Ministry of Science and Higher Education develops draft law "On Endowment Funds" to attract investment in higher education as part of implementing President's instructions

At the Government session, chaired by Prime Minister Smailov, the issue of measures to implement the Address of the Head of State Tokayev to the people of Kazakhstan "A Fair State. One Nation. Prosperous society". The Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Sayasat Nurbek, made a report on the topic.

In order to increase the competitiveness of science and higher education the Ministry offered the following.

"As the Head of State noted, the water ecosystem is an important factor for sustainable development of the country's economy. This sphere experiences shortage of specialists. In this regard, it is planned to create a base training center and scientific laboratory within the structure of the Dulati Taraz Regional University," the Head of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education began his report.

The Minister also noted that the methodological support of the system of quality assurance in higher education continues to be improved.

The Ministry of Higher Education and Science plans to adopt a standard for teacher training areas, including periods from career guidance work with schoolchildren, program updates, and to confirm the qualifications of graduates.

"A working group has been created to update the Teacher professional standard. We plan to work together with the Ministry of Education to develop a model for teacher certification based on the professional standard. Development of pedagogical science by strengthening the capacity of scientists through the Bolashak programs and the500 scientists project," Sayasat Nurbek said during his report.

As part of providing grants, the Ministry of Higher Education and Science is working on approaches to introduce differentiated grants. As the Minister of Science and Higher Education said, the clarified approach will be presented in the near future. This Presidential instruction is extremely relevant in the context of demographic trends and rising tuition costs.

"Statistics show a more than twofold increase in school graduates by 2030, from 140,000 to 300,000. Therefore, the transition to the voucher system through escrow account, differentiated grants from 30% to 100%," Sayasat Nurbek emphasized.

The issue of student loans is being considered. Students will be able to get an educational loan at 2-3% per annum. This scheme also allows you to eliminate barriers to obtain student loans.

According to the Head of the Ministry, all these measures are aimed at improving the quality of higher education and creating a comfortable learning environment for students. As a tool for accumulating funds for education we are working on the use of the State Educational Savings System together with the Ministry of Education, depending on the age of children and students. One of the important issues is to provide students with dormitories.

"A total of 124 dormitories with more than 30,000 beds have been commissioned between 2018 and 2021. 63% of the beds planned for commissioning are implemented at the expense of private investors," Sayasat Nurbek said.

In order to increase attractiveness and efficiency of construction of hostels with the involvement of PPP it is proposed to:

1. Revise the normative size by reducing the amortization payments to private investors from 8 to 6 years when placing a state order to provide students with the beds in the dormitories and increasing the amount of payments by 20%.

2. Compensate a portion of the operating expenses upon the expiration of the amortization payments and before the end of the term of encumbrance on the unchanged purpose of the dormitory.

And it will allow optimizing expenses of the republican budget on the target construction and activating investments of small medium-sized business. A similar measure has shown effectiveness in the mechanism of construction of private schools.

Requirements for universities to receive state grants on condition that they are provided with dormitories will be enshrined in regulations.

"Regarding the development of endowment funds at universities. In Kazakhstan there is a positive experience of endowment funds, it is KazGUU and the Republican physical and mathematical school. We have started to develop a joint action plan with the Kazakhstan Halkyna  Foundation. It supposes support of endowment funds in attraction of institutional investors, personnel training and management as well as tax incentives," the Minister informed.

At the same time, the Ministry proposes to develop a separate draft law "On endowment funds" on the experience of the United States, Singapore, Russia, and other countries with sustainable financing of university science and innovation.

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