Higher and doctoral education in Kazakhstan underwent a systemic reform since independence in 1990. Reforms have been determined by dynamic socio-economic developments in Kazakhstan, the country's entry into the global market, and the need to increase the competitiveness of its human capital. Kazakhstan joined the Bologna Process and switched to a three-cycle education system in 2010. However, the transition process did not happen smoothly. Doctoral education in the country is challenged by a low graduation rate of doctoral students. The purpose of the qualitative study on which this article reports was to explore doctoral students' perceptions of doctoral training and their experiences in Kazakhstani universities in the context of recent reforms.
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