First National Student Council in Kazakhstan – A Step Forward for the Student Voice?

Good news for students in Kazakhstan! Here’s the official government line from Murat Abenov, Deputy Kazakh Minister of Education and Science:

As soon as young people get an opportunity to get their message across through their organisations, I think our decisions will have a higher quality and will be more approximate to their problems. Suggestions by young people are taken into account in developing the new bill, for example, to support young professionals. A lot of issues are related to employment, to the first steps at a new position, and to the necessity to gain initial work experience as there are usually a lot of requirements associated with the length of service. All of these issues are already being considered in terms of ideas proposed by the youth.

Article below reposted from; (c) Ying Jia Huang

Kazakhstan’s National Student Council has finally been established after months of discussions with top officials in Kazakhstan.  The creation of the council was announced at the first national student convention in Astana, Kazakhstan, where over 1,000 students from public and private universities gathered to celebrate the first steps in educational reform.  The National Student Council will operate under the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan.

Recognizing the need to expand on its education reforms, Kazakhstan has been preparing to sign the European Commission’s Bologna Process, which is a process that separates university into bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.  The desire for Kazakhstan to move away from its past is reflected by its diminishing competitive edge against the globalized demands of today’s workforce and academic institutions. In April, a delegation was sent to participate in the Education Ministers’ conference to prepare for the country’s transition into the new system.

Fatima Zhakypova, the head of the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan, told reporters at a news conference that active participation from students is critical to the realization of education reforms.  The ultimate beneficiaries of these reforms are students, and hence, they should be the most active in deciding how education should be revamped in the country.

The National Student Council will include leaders of Kazakh student organizations and young scientists of the country.  The Council will serve as a forum for students to share concerns over relevant legislation and other topics, such as employment.  Activists believe this is an important first step to give representation and a voice to students, who will be the future leaders of the Kazakh nation.

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