27.04.2012 [News]

Number of universities in Kyrgyzstan could be reduced to improve quality

Kyrgyz Higher Education Institutions that are not ready to enter a new two-tier education system could be downgraded to colleges, says a spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, Kerez Zhukeeva. Kyrgyzstan is preparing to enter the Bologna system of educating students in autumn this year.

52 higher education institutions and their teachers will be tested before September 2012 to test their conformity to the requirements of the Bologna Process, said Zhukeeva.

According to her, those universities that do not meet the standards may be lowered to the level of colleges, unable to administer diplomas.

The standards and criteria for evaluating teachers and schools are now being developed. But Zhukeeva was unable to confirm the exact number of universities that might lose their current status.

“Accordingly, those universities where there is high quality education and a good teaching staff will remain. To say that a certain amount will lose their [university status] is impossible at this stage. This will be decided by the fall,” said the spokesperson for the Ministry of Education.

A two-tier system of education would allow students to choose their own subjects as well as the teachers who they wish to study under.

Tuition fees will depend on the number of courses selected by the student.

Students will be able to evaluate the performance of teachers at the end of each academic year.

“The credit system of education will help prevent corruption, because the student chooses the subject – when to take it and who to take it with,” added Zhukeeva.

President Atambaev spoke on April 11 of the need to consolidate the number of diploma-giving higher education institutions in the country. In his opinion, the standards of education in Kyrgyzstan are “lagging behind” modern standards.

Atambayev believes that only large, specialized universities should be able to provide state diplomas.

“Education is a service which should be of high quality and meet modern requirements. You cannot invest in the reproduction of yesterday’s education,” read a statement from Atambayev’s press office.

The chairman of Central Asia International Consulting Agency (CAICA), Zhipar Shabdankulova, said previously that Kyrgyzstan is not yet ready to join the Bologna process.

“In order to join must we meet the standards, that is, qualificatory, educational standards and teaching methods – everything has to be appropriate. Kyrgyzstan has not yet done this,” said Shabdankulova.

In early 2012, the Minister of Education, Kanat Sydykov, said that in autumn all universities in Kyrgyzstan will begin teaching the Bologna process – a two-tiered education system based on credits.

In the first four years of study the student passes the first level of higher education and receives a bachelor’s degree. Then the next two years are spent getting a master’s degree.

Author: Gulbadam Kamchybekova/ Source: http://kloop.info/