According to the minister, in 2018 the number of grants increased by 20 thousand places. The total number of grants allocated annually in the country reached 69 thousand: 53 thousand undergraduate students, 13 thousand — students of master's programs, over 2 thousand — PhD students.
Sagadiyev noted that 50% of all grant receivers are trained in technical specialties (34 thousand). Among them are relevant to the labor market directions as information and communication technologies, cyber security, radio engineering and electronics. About 5 thousand grants are provided for rural youth under the Serpіn program. About 20% of grants are aimed at training teachers, including those with enhanced linguistic competence.
In all universities, the cost of grants in technical and agricultural specialties became equal to the cost of grants in national universities and reached 635 thousand tenge. Thus, according to the minister, the Head of State’s instruction to allocate grants and increase the cost has been fully implemented.
A number of additional measures are being taken to ensure accessibility of higher education.
First, the Unified National Testing is held four times a year. The first test was conducted in January 2019. More than 35 thousand school graduates took part in it. They were given the opportunity in February to enroll in the university for training on a fee basis.
Second, according to the adopted changes in the Law “On Education,” a new model of admission to the master’s programs is being introduced in the same way as undergraduate education. The award of the educational grant will be made on the basis of the results of comprehensive testing with the provision of the possibility of choosing a university for training to applicants themselves.
Sagadiyev also reported that the ministry is continuing work on building new places in the dormitories. In 2019, it is planned to add 5,000 places.
“Today, in 3.5 months, we received 20 applications for 11,144 places. We have concluded 12 contracts for 6,556 places. Most of them are already under construction. In addition to this, by the end of January, we plan to conclude 8 more contracts for 4,588 places. These buildings will be commissioned in 2020,” said Sagadiyev.
The minister noted that from the start of the project implementation, educational organizations have built 10 dormitories for 2,780 places at their own expense and without using the state order mechanism.
In general, there are all conditions for entering 75 thousand new places by the end of 2022. In particular, 170 land plots have been chosen, 121 of which belong to educational organizations, 49 plots are allocated by akimats. Twenty-seven organizations have developed design estimates documentation, 62 are developing. A bank of already developed and standard design and estimate documentation has been created, which can be used by new project participants.
For 107 projects, sources of financing were identified: 50 will be built at their own expense, 57 — with the involvement of investors. The issue of involving the private sector in the mechanism is the most pressing and requires additional incentive measures. In particular, the ministry proposes subsidizing the interest rates of developers as part of extending the implementation of the Business Roadmap until 2025. At the same time, on the part of local executive bodies it is important to speed up the work on the allocation of land plots.
“In general, the implementation of the Head of State’s Third Initiative of is within the planned deadlines, is under constant control and will be continued,” concluded Sagadiyev.