The Republic of Kazakhstan lies in the north of Central Asia and is bordered by Russia to the north, China to the east, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to the south, and the Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan to the west. With an area of 2,724,902 square kilometres it is the world’s largest landlocked country, and the ninth largest in the world. Strategically, it links the large and fast-growing markets of China and South Asia and those of Russia and Western Europe by road, rail, and a port on the Caspian Sea.
Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the current President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has been leader of the country since. It has a population of just over 17.5 million andsince 1997 the capital has been Astana (previously it was Almaty). The country’s131 ethnicities include Kazakhs, Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Germans, Tatars, and Uyghurs. The Kazakh language is the state language, and Russian has equal official status for all levels of administrative and institutional purposes.
Kazakhstan has an estimated GDP per capita of $10,510. Approximately 60% of GDP comes from services, 36% from industry from agriculture and 4% from agriculture(UN, 2014). In 2015 11.89% of total government expenditure was on education, which was 2.79% of GDP (UNESCO).
|Population (2016): 17,855,000||
|GDP (2015): $184,388 billion|
|GDP growth (2014): 4.3%|
|Life expectancy at birth (2014): 69.6|
|Annual population growth: 1.6%|
|Population under 25: 40%|
|Currency: Tenge (KZT)|
|Official languages: Kazakh and Russian|
* UN and World Bank data, retrieved 2017
Higher education in Kazakhstan is provided by 126 higher education institutions, including 86 universities, 21 academies, 18 institutes and 1 conservatory (OECD, 2017). Just over 50% are private
Kazakhstan was the first country in Central Asia to sign and ratify the Lisbon Convention (1999) and in 2010, became the 47th member of the Bologna Accords. Most HE
institutions now offer the 3-cycle higher education system (Bachelor/Bakalavr + Master/Magistr + Doctorate) although some 5 or 6-year Specialist Diplomas are still available, especially in the field of medicine. In 2015, there was a 46% gross enrolment ratio in tertiary education (UNESCO).
The share of VET in secondary education is only approx. 7%, however, VET is seen as an important driver for economic development, and evidence-based policies and strategies are well integrated. A national qualification framework has been adopted, while occupational standards are being developed alongside employers. The role of employers in VET is increasing, with the Chamber of Entrepreneurs supporting the involvement of SMEs. Kazakhstan is also looking to implement a dual system of vocational education and widening VET provision to offer it free of charge. As of 2013 there were over 800 colleges offering VET.
Ministry of Education and Science: http://edu.gov.kz/kz
National Erasmus+ office: http://www.erasmusplus.kz/
Overview of HE system (2012): http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/tempus/participating_countries/reviews/Kazakhstan.pdf