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Higher Education

The number of students in postcompulsory education has fallen. The duration of training is four years. The numbers enrolled in higher education establishments are remarkably constant. At present there are 24 higher education institutions in Tajikistan, offering training in 130 specialties. However, it is estimated that the country still needs 2,000 specialists trained outside the Republic, particularly in the field of railways, aviation, and industry. There is an excess of some specialists and a lack of others.

Competition for places to study subjects such as economics, management, business, foreign languages, and trade is fierce, as returns are higher. The competition constitutes up to five applicants for one seat in these departments.

Higher education is mainly provided by universities and institutes. They fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education. Languages of instruction are Tajik and Russian. Higher education credentials include Attestat o Srednem Obrazovanii, junior specialist diploma, bachelor's, specialist diploma, master's, doctorate, Kandidat nauk, and Doktor nauk.

University credentials for the first stage include junior specialist, bachelor's, and diploma of specialist. The junior specialist degree is conferred after two years of study. The bachelor's degree is awarded after four years of study. The diploma of specialist in a given field is conferred after five year's study.

University credentials for the second stage include master's and Kandidat Nauk. the master's degree is awarded after two years study beyond the bachelor's degree. The Kandidat Nauk degree is conferred after an additional three years study beyond the specialist degree plus defense of a thesis.

University credentials for the third stage include the doctorate and Doktor Nauk. The Ph.D. is conferred after an additional three years study beyond the master's degree. The Doktor Nauk is conferred after an additional three years beyond the Kandidat Nauk plus defense of a thesis.

A secondary school credential, Attestat o Srednem Obrazovanii is required for admission to university level studies. There is also an entrance examination for certain universities.

University student expenses for Tajik natives ranges from 0 to 800,000 Tajik rubles. For foreign students, fees ranges from US$800 to 1200.

Of all levels of education, only that at university level and above have actually expanded since 1990. There were twice the number of institutions of higher learning (22) in 1994 than in 1990; student bodies have increased by nearly 7 percent. The participation of women, however, has sharply declined from 37 percent of total enrollment in 1990 to only 28 percent in 1995 and there has been a decline of over 20 percent in the actual number of female students.

A 1993 State Statistical Agency study of students at the six institutions with the highest enrollment indicated the predominance of children from more highly educated parents. Overall, children of the intelligentsia comprised 50.2 percent of the enrollment, children of workers 32.9 percent and children of farmers only 16.9 percent. The largest percentages of farmers' children were found in the agricultural and technical universities; workers' children predominated at the medical and technical universities; and the children of the intelligentsia dominated enrollment at Tajik State University (the most competitive and highly esteemed university) and the Tajik Commercial Institute.

Despite a growth in quantity and enrollment, institutions of higher learning are beset by the same problems as other levels of the educational system: inadequate funding; lack of textbooks, instructional materials, equipment, and even basic office supplies; departure of faculty members and administrators; and the absence of rational curriculum reform.

Students continue to receive stipends, but irregularly. In any case, a stipend of 100 Tajik rubles per month (approximately US$0.30), as of December 1995, is sufficient for only one or two days' food. Dormitories are frequently unheated, lack hot water or gas for cooking and are often in such poor repair that five or six students crowd into one room originally intended for two. Some universities continue to operate student clinics, but medications are in extremely short supply and often outdated.

Some institutions have found ways to broaden their base of financial support, and this is, in fact, a stated goal of current government education policy. In 1994, some 15 percent of university students were contracted students, the cost of whose education was borne by employers, effectively subsidizing other students' education. Beginning in 1992, at least three institutes of higher learning are "commercial" universities, supporting their programs of instruction through a combination of contracted students, partial tuition payments, and fees charged to enterprises who subsequently employ their graduates: the Technological University of Tajikistan; the University of Municipal Services; and the Commercial University. The Technological University of Tajikistan has become a member of the International Associations of UNESCO—the only member in the Central Asian area.

Beyond the undergraduate level there are 14 postgraduate programs at six universities and eight research institutes offering advanced studies in 19 major subject areas and 114 narrower specialties. A total of 607 students were enrolled in these programs in 1994.

At present, tertiary-level education reaches only 14 percent of the age-eligible population. Among women, fewer than one in twelve (7.7 percent) in the 18- to 22-year-old population is enrolled at the university level.


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Education - Free Encyclopedia Search EngineGlobal Education ReferenceTajikistan - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education