Stipends to be increased equally for all students, says Minister of Education and Science

NUR-SULTAN – The Ministry of Education and Science will increase undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students’ stipends by 25 percent beginning Jan. 1, reported Minister of Education and Science Askhat Aimagambetov at the Dec. 10 briefing in the capital.

Photo credit: tengrinews.kz.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev requested the increases at the Dec. 10 ceremony marking the end of the Year of Youth and the start of the Year of Volunteer.

Undergraduate students will receive 26,186 tenge (US$67); graduate students, 66,913 tenge (US$172) and PhD students, 102,498 tenge (US$263).

Since September, stipends increased 30 percent for the 122,000 students studying for blue collar occupations. In January, stipends for mid-level specialists will increase from 20,948 tenge (US$54) to 24,090 tenge (US$62).

“The government will allocate additional funds for this purpose. All calculations are available,” said Aimagambetov.

Approximately 13 billion tenge (US$33 million) per year will be allocated for students attending higher educational institutions, he noted.

“If we take students studying in colleges, this is still approximately five-six billion tenge (US$13-15 million). This is a large amount of funding, but I think this is an important decision. The President said the amount of stipends hadn’t increased since 2016. The students were waiting for this for a long time. I believe this is a great support and assistance for our students,” he added.

Aimagambetov noted people often asked questions about increasing stipends at meetings with the people held by Deputy Prime Minister Berdibak Saparbayev during his visits throughout the country.

“This was an issue especially for those who study in doctoral studies, since they are fully engaged in research studies. Most of them have families and children and it is not easy for them,” he said.

Kazakhstan currently has approximately 30,000 students and the stipends will increase equally for all.

“There are certain categories of people who receive increased stipends due to academic performance, due to disability, due to the loss of a breadwinner and other conditions. There are many different categories. A 25-percent increase will be provided for them, too,” he said.

Tokayev also spoke about improving the quality and accessibility of education, as nearly 60 percent of university graduates are unable to find work, according to the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs. There is also a need for distance learning.

The head of state instructed government officials to monitor the activities of private universities.