20 – 7000 Kazakh Students Can’t Pay
This story has been in my backlog, duly starred in Google Reader and bookmarked in the “To Post About” Folder on Firefox. But as I work through that file of stories I meant to post about, they become less and less timely. So I’m going to link to a nice article on it at Ekspeditsya, a Central Asia blog I just discovered with some pretty good content on it.
Claims have been made that 20 000 students were expelled for being unable to pay tuition or fees at Kazakhstan universities and colleges. The Minister of Education claims that the number of expelled students is only 7 000 and that of those 3 000 were expelled due to poor academic performance or other grant violations. The Ministry is also apparently taking measures to be more flexible in allowing students to pay for education.
It would be interesting to hear from some of the students themselves on this issue. Is this a real problem or not? There are serious problems with the educational system in Kazakhstan but I have never heard that school fees were excessively high although I have heard many accusations of corruption and of students or parents paying out-of-pocket for everything from repairs, to new teacher salaries, to sports equipment (There’s an interesting comment on Masimov’s blog about teachers not being paid and other financial problems at a school in South Kazakhstan).
So how hard is it to pay for higher education in Kazakhstan?