Transformation of science and higher education system awaits Kazakhstan

The higher education and science system in Kazakhstan needs transformation, announced the country’s relevant minister Sayasat Nurbek at a special forum attended by rectors of universities and heads of research institutes, which took place in the capital. The new ministry is ready to reload, he noted. University science will be developed in the first place. It is universities that should become the providers of scientific personnel. They are sorely lacking in Kazakhstan, Nurbek stressed. If there were about 52,000 employees in this sector in the 90s, then nowadays their number almost halved. Also, the country intends to revise the models and mechanisms for financing science on the instructions of the President.

“The results of all scientific grants, researches, and performance-based financing remain the core issue. This therefore requires a reform, an introduction of applied science to develop more and more practical applications. Any scientific research must solve a specific problem. We will increase the master’s, bachelor’s and PhD stipends, redouble financing for scientific grants, as well as performance-oriented budgeting,” Nurbek added.

The minister said that in the next three years, the state will intensively invest funds in science, increasing them up to one trillion tenge, which is one percent of GDP. The demand for research projects of universities on the market would be no less important.

“We comply with our import substitution program. We are currently executing several research projects that we have in order to replace imported items with Kazakh-made ones. One of our partners now is the Batpenov Research Center of Traumatology and Orthopedics. Previously, we introduced performance-oriented budgeting. That is, we developed implants at the first stage, and conducted clinical trials. At present, we are looking for partners to commercialize the project,” said Saule Rakhmetullina, Rector of the East Kazakhstan Technical University.