The Kyrgyz Republic is a landlocked country bordering China to the east, Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west and Tajikistan to the south. It has an area of 200,000 square kilometres and its capital city is Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and adopted a parliamentary system in 2011.
Ethnic Kyrgyzs make up the majority of the population, followed by significant minorities of Uzbeks and Russians. The state, or national language, Kyrgyz, is closely related to the other Turkic languages, although Russian remains widely spoken and is the official language.
Kyrgyzstan has an estimated GDP per capita of $1,200. Major industries include mineral resources, hydroelectric energy and textiles and over 30% of Kyrgyzstan’s population works in agriculture and animal husbandry. In 2014 Kyrgyzstan spent 5.53% of total government expenditure on education (UNESCO).
|Population (2015): 6.034.000||
|GDP (2015): $6.572 billpn|
|GDP growth (2014): 3.6%|
|Life expectancy at birth (2014): 70|
|Annual population growth: 1.7%|
|Population under 30: 60%|
|Currency: Som (KJS)|
|Official languages: Kyrgyz and Russian|
* UN and World Bank data, retrieved 2017
The higher education system of Kyrgyzstan consists of 52 higher education institutions, both public and private. Although it is not a Bologna signatory country, Kyrgyzstan has been working towards implementing key aspects of the Bologna reforms. In 2014 the traditional system of higher education qualifications (Specialist Diploma, Doctorate) was replaced with a new two-tier system in line with the EU (Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree), and third-tier PhD programmes are currently being piloted. In 2015, there was a 45% gross enrolment ratio in tertiary education.
VET starts at secondary level, with one, two and three-year courses which can then lead to higher level professional education, including Bachelor degrees and Master studies. Responsibility for VET falls under the Ministry of Education and Science and VET is part of the Education Development Strategy 2012–2020.
Ministry of Education and Science: http://edu.gov.kg/
National Erasmus+ office: http://erasmusplus.kg
Overview of HE system (2012): http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/tempus/participating_countries/overview/Kyrgyzstan.pdf
Overview of VET sector (2015): http://www.etf.europa.eu/webatt.nsf/0/2E1AA5DDF7DA3B68C1257E58007B268C/$file/TRP%202014%20Kyrgyzstan_EN.pdf
UN Country profile: http://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crname=Kyrgyzstan