Higher education in Kyrgyzstan


The higher education system in Kyrgyz Republic

Recent policy updates, major reforms and related news

Relevant projects and initiatives

TAMs organised in 2016 and 2017

Relevant links


The higher education system in Kyrgyz Republic

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 account  international obligations of Kyrgyzstan.

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic is the body of state policy and normative and legal regulation in the field of education, scientific, scientific- technical and innovative activity, intellectual property, as well as in the sphere of upbringing, social support and social protection of students and pupils of educational institutions.

Higher education in the Kyrgyz Republic is implemented in universities, academies, institutes and specialized HEIs (conservatory, higher military - educational institution, etc.).

During the years of independence, the number of higher education institutions has increased - from 12 in 1991 to 50 in 2016. Out of the currently active universities, 31 HEIs are public and 19 HEIs are private. Since 1991, the number of students has also increased 4-fold and amounted to 223.2 thousand in the academic year 2014/5.

Since 2012, the Kyrgyz Republic has moved to a two-tier system of higher education, which gives an opportunity to obtain a bachelor's degree (240 credits), a master's degree (120 credits) and a specialist degree (5 years of study, a number of medical, engineering and specialisations related to creativity).

The concept of the development of education until 2020 envisages the creation and implementation of a national qualifications structure (frameworks) to ensure quality and recognition of qualification levels, both on the domestic and foreign labour markets. The draft National Qualifications Framework provides for 9 levels (including level 5 - a short cycle, level 6 - the first cycle / bachelor's degree, 7a - the second level / specialisation, 7b - the second level / masters’ level, levels 8-9 - the third cycle / doctoral programmes).

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).

Funding of higher education in the Kyrgyz Republic is carried out on a multi-channel basis.

Higher education institutions can be public and private and have equal status regardless of the type of property and type of institution, with the exception of approaches to financing. Public and private higher education institutions pass through the state licensing procedure to begin the implementation of educational programs. Monitoring of their activities is carried out by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic. Since September 1, 2016, the Law on Education foresees the introduction of independent accreditation, through independent accreditation agencies. Their status is recognized by the National Accreditation Council.


Recent policy updates, major reforms and related news

1. Development of the Concept of the National Qualification System of Kyrgyzstan. It is widely discussed in state bodies and academic community and now it is on status of approval in the Government of Kyrgyzstan.

2. Development of the system of accreditation of higher educational institutions.

3. Introduction of PhD - doctoral programs.

4. Development of e-learning.


Relevant projects and initiatives

Tempus project EPASAT

In Kyrgyzstan the project facilitated piloting of PhD 3-years programmes at 6 higher education institutions on 11 disciplines. The project contributed into development of regulations and changes to the Law On Education on introduction of PhD. 

Tempus project QAMEL 

The project contributed into development of regulations on e-learning in Kyrgyzstan through development of e-learning concept which was approved by the Ministry of Education and science in 2017 and development of amendment to the Law On Education in Kyrgyzstan on introduction of e-learning concept in the education sector. Further information: https://bafe.edu.kg/wp-content/qamel/Project/project/

Tempus project DOQUP and Erasmus+ project EurDiq

The projects 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:

  • Draft Decree of the Government on introduction of independent accreditation
  • Regulations on independent accreditation of education programmes
  • Regulations on independent accreditation agencies
  • Framework requirements for independent accreditation proceedings
  • Review of professional and occupational standards
  • Development of qualification framework for tourist sector as pilot sector

These requirements have been produced by Tempus project DOQUP and disseminated to 6 universities. As a result of expertise and assessment of the DOQUP model implementation, the HERE team recommended to take this model as national model for criteria for independent accreditation.

This set of documents has been discussed and approved by deputies of the Parliament, experts, higher education institutions, accreditation agencies and officers from VET institutions etc. during the round table organized by the NE+O and ministry of education in 8 July 2015 and it has been sent to other ministries and Office of Prime Minister for agreement and expertise. It is planned that during 2017 these documents will be adopted by the Government.

Further information on the projects: http://tempus-doqup.unige.it/, http://eurdiq.eu/ru/

Tempus project QUADRIGA   

Development of set of documents on qualification frameworks - The experts have developed a set of documents on the national qualification framework (Concept of qualification system in Kyrgyzstan) on the base of Tempus project QUADRIGA and submitted them to the Government for discussion and approval.


TAMs organised in 2016 and 2017


Event title

Place, date

Main outcomes of the event

Seminar on institutional accreditation

Bishkek Kyrgyz National University


  • Improved understanding on criteria and proceedings on institutional accreditation among HEIs and accreditation agencies
  • Better understanding of difference between institutional and programme accreditation among HEIs, agencies and the Ministry
  • Improved and updated legislation documents on introduction of institutional accreditation

HEREs presented the status quo on independent accreditation in Kyrgyzstan and moderated the workshop.

Seminar on development of joint/double degrees programmes

Bishkek Kyrgyz National University


  • the phases of developing and running DDP
  • an integrated curriculum design process
  • the key points of a DDP agreement
  • main challenges while establishing and implementing DDP
  • mobility schemes
  • final certification
  • EU models on DDP – comparative analysis and discussion on what can be aligned to the Kyrgyz higher education system

HEREs presented results of piloting project on DDP implementation in Kyrgyzstan and facilitated discussions and the workshop

Seminar on development of PhD programmes

Bishkek, International University of Kyrgyzstan


  • Despite of different existing models of PhD school at different European countries and USA, Kyrgyzstan can introduce its own system which should be realistic, qualitative and adaptive to country needs.
  • EU expert gave concrete recommendations how the PhD school in KG can be improved – to decrease number of articles from students, to develop more criteria for quality assurance of programmes, to make clear distribution of duties and responsibilities between mentors and students.
  • Thoughts and ideas for amendment of Education legislation  on introduction of PhD school
  • The requirements for the development of doctoral programs PhD have been specified and the approaches to the determination of the learning outcomes of qualifications - doctors PhD have been defined and clarified;
  • The requirements of scientific paper have been clarified;
  • The requirements for a doctoral dissertation and procedures for its protection have been specified and adjusted in local regulations;
  • The requirements for supervisors have been clarified

HEREs presented results of piloting of first PhD programme at 7 Kyrgyz universities, moderated discussions and made summary with recommendations and suggestion son improvement of PhD temporary regulations to the Ministry of education and science

Seminar on learning assessment

Bishkek EdNet


Widened knowledge among academic and administrative staff of universities about learning assessment and competence based approach in education that will be implemented in home universities in order to achieve quality of education

Seminar on international credit mobility and recognition


Kyrgyz State Technical University

May 2017

Participants recognized the relevance of strategic approaches to mobility and internationalization and the necessity for integrating these activities within the overall strategic orientation of the specific university and discipline.

They also got an insight into concrete procedures and quality assurance mechanisms for organizing mobility activities with the help of practical examples and case studies.

Participants recognised that it is very important to modernise educational programmes towards competence-based approach and ECTS system for better mutual recognition and assessment.

Seminar on university management for top managers of higher education institutions


Park Hotel

June 2017

  • Participants noted that the universities face the primary tasks of increasing responsibility to society and the state, requiring changes in internal organization and approaches to management;
  • The participants recognized that effective management of higher education institutions is one of the most important conditions for ensuring an adequate response of higher education systems to the needs of reform, changing the role of higher education in the economic, social and cultural life of the country and ensuring its sustainable development.
  • Participants were introduced to specific quality assurance procedures and mechanisms for managing in the context of globalization through case studies and case studies. They also got an ideas about new technologies in the system of higher education, risks and ways of solving them with the help of practical examples cited by the international expert


Relevant links