INDEPENDENT KAZAKH AGENCY FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE IN EDUCATION

Promoting excellence in education

Bologna process in Kazakhstan

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On March 2010, Kazakhstan officially joined the Bologna declaration and became the 47th member of the European Higher Education Area and the first Central Asian state, which was recognized as a full member of the European Educational Area

After joining the Bologna process, higher education system of Kazakhstan has undergone dramatic changes.

1. There has been the accession of Kazakhstani universities to the Great Charter of universities, which is currently signed by more than 650 universities in the world, and which is believed to make the local education closer to the European standards. The Great Charter was signed by more than 60 Kazakhstani universities.

2. There has been an adoption of the three-tier system of education: Bachelor - Master - PhD, based on the principles of the Bologna Declaration.

According to the National Report on the development of the education system of the Republic of Kazakhstan (based on the results of 2014), the training of Master students is conducted in 118 universities in the country, with approximately 32,527 students, of which 16,220 study by the means of the state order. The number of Master students with successful defenses of their research studies constitutes 92%.

Sixteen Kazakhstani universities conduct studies for PhD students in partnership with leading foreign universities. The number of doctoral students in 2014 constituted 2063 people.

3. Universities introduced advanced technologies and training systems in their educational processes: all universities introduced credit technology of education, 38 of them offer dual-degree education, 42 universities offer distance learning. Universities also work on the development of modular educational programs and syllabi in accordance with the Dublin descriptors; the National Qualifications Framework has been introduced as well.

4. The ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) has been introduced as a basis for the transfer of credits during academic mobility of students. There has been an introduction of the new Guideline on ECTS (approved at the Yerevan Conference of Ministers of Education of European countries on May 14-15, 2015).

5. The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan allocates funding for academic mobility of faculty and students, and universities themselves also find resources on academic mobility.

According to the official data of the Center of the Bologna process and academic mobility, in 2014, 52 Kazakhstani universities invited 1726 foreign researchers (in 2013 – 1533 researchers, 2012 – 1 349 researchers, 2011 – 1717 researchers, 2010 – 418 researchers, 2009 – 389 researchers).

To date, 785 researchers were from European countries, 85 researchers from the East Asia, 32 researchers from the Southeast Asia, 140 researchers from the USA, 498 researchers from Russia, 28 researchers from Belorussia, and 158 researchers from other countries. The invitation of foreign professors and consultants is implemented in the framework of the state order and by the means of the extra-budgetary resources of universities.

Overall, from 2009 to 2014 there were 6927 foreign researchers and consultants

In order to promote academic mobility of higher education institutions, a considerable number of students were sent to study abroad for at least one semester in 2014: the overall number was 805 students, of which 740 studied in Europe, 52 in the United States, 12 in East Asia, and 1 in Russia. In 2014, 616 Bachelor students and 189 Master students were sent to study abroad by the means of the state budget.

Since 2011, the total number of Bachelor students (1520 individuals) and Master students (1043 individuals) underwent the academic mobility in different specialties.

6. To promote the European cooperation in quality assurance with a view of developing comparable criteria and methodologies, the MES established the National Register of quality assurance agencies, which, together with the Independent Kazakh Quality Assurance Agency in Education (IQAA) includes one more national and 8 foreign agencies. In the period from 2009 to 2015, IQAA held institutional accreditation of 50 universities and more than 1,100 programs. The agency attracted 153 foreign experts from 25 countries, about 1,100 national experts, including 190 students and more than 200 employers. The Agency is working on the harmonization of accreditation standards with the standards and guidelines for quality assurance in higher education in the European Higher Education Area.

Overall, according to the data of the National Report, 66 universities (57%) out of 115 public universities underwent the national institutional accreditation.

To date, 22 Kazakhstani universities (19 %) in 139 specialties of higher and further education underwent international programme accreditation.

The agency creates a broad bank of experts from the variety of employers and students, and implements the introduction of accreditation in accordance with the standards of the interinstitutional systems of quality assurance of education and attraction of students and employers to the external assessment of universities. 

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