Quality Assurance in Higher Education of Kazakhstan: A Review of the System and Issues

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter describes the changes in the quality assurance system, which took place in Kazakhstan during the years of its independence. Largely driven by the standards and guidelines of the Bologna Process that the country has been informally following and has officially joined in 2010, the quality assurance system in Kazakhstan has undergone two stages in its development. Over the early years of independence, the system retained the highly centralized approach to quality assurance that was adopted in the Soviet Union. The primary role at the early stage was played by the Ministry of Education, which performed a complicated set of quality assurance procedures, including licensing, attestation, accreditation, and external assessment. More recently, the approach has become more decentralized, whereby the responsibility for quality assurance has been transferred to higher educational institutions incentivized to pursue higher quality to attract more public funding and fee-paying students. Under the new regime accreditation has become the core mechanism of external quality assurance. The function of accreditation was taken away from the Ministry of Education and is performed by a combination of independent international and domestic agencies. The chapter describes the processes underlying the changes in the quality assurance approach at each of the stages, and summarizes the corresponding structure of the system. It also discusses the challenges and opportunities, which emerged in the process of implementation of the approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Rise of Quality Assurance in Asian Higher Education
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780081005590
ISBN (Print)9780081005538
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2 2017


  • Higher education
  • Kazakhstan
  • Quality assurance
  • Reform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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