UzbekistanThe Republic of Uzbekistan is one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world, bordered by five landlocked countries: Kazakhstan to the north; Tajikistan to the southeast; Kyrgyzstan to the northeast; Afghanistan to the south; and Turkmenistan to the southwest. It is Central Asia’s most populated country with more than 30 million people, most of whom (80%) are ethnic Uzbeks.

Uzbekistan has an area of almost 450,000 square kilometres, mostly covered by a vast desert and mountains.It is a unitary, constitutional, presidential republic and proclaimed independence from the collapsing Soviet Union on 1 September, 1991. The capital city is Tashkent, which has a population of over 2 million.

With an estimated GDP per capita by purchasing power parity (PPP) of $5,500 (World Bank and IMF), approximately 48% of GDP comes from services, 33% from industry and 19% from agriculture (UN, 2014). GDP increased by 8% in 2015. The literacy rate in the country is one of the highest in the world and annual public expenditure on education accounts for 10-12% of GDP.



Quick facts*

Population (2016): 30.300.000 flag



GDP (2015): $66.73billion
GDP growth (2014): 8.1%
Life expectancy at birth (2014): 68.1         
Annual population growth: 1.5%
Population under 25: 34%
Currency: Uzbekistan Som (UZS)
Official language: Uzbek

* UN and World Bank data, retrieved 2017


Higher education (HE)

There are currently 82 higher education institution in Uzbekistan; 31 of these are under the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialised Education (MHSSE) and the others are specialised HEIs coordinated by other sectoral ministries. Institution types include universities (universitet), academies (akademiya) and institutes (institut). This number also includes 7 foreign university branches.

Recent reforms in the higher education sector ofthe country have resulted in a switch to a two-level structure consisting of a 4-year Bachelor (Bakalavr) programme and a 2-year Master (Magistr) programme. The old two-stage postgraduate system (Candidate of Sciences and Doctor of Sciences) has also been replaced by a single level Doctor of Sciences.

In 2015, there was an 8.79% gross enrolment ratio in tertiary education (UNESCO).


Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Following 9 years of general education (6-15 years of age), students can choose to study for 3 years either at an academic lyceum or follow a vocational path at a vocational/professional college. The majority of students going on to this stage of education study at the latter, with VET colleges accounting for around 90% of upper secondary institutions. The number of vocational colleges has grown rapidly, from under 50 in 1998 to over 1,500 in 2014.

Vocational education is broadly conceived and aims at providing the capacity to think and perform in a wide range of industries. It is not designed to focus on simply the ability to carry out the functions required in a specific job or occupation.

Secondary VET education is coordinated by the Centre for Secondary Specialised Vocational Education (SSVE Centre) under the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialised Education. Both the government and international partners have made significant investments in infrastructure in recent years, particularly in the secondary specialised education sector, to enhance the quality of vocational training.


CAEP events

See our events calendar for details of upcoming CAEP events in Uzbekistan and our events page for reports on events held during the project so far.


Useful links

Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialised Education:

National Erasmus+ office:

Overview of HE system (2017):

2016-17 Torino Process report for Uzbekistan:

UN Country profile: