Kazakhstan to revoke licenses from universities producing low employment

ASTANA – The Ministry of Science and Education will be introducing new measures that will revoke licenses from higher educational institutions or their faculties producing specialists that have low employability opportunities. The announcement was made Aug. 17 at the annual Kazakh teachers conference in the capital.

Photo credit: bnews.kz.

The ministry has withdrawn 17 licenses from various universities this year. Plans are underway to filter “useless” faculties more intensively and thereby leave only key areas that can produce competitive professionals in their area of study.

“Where they can teach well, let them teach. Where a diploma does not give good demand, teaching does not make sense,” said Minister of Education and Science Yerlan Sagadiyev.

Qualification requirements for higher education institutions have also become stricter. The ministry is currently negotiating with the rectors of all Kazakh universities to determine the compatibility of their status with their names, whether a university, institute or academy. Their credentials will be checked in accordance with a newly developed system which is “prudential, objective, and independent of the ministry,” said the minister.

“This was suggested by the higher education institutions themselves. We are proud to say that now in Kazakhstan a league of universities is being created that will systematically raise high standards for students, stand for academic honesty [and work for the reputation of] the university name over the current market conditions,” said Sagadiyev.

He added these changes should increase the motivation and responsibility of Kazakh higher education institutions to provide higher-quality education.

The ministry plans to take additional measures such as calculating KPIs (key performance indicators) for state university rectors and mandatory introduction of anti-plagiarism systems. Many universities highlighted the need for such measures themselves and are currently discussing the issue with the ministry.

Sagadiyev noted Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev increased the number of state scholarships for higher education institutions by 10,000 last year and added 20,000 state grants this year.

“We were given a great trust, so [increasing] the responsibility of universities for quality [of education] is the number one task,” he added.

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