Al-Farabi Kazakh National University Provides Grants for Refugees Living in Kazakhstan Thanks to UNHCR Support

NUR-SULTAN – The Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU) has launched the first grant program for refugees in Kazakhstan with the assistance of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Kazakhstan, the UNHCR Office for Central Asia reported Sept. 1. 

Zeenat Muznabi

The grant provides free tuition for Zeenat Muznabi, 17, and Ahmad Farhad Abdul Hafiz, 24, from Afghanistan. 

Muznabi will study Information Technology, and pursue a career as a Software Engineer in the future with a focus on developing useful apps. Ahmad Farhad, who currently resides in Shymkent, studied at the Balkh Institute of Management and Accounting in Afghanistan. He could not complete his studies due to his family’s departure. His dream is to complete his education.

Ahmad Farhad Abdul Hafiz

Senior UNHCR official in Central Asia Danijela Popovic-Efendic said that the KazNU initiative supports the principles and objectives of the Global Refugee Compact, one of the key aspects of which is to strengthen the sustainability and self-sufficiency of refugees, so that they can benefit host communities.

“We are grateful to KazNU for granting this opportunity to refugees, thanks to which, the refugees will be able to get a high-quality education, professionally realize themselves, and benefit Kazakhstan as qualified specialists in the future,” added Popovic-Efendic. 

Overall, only 510 refugees, mainly from Afghanistan, reside in Kazakhstan. 

This initiative is a contribution of KazNU to the implementation of the Global Refugee Compact, which provides guidance to the international community in supporting refugees. 

“Quality education provides the basis for improving people’s living conditions and ensuring sustainable development. Providing access to education for all is extremely important in the COVID-19 pandemic when refugees are in a particularly vulnerable situation,” said Director of the Center for Marketing and Recruitment of KazNU Leila Delovarova.

The university also provides grants for foreign citizens who are prepared to enter master university programs as part of the Central Asian Hub of Education and Science project. 

As one of the leading universities in the country, the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University is part of the United Nations Academic Impact’s hub for green environmental policy. The university coordinates and engages the academic community in an effort to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals aimed at preserving the country’s natural resources, ensuring the availability of high-quality education and well-being, developing innovations, and preserving the ecosystem among other goals. 

The Kazakh National University was named after the great scientist and thinker Abu Nasr al-Farabi in 1991. This year marks the 1150 anniversary of Abu Nasr al-Farabi. 

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