in the first year in the field of pedagogical specialties, which subsequently expanded to include technical and agricultural specialties.

Table 5. Dynamics of the number of students by region in 2014–2018 academic year, people


The number of universities at the beginning of the 2018– 2019 academic year *

Year of study






Republic of Kazakhstan


477 387

459 369

477 074

496 209

542 458

Akmola region


10 289

9 267

8 455

9 441

10 166

Aktobe region


20 825

20 336

21 004

21 829

24 459

Almaty region


9 724

9 051

9 422

9 342

10 410

Atyrau region


10 552

10 014

11 012

12 046

13 186

West Kazakhstan region


28 369

26 856

29 919

31 392

30 663

Zhambyl region


19 580

18 950

19 662

20 874

22 665

Karaganda region


41 123

36 976

41 738

42 629

44 549

Kostanay region


19 840

19 014

20 057

20 534

21 169

Kyzylorda region


11 308

10 055

10 070

9 973

10 660

Mangistau region


3 815

3 976

5 081

5 167

6 215

Pavlodar region


13 750

12 703

13 566

14 537

15 892

North-Kazakhstan region


4 851

4 560

5 265

6 027

7 530

Turkestan region


9 089

8 263

8 192

8 603

9 673

East Kazakhstan region


26 559

26 842

27 969

29 334

32 129

Astana city


52 945

51 235

51 800

52 369

54 419

Almaty city


133 736

128 707

130 761

131 292

143 860



61 032

62 564

63 131

70 820

84 813

Note: Created by the author according to Statistics Committee of the Ministry of National Economy

The dynamics of five years has seen an increase in the teaching staff of the university. In the 2018–2019 academic year, 50,735 people will be teaching in the system of higher education, including 40,594 staff. In structure of quality the number of candidates of science prevails, that makes 31 % from total number of staff of 115 civilian universities. Teaching activity is carried out by 27 % of masters. The academic performance rate of the university teaching staff in 2018–2019 academic year was 47.6 %. Table 6 shows the relative proportion of faculty members over the last 5 years.

Table 6. Rankings of teaching staff of higher educational institutions 2014–2018, person /%








share, %


share, %


share, %


share, %



All teaching staff



38 087


38 21


38 212


38 768



Doctors of sciences

3 863


3 568


3 499


3 251


3 197



14 49


14 239


14 023


13 276


12 896


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



1 133


1 562


1 854


2 175


Doctors by profile












9 592


10 082


11 135


12 098


12 337


Overall rating (1–4 points)

19 802


19 079


19 259




18 490





8 926


7 847


7 847


7 941


Note: Created by the author according to Statistics Committee of the Ministry of National Economy

According to the MNE SC, dynamics of four years shows decrease in the indicators of university professors (-201 people) and associate professors (–731 people) (Fig. 4).


As a result of the study, the author identified opportunities and threats to the higher education system in the Republic of Kazakhstan (Table 7). Based on the analysis of the development trend of the higher education system in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the following conclusions can be drawn:

1. Over the years of independence, Kazakhstan has carried out a reform of the higher education system, bringing it in line with the principles of a market economy. The public administration of the higher education system, based on international experience, is aimed at meeting the needs of the economy and social sphere in qualified specialists, developing human capital, expanding the access of citizens to higher education based on personal merit.



Public awareness of the importance of investing in higher education

Inertia of the university management system, imperfection of the strategic planning system, lack of an adequate system of measuring the results of higher education institutions

International organizations support the process of reforming the higher education system

Lack of an effective planning system for training personnel with higher education in accordance with the needs of the national economy

Interaction of domestic higher education organizations with educational institutions of developed countries

A decrease in the general living standard of the population increases the social vulnerability of students from low-income families, as a result of which there is a decrease in the number of applicants and university students

Exchange of students in the framework of the state policy of cooperation with leading universities of foreign countries

Lack of business interest in higher education

The development of digitalization of public administration in higher education.

The curricula of the retraining and advanced training system for employees in higher education do not meet temporary requirements, and also do not take into account the needs of society

Note — compiled by the author on the basis of the study

Table 7. Opportunities and threats of the public administration system of higher education in the Republic of Kazakhstan

  1. The republic is carrying out a targeted process of integrating the education system into the world educational space, implementing the principles of the Bologna Declaration in order to obtain students modern knowledge, mastery of foreign languages. The activity of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan is aimed at promoting advanced international experience in the field of managing the process of providing and providing high quality educational services.
  2. At present, the republic's higher education system is diversified, higher education institutions offer various formats of education. The legislative framework of the higher education system is focused on promoting the introduction of a three-cycle structure, which contributes to the expansion of academic mobility and the international recognition of Kazakhstani educational documents.


Вестник Карагандинского университета

4. Higher education institutions have a degree of autonomy in operational management and financial matters. There is a tendency to reduce the scope of state standards, to expand the variable component. A university management system based on the principles of autonomy, strategic planning and quality management is being introduced.

Among the problems facing the domestic higher education system are the following:

  • - centralized control over the content of education (courses and curricula) and the process of its organization (organization of training and standards of degrees) limit the freedom of higher education institutions and their ability to respond to the needs of the economy and social sphere, students and employers;
  • -The system for assessing the quality of higher education is quite complicated: a large number of checks are carried out and too little attention is paid to self-assessment and improvement of universities.

6.To solve these problems it is necessary:

  • -make the transition from existing quality management mechanisms to a culture of quality assurance based on the interests of stakeholders;
  • -improve relations between higher education institutions and employers, in particular, by strengthening social partnership as mechanisms:
  1. encouraging employers to participate more actively in organizing field trips and employing graduates;
  2. the organization of sponsorship in the process of training specialists on the basis of tripartite agreements between universities, enterprises and students;
  3. the involvement of employers in the processes of evaluating and ensuring the quality of educational services.


Public administration of the education sector in Kazakhstan is a complex and multifaceted process that is currently experiencing the challenges of the need to reform the system. On the one hand, the education sector has always been under strict state control, being a national priority and an important factor in the country's economic development and its competitiveness. The state regulates the education system through legislative, fiscal, administrative and other mechanisms. On the other hand, the direction of the transition to a market- oriented economy, the creation of a market for educational services, and the development of market-based mechanisms for managing education, led to changes in public administration in this area and a tendency to reduce public intervention (Sidorova, 2012).

The processes of globalization and technological modernization contribute to the emergence of new areas of education and the obsolescence or depletion of existing knowledge. This could result in the loss of a part of the business in the next decade. In this context, universities need to offer new formats of education that are focused on a qualitatively new level of training of Kazakhstani specialists, which is globally competitive in the field of education.

The mission and functions of higher education institutions are changing as important subjects of socioeconomic development. They will be the driving force behind the development of not only the education system, but also society as a whole.

Modernization of the modern Kazakhstan education system began with the accession of the country to the Bologna process, which emphasized the establishment of a European Higher Education Area as a key stage in developing the mobility of citizens, their need and the global development of the continent.

Today, the competition between universities has shifted both domestically and between states, filled with new content. Academic globalization encourages universities to become more entrepreneurial and to take an active part in the struggle for more successful students, faculty, and competition for research grants, for which they must have administrative and academic autonomy in their activities.

Kazakhstan's development as an educational hub in Central Asia encourages foreigners to access higher education. Kazakhstan's access to higher education abroad is a task of the Strategic Development Plan of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2025 and will enhance the competitiveness and need of the national system of higher education.



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Year: 2020
City: Karaganda
Category: Economy