World TVET Database - Country Profiles


TVET Country Profile
1. TVET mission
2. System
3. Governance and financing
4. TVET teachers and trainers
5. Qualifications
6. Projects
7. Statistical information
8. Links
9. References
published: 2012-05-08

1. TVET mission, legislation and national policy or strategy

TVET mission

The aims and objectives for Kazakhstan in the TVET sector are as follows:

  • Modernisation of the TVET system in accordance with the demands of society and industrial development of economy; integration into the global educational space;
  • Achievement of a high level of education quality that meets the demands of the labour market, the objectives of the industrial-innovative development of the country, satisfying individual needs and conforming to the world's best practice in education;
  • Training highly qualified staff for the education sector;
  • Increasing state support and improving teachers’ employment opportunities;
  • Updating the structure and the content of technical and vocational education according to the demands of the country’s industrial development;
  • Development of infrastructure for staff training infrastructure in main sectors of economy;
  • Enhancing the image of TVET;
  • Training staff for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees meeting the demands of the country’s industrial development; and
  • Creating conditions for lifelong education and education for all.
Some of the quantitative targets are:

  • Percentage of a highly qualified teaching staff holding the first and the second category : 52% (out of the total number of teachers);
  • Percentage of TVET graduates who passed an independent assessment of qualification at the employers’ associations at the first try (out of total number of participants): 80%; and
  • Percentage of employed TVET graduates in the first year after graduation under the government grant scheme: 80%.
There are three teacher categories: second, first and the highest. Categories are assigned in accordance with specific requirements laid out by the attestation committee. The requirements refer to academic and professional experience of the teacher, his/her extra-curricular activities, aspiration to professional development, dedication to the improvement of teacher-parent relationship, etc.

TVET strategy

The “State Programme of education development in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2020” is the main document containing the goals and objectives of education development and ways for implementing them. TVET is viewed as one of the most important parts of the educational system, and is broadly addressed in the State programme.

TVET legislation

The Law on Education together with the Law on Higher Education set out the principles and objectives of national education. The Law on Education (last amended in 2011) is the main regulatory act providing for secondary TVET.

Constant adjustments are being made to the legal acts regulating the development of national TVET that also take into consideration international standards in the field of education in accordance with the Bologna process.

One of the latest changes was the adoption of the normative legal act on “creation of a National Council for training of technical and vocational education personnel” in 2011.


  • Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan (2010). State programme of education development in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2020. Astana: Ministry of Education and Science.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/2011. Kazakhstan. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

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    2. TVET formal, non-formal and informal systems

Scheme compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC from UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/2011. Kazakhstan. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

Formal TVET system

Upon completion of the 9th grade of basic secondary education, students have the option to enter technical and vocational schools and pursue a three- to four-year programmes, whereas after graduating from the 11th grade and receiving a complete secondary education, a student may apply to a two- to three-year programme in a technical and vocational school. A transition to a 12-year secondary education system is planned to be finalised by 2015.

With the diploma of complete secondary education it is also possible to continue education in higher education institutes, universities and specialised vocational colleges. Some colleges are affiliated to Universities.

The main purpose of specialised vocational schools and colleges is the training of skilled workers that is carried out in 160 fields. The specialists are trained according to the State standards and educational plans, prepared on the basis of the Classification of secondary specialised education specialities. The specialities are established in the following areas: education, medicine, art and culture, restoration, jewellery, architecture, maintenance and reparation of telecommunications equipment and household appliances, plumbing, etc.

Non-formal and informal TVET systems

In addition to the formal system of vocational education, a broad network of other skill-oriented institutions exists throughout the country. These institutions are: complementary vocational training educational centres for youth and adults, including profit-making learning institutions, sectoral training institutions, professional development courses, etc.


  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/2011. Kazakhstan. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

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    3. Governance and financing


The Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) is the central executive body in charge of management of the educational system. The functions of the MoES are written down in the Law on Education and include the following: defining and executing national educational policy; drafting and adopting national regulations regarding funding for education; drafting and adopting national educational standards, curricula and syllabi; issuing State orders concerning the training of specialists, etc.

The Technical and Vocational Education Department is one of the subordinate departments of MoES.

It is planned to introduce “per capita” financing in all educational institutions.

The management body of technical and vocational schools and colleges is the Academic Board which is responsible for the organisation of the educational process.

Curricula can be autonomously defined by universities, colleges and schools as long as it is within the framework of State educational standards.


Since the Republic of Kazakhstan is divided into regions and districts, its Department of Education is formed from regional/municipal authorities that perform the functions of regional/municipal management when it comes to questions related to education. These departments are responsible for executing the national educational strategy at the regional level and determine the funds allocated to education from regional budgets.


  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/2011. Kazakhstan. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

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    4. TVET teachers and trainers

There are no special training institutions for TVET teachers. In the Soviet time the teachers were taught on separate departments of Engineering and Pedagogical Institutes of Higher Education. This practice is no longer applicable and only a small amount of institutions, including the private ones, still have this department in their structure.

In general, teacher education is weakly connected with the actual practice, leaving graduates poorly introduced to their jobs.

The demand for new teachers is very high and the amount of TVET teacher graduates does not correspond to it. Therefore, the Government has introduced more grants for the free training of new TVET teachers.

Besides the lack of teaching personnel, qualifications of in-service teachers are also a troubled issue, especially in the rural areas of the country. Rural schools tend to be understaffed leaving existing teachers responsible for subjects in which they do not have necessary experience and training.

Generally, in-service training is provided by public regional in-service training institutes. Main purpose of these institutions is to improve professional level of teaching personnel and to implement national education policy with regard to teacher education. Teaching staff has to pass regular in-service training every five years. But the capacity of training institutes is scarce, resulting in inability of those institutions to provide necessary training.

Modernisation of the structure and content of the TVET system has left training personnel under- qualified, since their knowledge no longer corresponds to current developments and new methodologies in their field of competence. Often, teachers are not able to attend additional training courses that are not a part of in-service training taking place every 5 years or are expected to do so at their own expense.

TVET trainers are mainly practitioners-specialists in different fields who combine work and teaching TVET programmes part-time, mostly due to the low level of salary.


  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/2011. Kazakhstan. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

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    5. Qualifications and qualifications frameworks

Secondary vocational education

Completion of basic or complete secondary education gives a student the right to enter technical and vocational schools. In such schools, a professional diploma can be obtained.

The certificate of complete secondary education entitles its holder to apply to technical and vocational colleges, higher educational institutes and universities.

Upon successful completion of technical and vocational college a student is awarded a qualification diploma.

Post-secondary vocational education

After college a student may continue his/her studies at a higher education institution, where Bachelor's and Master's degrees are awarded. Studying in technical universities, academies and institutes normally leads to a Diploma of Specialist.

National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

By 2010 the Republic of Kazakhstan was to adjust its curriculum to an outcomes-oriented model, based on a normative framework of expected outcomes. The development of a National Qualifications Framework is currently in progress.

Quality assurance

The Independent Kazakhstan Quality Assurance Agency for Education (IQAA) conducts quality assurance of higher institutions in Kyrgyzstan. IQAA conducts accreditation of universities and colleges; provides advisory services on quality assurance and provides rankings of higher education institutions. The agency cooperates with national and international stakeholders to improve quality assurance mechanisms and establish regular assessment and evaluation activities in higher education.

With regard to TVET, there is a lack of transparent quality assurance mechanisms. According to VET Roundtable (2007), “assessment mechanisms are outdated and lack transparency. Apart from student assessments, other tools for monitoring quality and for evaluation are used infrequently, if at all. Neither the schools nor the State Agency for Vocational Education have well-defined and managed quality assurance systems.”


  • ETF (2009). Kazakhstan Country Plan. Turin: European Training Foundation.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education Ed VII. 2010/2011. Kazakhstan. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

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    6. Current and ongoing reforms, projects, and challenges

Current reforms and major projects

The TVET system in the Republic of Kazakhstan is going through major restructuring. This was partly due to big changes in the structure of national economy and the lack of qualified workers to support it. As a result, more resources have been allocated to the improvement of the TVET system.

A number of issues are being addressed:

Major work is being carried out in developing the cooperation between personnel training companies and educational institutions, with the aim to make more places available for the practical training of students.

A new system of independent quality assessment within the TVET system is being implemented.

International cooperation is an important aspect. For example, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) is assisting in developing curricula and module programmes; the European Commission is involved in the development of social partnerships; the Norwegian Education and Training Centre (RKK) helps in education and re-training of workers in the field of oil and gas. Other international partners involved in projects are the British Council, the World Bank, ETF, GEMCO International BV, and the University of Applied Sciences FONTYS (the Netherlands).

A breakthrough project under the governance of the Ministry of Education was the creation of modern inter-regional centres for education and re-training on the basis of existing educational institutions. The centres focus on educating and re-training workers for the most important sectors of national economy.

Suggestions of employers, labour associations and State Government are taken into consideration while revising professional qualifications in technical and vocational education and developing a NQF for TVET. According to the ILO report (2010) on The Implementation and Impact of National Qualifications Frameworks, Kazakhstan is in the phase of considering the implantation of NQF. A project initiated by The World Bank in 2010 called Technical and Vocational Education Modernisation Project is aimed at assisting Kazakhstan in the development of NQF.


  • ILO (2010). The Implementation and Impact of National Qualifications Frameworks: Report of a study in 16 countries. Geneva: International Labour Organisation.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2011). World Data on Education Ed VII. 2010/2011. Kazakhstan. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.
  • Webpage of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Accessed: 22 November 2011.

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    7. Statistical information(*)

Population (Million)



Average yearly population growth rate 2005 - 2010

+1.13 %

For comparison:
Global average yearly population growth rate 2005-2010: 1.17%
7.92 7.26
female male  
8.33 7.70
female male  

52.18 %

51.99 %

Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on UN ESA: World Population Prospects/ the 2010 revision

GDP per capita (currency: US$)







3 771

5 292

6 772

8 514

7 241

9 136

Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on World Bank database

Employment (Million)

total female male


8.33 7.70
Labour Force
Labour Force Rate




Labour Force


4.20 (49.7%) 4.26 (50.3%)
Unemployment Rate






0.32 (56.9%) 0.24 (43.1%)

Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on ILO: Key indicators of the labour market

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8. Links to UNEVOC centres and TVET institutions

UNEVOC Centers

TVET Institutions

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9. References, bibliography, abbreviations


Further reading


  • CTVET - Continuous Technical and Vocational Education and Training
  • EQF - European Qualifications Framework
  • GTZ - German association for technical cooperation
  • IQAA - Independent Kazakhstan Quality Assurance Agency for Education
  • ITVET - Initial Technical and Vocational Education and Training
  • LLL - Lifelong Learning
  • MoES - Ministry of Education and Science
  • NQF - National Qualifications Framework
  • RKK - Norwegian Education and Training Centre
  • TVET - Technical and Vocational Education and Training

Published by: UNESCO-UNEVOC
Publication Date: 2012-05-08
Validated by: UNEVOC Centre 'Progress' - Association 'Education for all in Kazakhstan' (Tempus)

page date 2017-05-05

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