Higher Education System of Kazakhstan

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan manages the higher education system in Kazakhstan. Higher education in Kazakhstan is offered by universities, academies, colleges, institutes, higher schools and colleges. Universities in Kazakhstan emphasize on education, not on research.

Higher Education Qualifications

In Kazakhstan, the higher education institutions offer a wide range of courses at 4 levels of higher education. These levels are:

Bachelor degree: This degree level provides basic education and skills in the students’ chosen area of study. 
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Semesters: 8
  • ECTS: 240 credit points
Specialist degree: This degree level provides specialised education.
  • Duration: 5 years
Masters degree: This degree level requires a completion of a specialist or bachelor’s degree. Masters degree in educational science or pedagogy is offered.  
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Semesters: 4
  • ECTS: 120
Doctoral degree: Students who want to go for this degree level must hold a relevant master’s degree. This degree level requires a completion of a thesis based on original research.  
  • Duration: 2 to 5 years (depending on specialisation)
Students who complete this degree level are awarded a title of Doctor of Science (Doktor Nauk) or PhD degree. 

Higher Education Institutions

In Kazakhstan, there are state-owned and private universities.

Universities (Universitet): This higher education institution offer many programmes at all degree levels-bachelor, master and doctoral. Also, the universities perform pure and applied research.  This type of institution carries out educational and research activities.  

Institutes (Institut): This type of higher education institution provides professional education courses of study.

Academies (Akademia): This type of higher education institution provides educational programmes in 1 or 2 specialties generally. 

Also, there are higher colleges and schools, and conservatories in Kazakhstan offering higher education.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements vary from university to university. Prospective students are required to have completed secondary school education and are also required to undertake an entrance examination for admission into the higher education institution.
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