New Group of EU Scholarship Recipients from Afghanistan Start Their Education in Kazakhstan

NUR-SULTAN – Fifty recipients of scholarships funded by the European Union (EU) from Afghanistan have started their English courses at the Almaty Management University (AlmaU) in April, reported the press service of the UNDP. 

Classes at the Kazakh-British Technical university. Photo credit: UNDP in Kazakhstan.

The course started online in December of 2021. By the beginning of the academic year, all students will graduate from the university and proceed to their degree-specific education.

Initially launched in 2019, the scholarship has received additional funding from the EU that will provide more Afghan women with an opportunity to study and receive higher and technical vocational education in Central Asian countries. Some 50 Afghan students studied as part of the first phase. Some of them are continuing their bachelor’s program in Kazakhstan and TVET education in Uzbekistan. 

The second phase of the project was launched in 2021. It was extended both geographically and gave an opportunity to receive a European education to an additional 105 Afghan women in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan is a new country-participant of the project. UNDP is an implementing agency of the projects.

This year, women took part in a week adaptation program featuring cultural events and activities and tours around the city. 

Suhila, 23, one of the Afghan students, said that the adaptation week was of great help to her. “I feel so comfortable in this city since I have come here. When we arrived in Almaty, we went around the city and went to the mountains. We went shopping. I also improved my basic Kazakh and Russian while talking to the local students,” Suhila told in a recent interview for this story. 

Suhila plans to study marketing at the Kazakh-British Technical University. “Why marketing? It was my dream to become a businesswoman. I have some skills necessary for marketing like communication and knowledge of languages. In Afghanistan, we don’t have a lot of businesswomen. This scholarship is a golden chance for me to continue my education,” she added. 

Suhila admitted that it was quite a challenge for her to apply for the program but “there is a good saying that ‘if you try your best you can achieve anything’ so I tried my best and achieved a result,” she said. 

She felt warmth while speaking about her teachers who support students in every aspect of life. “They make our education perfect and they want us to be perfect students too. My mother as well as my academic teachers are role models for me,” she said. 

After the language courses, the students will study MA, BA and TVET programs in Agriculture, Marketing, Construction and Engineering and ICT. Some 50 students will study Agriculture at the Kazakh National Agrarian University in Almaty, Marketing at the Kazakh-British Technical University, and Construction and Engineering at the Kazakh Leading Academy of Architecture and Civil Engineering (KazGASA) in Kazakhstan. 

Thirty students will pursue their degrees at Tashkent State Agrarian University in Uzbekistan and 25 students will study at the University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan.

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