Government • 11 December, 2019

Govt holds meeting of Commission on Optimization of Higher Education Institutions

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Deputy Prime Minister Berdibek Saparbayev held a meeting of the Commission on the Optimization of Higher Education Institutions under the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, primeminister.kz reports.

“The Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev instructed the Government to take strict measures with regard to universities, which have turned into offices for printing and issuing diplomas. Today, 132 universities operate in the republic, of which 43% are private. More than 600 thousand students are studying in them, including 191 thousand under the state order. Unfortunately, we can judge the quality of education by the level of employment - every fourth graduate is unemployed,” Saparbayev noted.

According to the Minister of Education and Science Askhat Aimagambetov, in the current year, inspections were carried out in 34 universities, including 22 unscheduled.

“The analysis shows that many universities violate the requirements of the law. The most common problems are the lack of staff and the degree of the teaching staff, the low level of employment of graduates, the non-compliance with the minimum student enrollment requirements, and the shortage of training facilities and hostels. These problems are directly related to the low potential of universities, which does not allow them to ensure the established standards of higher education,” the minister said.

There are also facts of admission of applicants who did not score threshold points, without taking into account specialized subjects that do not have documents on education, certificates for UNT and other gross violations.

As a result of inspections, the courts imposed administrative fines and suspended the licenses of five universities, and decisions are made on five more universities.

In addition, the issue of empowering the Ministry of Education to revoke the licenses of universities is being studied, and the regulatory framework for improving the quality of higher education is being improved together with the leading universities of the country.

“However, this practice is not observed in all higher education institutions. In our country there are enough strong universities that are in no way inferior to foreign educational institutions,” said Aimagambetov.

At the meeting, reports were given by rectors of Kainar Academy, Kazakh Academy of Labor and Social Relations, Caspian Public University, Almaty University, Central Asian University, Almaty Academy of Economics and Statistics, and Kazakh University of Railway Engineering, during the inspection of which violations were revealed .

In this regard, the ministry, together with the leadership of universities, is studying the issues of combining educational institutions or re-profiling them into colleges. If universities do not eliminate the violations, they will be dealt with in court in order to revoke the license and achieve closure.

Summing up the meeting, the deputy prime minister pointed out a number of problematic issues in the field of higher education. These include low quality of education, high level of corruption, poor development of research activities, poor communication with enterprises, low salaries of teachers, lack of transparency in the formation and placement of state educational orders, and others.

“Improving the quality of higher education is a key issue in ensuring the competitiveness of our country. Therefore, we must approach him as seriously as possible. Why do we need universities that train incompetent and unclaimed specialists, routinely replenishing the ranks of the unemployed? We will take very tough measures against them, right up to the revocation of licenses!” summed up Berdibek Saparbayev.

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