According to statistics, about 14,000 foreign students are reported to pursue their university studies in Kazakhstan in 2018. Of these, about 3,700 are from Uzbekistan, over 1,300 from Turkmenistan, over 1,000 from Kyrgyzstan, about 1,300 from China, about 3,300 from India. The number of foreign students is expected to reach 50,000 by 2025.
For this purpose, Kazakstan is planning to create a Central Asian educational hub, on the model of Dubai and Malaysia, that will help Kazakh universities attract more international students, adopt the best educational programs, invite the best professors of the world, open the branches of the best international universities where students can receive a world-class education. Now Kazakhstan pays much attention to the development of educational tourism and attraction of foreign students. The Center for International Programs holds an annual educational fair "Days of Kazakhstan's Education" in the countries of Central Asia and China.
This fair is a unique platform for discussing topical issues in the field of bilateral and inter-university cooperation between higher education institutions of Kazakhstan and Central Asian countries and China. In 2018, the fair took place in Navoi, Uzbekistan. It represented about 25 leading universities of Kazakhstan, such as L.N.Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Narxoz University, and others.The universities' representatives talked about their opportunities provided to students. They also clarified the system of discounts for foreign students.
Young people received information about the majors and Bachelor's, Master's and doctoral programs. As part of the fair, four HEIs of the two countries signed memorandums on cooperation. According to the Center for International Programs, over the past 10 years, the number of students receiving higher education outside the country of residence (mobile students) has increased by almost 70%.
Foreign students bring significant profits to the national economies of countries that are actively developing the education industry (for example, in 2007 Australia had an income of 4,2 billion Australian dollars from the export of higher education). The USA, the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, Germany and France are still the international education leaders having over 60% mobile students.
In addition to financial benefits, education exporting countries have a number of additional advantages. First, in order to ensure continuity of education for foreign students, the HEIs of these countries bring their curricula and educational programs into compliance with the international standards. They also offer distance learning opportunities or open campuses in other countries. Secondly, they develop partnership relations between universities. At this stage, many HEIs are developing a system of double degrees.
Thirdly, the continuous improvement of research quality is one of key indicators of university performance in many countries, helping attract young promising scientists. The world university rankings are also based on this data. Fourthly, it provides an opportunity for Kazakhstanis to acquire a huge social capital, to establish good contacts and relations and improve cross-cultural communications all over the world.
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