Country Listing

Kyrgyzstan Table of Contents


Higher Education

In 1994 Kyrgyzstan had twenty-six institutions of higher learning, all but seven of which were located in Bishkek. Seven of the institutions were private and the remainder state-funded. Approximately 4,700 faculty were employed there, of which only 150 had doctoral degrees and 1,715 were candidates, the step below the doctorate in the Soviet system. The language of instruction remained predominantly Russian in the mid-1990s, although the use of Kyrgyz increased yearly. Long-term plans call for a more Western style of university study, so that, for example, the universities would begin to offer a baccalaureate degree. In 1992 President Akayev created a Slavic University in Bishkek to help Kyrgyzstan retain its population of educated Russians, for whom the increased "Kyrgyzification" of education was a reason to emigrate. Because Russian students from outside the Russian Federation had lost their Soviet-era right to free education in Russian universities, Akayev hoped to provide a Russian-language institution for Russian-speaking students from all the Central Asian states. The shortage of education funds in Kyrgyzstan brought strong objections to a project that did not promote the education of ethnic Kyrgyz students, however.

Data as of March 1996