Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north and east, Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south and southwest, and the Caspian Sea to the west. It covers an area of almost 500,000 square kilometres, the capital is Ashgabatand the Karakum (Black Sand) Desert stretches across most of the country.
Turkmenistan proclaimed independence from the Soviet Union on 27 October, 1991. The country has a population of 5.4 million and the Turkmen represent the prevailing ethnic group (over 80%).
With an estimated GDP per capita of $9,031, approximately 49% of GDP comes from industry, 37% from services and 14% from agriculture (UN, 2014). Hydrocarbon exports (mainly natural gas) make up 31% of the GDP in total, with 60% of gas exports going to China and the remainder to Russia and Iran. In 2012Turkmenistan spent 20.8% of total government expenditure on education, which was 3.05% of GDP (UNESCO).
|Population (2016): 5.439.000||
|GDP (2015): $37.3 billion|
|GDP growth (2016): 5.4%|
|Life expectancy at birth (2016): 70
|Annual population growth: 1.13%|
|Population under 25: 45%|
|Currency: Turkmen New Manat (TMT)|
|Official language: Turkmen|
* UN and World Bank data, retrieved 2017
There are 24 higher education institutions in Turkmenistan; 19 civil and five military.
All HEIs are state-owned and the sector is made up of 5 universities, 17 institutes, an academy and a conservatoire.
University studies consist of five-year or six-year programmes leading to a Specialist Diploma. After three years of additional studies,graduates can obtain the degree of ‘Candidateof Science’, followed by a ‘Doctor of Sciences’through supervised research.
Turkmenistan is not a Bologna signatory country, however some of the newly established universities are starting to offer 4-year Bachelor and 2-year Master degree programmes. In 2014, there was a 7.98% gross enrolment ratio in tertiary education (UNESCO).
Vocational education and training is offered mainly at initial and secondary level with limited HE provision.Thereare 131 accredited vocational schools and training centres offering IVET and 40 secondary vocational schools. Since 2009 VET has been the responsibility of a dedicated VET department in the Ministry of Education.
National Erasmus+ office: http://www.erasmusplus.org.tm
Overview of HE system (2012):http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/tempus/participating_countries/reviews/Turkmenistan.pdf
Overview of VET sector (2015): http://www.etf.europa.eu/web.nsf/pages/Turkmenistan_VET_and_labour_market_update_2015_EN
UN Country profile: http://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crname=Turkmenistan