Higher education in Kyrgyzstan


The Higher Education System in the Kyrgyz Republic

Recent policy updates, major reforms and related news

Relevant projects and initiatives

TAMs and SPHERE seminars in 2016 - 2019

Relevant links



The Higher Education System in the Kyrgyz Republic


The Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic is the central body of the executive power that conducts state policy and exercises management in the field of education and science and state control over the accessibility and quality of education, and ensuring the constitutional right of citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic to education.


In accordance with Article 45 of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, everyone has the right to education. Regulation of higher education is carried out in accordance with the Law "On Education".


In order to ensure further sustainable functioning and priority development of the education system, including higher education, in combination with the consistent reforms in this area, on 23 March 2012 the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic by its Decree No 201 has adopted the Education Development Concept and Strategy in the Kyrgyz Republic until 2020 which consolidate values and priorities, as well as create the basis for concrete steps to develop the education system, taking into accountinternational obligations of Kyrgyzstan.


In accordance with the Governmental Resolution of the Kyrgyz Republic No 496 of August 23, 2011 “On establishing a two-level structure of the higher professional education in the Kyrgyz Republic”, a two-level structure of higher professional education was set with an award of academic degrees “Bachelor” and “Master”, except for certain specialties.

  • Level 1 includes Bachelor programs - duration of study: 4 years - 240 credits.
  • Level 2 includes: Master programs - duration: 2 years - 120 credits
  • Level 3 was introduced as pilot regime at 6 higher education institutions
  • PhD programs - duration: 3 years - 180 credits.
  • Continuing education programs include Training of specialists - duration: 5 years - 300 credits

Duration of study in medical specialists: 6 years - 360 credits. The courses for an academic year are equal to at least 60 credits for intramural learners. One semester is worth 30 credits in case the academic year is composed of two semesters. The state educational standards for higher professional education, approved on September 15, 2015, are based on the European qualifications framework for higher education (Dublin descriptors).

The market of educational services for youth and adults is increasing and becomes more and more competitive. 64 higher educational institutions function that host 160 thousand students (32 state institutions and 32 non-state institutions).


Within the framework of education quality control, The National Accreditation Board, which is an advisory and consultative body that operates on a voluntary basis for the recognition of activities of accreditation agencies, was created under the Ministry of Education and Science by the Governmental Resolution No 438 dated August 4, 2014.The purpose of the Board is to exercise independent and objective recognition of the activity of the accreditation agencies.


Recent policy updates, major reforms and related news

The Ministry of Education and Science is the main body that organizes and coordinates the implementation of planned reforms. Reforms in the higher education sector are taking place in coherence with Education Development Strategy 2020, which is implemented on the base of three-year Action plans.

According to the Action Plan 2018-2020 on implementation of the Education Development Strategy of the Kyrgyz Republic 2012-2020 (EDS 2020) the following trends have been addressed in higher education in 2018:

Development of national qualification system – to date there is no national qualification system in the country, the Ministry of education and the Ministry of labour is trying to develop it and this process is lasting since 1993. In 2018 the full package of legislative documents have been finalized and presented to the Parliament, first parliamentary hearings have passed successfully. Second parliament hearings have been planned for 2019.

Improvement of education content – educational standards and professional standards are not responding to labour market needs and they need to be updated. In 2018 the Ministry initiated to change education standards on all profiles. Working groups made assessment and comments on change of educational standards. This project is going on still and not finalized yet because national qualification system is not adopted yet therefore this reform is hanging on and will be operational after adoption of national qualification system.

Development of legislation on E-learning – in 2018 the concept on e-learning have been developed and approved by the Ministry of education and science. Currently the National Concept for the Development of e-Learning and Digital Management have been developed, which is now under consideration under inter-ministerial working group.

Adoption of PhD degree in Kyrgyzstan - is objective of the Concept on science and research development. The amendments have been listened in the Parliament and have been sent for further development to the Ministry and profile committees of the Parliament.

Development of next Education Development Strategy 2030 – the Ministry of education and science developed draft concept and sent it for approval to the Government.


Relevant projects and initiatives

Erasmus+ project CACTLE

The project CACTLE meets the needs of higher education sector and one of six priorities of Development Strategy 2020 which is related to the strengthening of cooperation between employers and higher education institutions.

This project is dedicated to implement a “Central Asian Centre for Teaching, Learning and Entrepreneurship – CACTLE” to promote and strengthen the relations between Central Asian HEIs and enterprises as socio-economic actors and therefore to foster the knowledge triangle.

The main results of the project are the following:

- creation and implementation of CACTLE centers in universities

- the signing of a convention of sustainable development between the three universities of Bishkek for the further sustainable development of centers for the completion of the project,

- the creation of a single site where potential consumers can see the list of all available courses, find information about project trainers and read the feedback from participants.

Further information: http://www.cactle.eu

 Erasmus+ project EurDiq

The goal of the project is to ensure the sustainable development of higher education in Russia and Kyrgyzstan by creating a system for assessing the quality of educational programs in accordance with the principles of the Bologna process and the EU strategic development plan until 2020. The project will also focus on strengthening the European dimension in the specialties of the tourism industry in order to improve the employability of graduates in Russia and Kyrgyzstan.

The result of the project is to improve the qualifications of the teaching staff of universities involved in the development and implementation of the new curriculum of professional standards and the sectoral qualification framework, designed and developed an experimental curriculum for the master degree of the “Tourism” area based on professional standards, sectoral qualification framework and educational results, development and promotion of the national qualification system in Kyrgyzstan as well as the innovativeness of the idea of ​​creating network training program universities in Kyrgyzstan, Russia and the EU.

The project has contributed to the development of a range of documents on the introduction of independent accreditation in Kyrgyzstan by the following deliveries in joint cooperation with HEREs:

-The draft of the Concept of development of National system of qualifications of KR is developed;

- The draft of amendments to the Law of KR "About Education" is developed for promotion of National system of qualifications and the National qualification framework of KR;

- Prepared an analytical report on the needs of employers in employees' competences and qualifications with recommendations;

-Conducted trainings on professional development for teachers;

Further information can be found here: http://eurdiq.eu

Information about initiatives of other development partners in education sectors can be found here http://www.donors.kg/en/strategy


TAMs and SPHERE seminars in 2016 - 2019


Subject and  title of the TAM

Geographical scope ( national, regional etc)

Target groups 




The role of HEI in supporting staff to enhance learning and teaching in Kyrgyzstan

National TAM

Administrative staff, represented by deans of different faculties, heads of departments, managers of courses and staff of training department

14-15 May, 2018

Bishkek, Diplomatic Academy  MFA  KR

university administrators are better aware of different techniques on supporting teaching staff and learning

participants of seminars are aware of best practice and lessons learnt from European universities

studied experience of Institute for Academic Development under the University of Edinburg


Analysis of national qualification system in Kyrgyzstan

National TAM

HERE, members of Inter-ministerial working group

19-20 June,2018


Ala-Too International University

Participants of a seminar obtained detailed information on approaches to formulation descriptors of a national framework of qualifications for all levels; specification on  approaches to designing of a branch framework of qualifications and formation of occupational standards.

The role of Accreditation in Promoting Quality Assurance at HEIs


Ministerial representatives, representatives of accreditation system at HEI, HEREs and accreditation agencies.

3-4  October, 2018


Park hotel

•Participants familiarized themselves with European experience with a specific case example of the Spanish QA system and the “lessons learnt” from a recent shift from programme oriented to institutional QA approaches; 

•Participants have analysed the degree of alignment of the QA systems in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russian Federation to the ESG and – through a participatory interactive process - understood the areas most in need of attention in their respective countries;

•Participants worked out recommendations on legislative support for accreditation system for  each of the  participating countries and priority actions for QA agencies and HEIs

Particularities of PhD accreditation

National TAM

Team leaders of PhD pilot HEIs, staff of quality assurance  and staff of accreditation agencies

5-6 December 2018

International University of Kyrgyzstan

•Seminar participants are able to apply widened knowledge on quality assurance criteria in preparation of internal evaluation report on self-assessment of PhD program;

•Staff of independent accreditation agencies (experts from HEIs) are  able to develop their own criteria on external quality assurance of PhD program;

•Staff of the Ministry of education and science are able to use results of seminar in licensing proceedings for PhD program;

•Staff of Supreme Attestation Commission  increased their knowledge on accreditation of PhD programs and nostrification of PhD diploma;

•Strengthened status of PhD status and dissemination of PhD culture in Kyrgyzstan.



Relevant links