Kazakhstan quadruples construction of student housing, will build dorms for 9,200 students this year

NUR-SULTAN – Twenty-nine dormitories with spots for 9,196 students will start operating this year, said Education and Science Vice Minister Bibigul Assylova at an April 29 press conference after the government meeting. Although the overall number needed is 91,000, the 2019 figure is four times more than previous years.

Photo credit: 24.kz.

“This has not happened in the entire history of our country. It was a targeted construction of dormitories, which went on for a long time. A maximum 2,000-2,500 places per year were put into operation. Using the public-private partnership (PPP) mechanism in the implementation of this project has shown its effectiveness,” she said.

The ministry analysed regional needs before starting the project. Of the 91,000 required places, 68,000 are in higher education institutions and 23,000 in colleges. By city, Almaty needs 31,000; the capital, 17,000, and Shymkent, 8,400.

The cost to complete the entire project is 152 billion tenge (US$397.63 million).

“This year, the Ministry of Education and Science provided one billion tenge (US$2.61 million) for the project. In subsequent years, we have about 14 billion tenge (US$36.62 million). Considering that we have a three-year budget cycle, in principle we have all the financial calculations; there is a positive decision of the [national] budget commission. In general, this project is financially secured,” said Assylova.

The state order cost for one bed is 122 Monthly Calculation Indices (308,050 tenge (US$805.90)) to construct a facility and 47 MCIs (118,675 tenge or US$310.50) for reconstruction.

“We were offered projects that are twice as expensive. There are educational institutions that offered us expensive projects. This was explained mainly by the expansion of technical conditions, the presence of separate rooms, etc. This mechanism cannot fully cover such expensive projects. Therefore, there is such a task to reduce unnecessary expensive projects,” she added.

To date, the Committee for Construction and Housing and Public Utilities of the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development has approved three model projects for 120, 180 and 240 places. All projects are posted on the financial centre’s website. The average cost of a dormitory place under the concluded contracts is approximately 800,000-900,000 tenge (US$2,093-$2,354).

During the government meeting, Prime Minister Askar Mamin instructed ensuring timely dormitory construction by developing detailed plans for their commissioning and execution. The plans will require organising with investors.

Construction should continue through PPP joint efforts. At the same time, it is important to adhere to the existing mechanism, since there will be no additional funding from the budget, he said.