ASTANA – Twenty Kazakh universities have been rated among the top 300 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings 2019, reported the Ministry of Education and Science press service.
The British rating agency analysed the activities of higher education institutions in 26 EECA countries. Based on the number of educational institutions, Kazakh universities are the third most represented after Russia and Turkey. Fourteen Kazakh universities were listed in the 2016 ranking; the latest analysis has raised the figure by six.
Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU), the leading and also the oldest institution in Central Asia, was ranked 19th in EECA and 220th globally. The university, which will celebrate its 85th anniversary next year, counts one of the country’s best academics, as well as a number of ministers, governors, top managers, Parliament members, national corporation executives and Olympic champions, among its graduates.
Kazakh higher educational institutions consistently highly ranked in the last four years include Lev Gumilyov Eurasian National University (Astana), Kanysh Satpayev Kazakh National Research and Technology University (Almaty), Kazakh-British Technical University (KBTU, Almaty) and Kazakh National Agrarian University (Astana).
The universities’ performances were evaluated on indicators such as academic reputation, employer’s opinion and citation index of publications per faculty member. Other factors included diversity, teaching equipment, social responsibility, innovation, art and culture, availability of distance learning and sports facilities.
Kazakh universities have significantly improved their quality indicators with more universities adopting international standards and increasing the rate of research activities, innovative projects and new technologies invention.
Recently, Kazakhstan launched its own national university rating system conducted by the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs and Ministry of Education and Science. The main focus is the quality of educational programmes offered by domestic educational institutions. The rating should serve as a filter to eliminate schools that cannot ensure high employability for students after graduation, the ministry noted in August.
“If we see that one or another university produced specialists and they are not in demand on the labour market, then this also means that there are most likely problems with quality at this university. Therefore, we are doing a lot of work on rating educational programmes,” said Vice Minister Askhat Aimagambetov at the Oct. 16 Central Asian International Forum.
The first results of the national rankings in July and September showed KazNU and Kudaibergen Zhubanov State Regional University (Aktobe) were best preparing students in physics, while KBTU programmes showed outstanding results in computer engineering and software.