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Bolashak scholarship rumours dispelled

12 november 2013, 18:13
0
Students at the library. Photo ©AFP
Students at the library. Photo ©AFP
Nur Otan political party, the ruling party of Kazakhstan, has dispelled the rumors surrounding selection of Bolashak scholarship students, Tengrinews reports.

Bolashak program offers eduction scholarships that include all living and tuition expenses to outstanding Kazakhstan students with high academic performance to study overseas. Upon the graduation students are obliged to return to Kazakhstan and work for in the country at least 5 years.

At the conference to summarized results of Bolashak eduction project, Director of the Institute of Public Policy Sayasat Nurbek said that it is wrong to believe that Bolashak scholarship was for children of high-ranking officials and tycoons only.

“There is a wide-spread belief that students who go to study abroad through this program are solely the children of wealthly people, government officials, people in power and such. However, our analysis shows that parents of 38 percent of the recipients are small traders owning kiosks, small entrepreneurs, and others, 35 percent are civil servants or employees of state-funded organizations, and 14 percent are retired, unemployed or self-employed, “ – said Mr. Nurbek.

This leaves 13 percent of the scholarship recipients whose parents are not part of any of the mentioned above categories.

“The analysis we've made gave us a good clear picture. As you know, there have been a lot of criticism of the program lately. So we tried to make the analysis broad to reflect as many aspects as possible. Around 10 thousand scholarships have been awarded over the last 20 years. Around 2.5 thousand people are studying in 33 countries around of the world at the moment,” he continued.

According to the Director of the Institute of Public Policy, a survey covering 1400 respondents and over a 100 employers, was made as part of the analysis. When planning the survey we specifically made sure that it would cover “outspoken critics” not just those loyal to the project, he said. “All in all, the results are not bad. 83% of scholarship students said that the program was one of the most successful programs in Kazakhstan,” said Mr. Nurbek.

Talking about the drawbacks of the program he mentioned employment: “5.5 percent out of 1400 graduates who were surveyed have not found a job yet. Their reasons vary. But mainly, those are the students who graduated with rare specializations that are not so widespread in Kazakhstan yet. Another problem is that 55% of the gradates are employed by private companies. There is nothing wrong with it, but they are not making any direct contribution into the public sector. But unfortunately there are no solutions for this problem,” said Sayasat Nurbek.

Mr. Nurbek mentioned that there had been several cases of Bolashak student violation laws: “According to the International Programs Center, over the 20 years, 47 out of 10000 recipients of the scholarship have failed to return to Kazakhstan and stayed abroad. There have also been cases of volition of laws. All this stays below 1 percent of all the awardees,” Mr. Nurbek said.


By Baubek Konyrov

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