Population (2017): 8,921,343

The Republic of Tajikistan is a mountainous, landlocked country in Central Asia with an area of approximately 144,000 square kilometres (mountains cover more than 90% of the country). It borders with Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China. It has an area of 143,000 square kilometres and its capital city is Dushanbe. Tajikistan became an independent sovereign nation in 1991 when the Soviet Union disintegrated. Most of Tajikistan’s population belongs to the Tajik ethnic group, who speak Tajik (a dialect of Persian). Many Tajiks also speak Russian as their second language. Tajikistan has a transition economy that is highly dependent on remittances, aluminium and cotton production. It has an estimated GDP per capita of USD 801.


Higher education in Tajikistan is provided by a total of 39 institutions. Although Tajikistan is not a Bologna signatory country, most HE institutions have now introduced 4-year bachelor degrees, 3-year PhD degrees and 2-year master degrees in line with the EU system; some 5 or 6-year specialist diplomas are still offered in professional fields such as medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and engineering. The Government of Tajikistan has set a vision to modernise the higher education system, especially its contents towards more professionally-oriented skills to better meet the labour market demand and to build country’s capacity.

Vocational education and training is provided by primary vocational (lyceums) and secondary vocational (colleges) institutions. Primary vocational institutions are administrated by the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Employment of the Republic of Tajikistan (MLME) and secondary vocational institutions are administrated by the Ministry of Education and Science (MES). Both ministries maintain a centralised management structure for the two subsystems.

Country Brief

The Central Asia HE and VET Briefs are intended to provide a review and update of the current education policies in the CA countries with a clear focus on the thematic priorities identified both in the Riga and Astana Ministerial Meetings in 2015/2017 respectively, in order to summarise and share the findings from the CAEP 2 with education practitioners and experts both in the EU and CA countries for further discussion among policy makers, education practitioners and related stakeholders in HE and VET.