The role of education in the formation of national competitiveness

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №3 - 2011

Author: Zakirova Dilnara, TURAN University, Kazakhstan

The role of education in the sustained development of countries’ competitiveness and for the strengthening of countries’ positions in the world economy is becoming very important. The educational sector is one of the main “trouble spots” of the sustained development of the world economy. Under the conditions of globalization all economically developed countries consider the attraction of the most promising scientists and highly-skilled professionals as the main priority of their policy. “Brain drain” is one of the main factors of slowdown in economic development in the post-Soviet countries. Kazakhstan will not be able to take an adequate place in the world without stabilizing the situation and increasing the education level in the country. Nowadays, economic growth is identified with scientific and technological advance, and, in the first instance, with professionalism of manpower. A man’s knowledge, abilities, and health together with scientific knowledge materialized in a new technology are one of the wealth forms of the country.

Nowadays one of the main tendencies of the world economy development is the competitiveness for the high-quality human capital which is one of the main features of the world innovative development and the growing mobility of the highly-skilled professionals to provide the spreading of knowledge. [3] The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev stated in his Message to the People of Kazakhstan, “Almost all successful modern countries integrated to the system of the world economic relations counted on “intelligent economy”. Therefore, first and foremost, it is necessary to develop the human capital of the country.” [5]

The development of human potential is one of the main objectives of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The competitive advantages of the economy and the possibilities of its modernization are directly determined by the human potential accumulation and usage in the country. It is highly-skilled professionals who determine the possibilities and bounds of necessary changes of social development.

The system of education of Kazakhstan is to become dynamically developing and able to react to the world processes of globalization and informatization. The clear state policy in the sphere of education reforms and professional training (especially technical education and innovative management) is of great importance. The state policy in the sphere of education carries out the following objectives: reproduction and development of national culture; strengthening of the state’s status on the world market; reproduction of human capital in accordance with the economy needs; satisfaction of educational needs in accordance with the culture peculiarities and the stages of personal socialization.

The necessity of the educational system’s state support results from its capability to produce not only human but also social capital. Schools form social norms and ethical values reducing transactions and other costs and lowering social tension between different groups of population. The given normative aspect of education requires a direct administrative control.

As foreign precedents show, the innovative activity requires the adequate level of higher education. Therefore, the educational reform must involve all levels and areas of professional training. The state policy in the sphere of education and professional training is to solve the following objectives:

- to determine professional training for innovative activities as one of the priorities of the educational development;

- to found institutions for professional training, certification, and retraining of working and technical specialists with the participation of the state and private sector;

- to enrich material, technical, and methodological resources of all kinds of education;

- to work out and implement educational standards fitting with the world requirements;

- to collaborate with other countries in the sphere of professional training and for the attraction of highly-skilled specialists to Kazakhstan;

- to found (on the basis of international precedents) new higher educational institutions and to change the specialties of current institutions (universities) to specialized ones for professional training in the sphere of high tech industries;

- to train the specialists for the development of innovative spheres such as managers and experts of innovative projects; specialists for international marketing, patent law, potential risk assessment and ways of its decreasing, venture financing organization, etc. [2].

The human capital formed by the system of education is considered as an indispensable factor of the economic growth and so it is supported by the state almost in all countries.

On the one hand, the sphere of education is the most important factor of the economic growth and the increase of labor productivity. On the other hand, it is of great importance for the solution of a number of social problems connected with the life quality improvement, namely, with the optimal employment of the population and the more rational spreading of national income. Scientific approach to the formation and accumulation of the human capital can promote the development of the given tendencies in the economy of Kazakhstan. There upon, education is to be of high importance in the system of social priorities.

In the Republic of Kazakhstan the progressive development and modernization of education are possible due to the all-round support at the initiation and implementation of the educational reforms. Education is recognized as one of the most important priorities of the long-term Strategy “Kazakhstan-2030”. [1] The common aim of the educational reforms in Kazakhstan is the adaptation of the system of education to a new social and economical environment. The President of Kazakhstan set the problem of Kazakhstan’s entering the number of the 50 most competitive countries of the world [4]. Therefore, the improvement of the educational system is of great importance for it.

A number of state programs such as “State Program of Education Development in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2020”, “State Program of Science Development in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2007-2012”, “State Program of Technical and Vocational Education Development in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2008-2012”, “Program “The Children of Kazakhstan” for 2007-2011”, and “Program of Provision the Children with a Pre-School Education and Training “Balapan” for 2010-2014” are adopted to meet new objectives.

The “Strategic Plan of the Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan up to 2020” pays much attention to the education support. By 2020 a cardinal modernization of all levels of education (from pre-school up to higher education) will have been implemented. Everyone will be provided on a regular basis with the possibilities of getting knowledge and skills at every educational level and advanced professional training.

The state will provide all children regardless of the place of their residence and the income of their families with a pre-school education and training. The secondary level will be transformed to the 12-year model of education stipulating ten-year universal compulsory education and two-year vocational education. At the same time the content of educational programs will be reconsidered for the purpose of necessary competence development. Professional training will be linked to the plans of country’s industrialization. Technical, vocational, and higher education will be transformed to the system fitting with the requirements of modern labor market. At the same time, the educational standards will be formed on the basis of professional standards by means of National Qualification System. A new system of E-Learning will be implemented in the systems of secondary, technical, professional, and higher education. Higher educational institutions will be provided with academic freedom and the introduction of corporate management principles. The improving of educational services will be realized together with the increasing of education financing, with the widening of educational system infrastructure by means of foundation of non-government and non-commercial agencies, creation of the independent national system for accrediting educational institutions according to the world standards and independent ratings, introduction of the elements of corporative management in the educational institutions, and by means of improvement the mechanisms of education quality control. Due to the considerable state support the prestige of being a teacher will grow up [7].

The main objective of modernization in the sphere of education is the revival and development of the best traditions of domestic enlightenment, the strengthening of Kazakhstan’s positions among the highly educated countries, and the integration of the country to the world educational society.

According to the UNESCO recommendations for sustained development education expenditures are to make up 6-7% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country. The expenditures of Kazakhstan make up only 4% (Table 1).

Table 1 – Education expenditures from the State Budget of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2007-2010, million USD.






Total costs





% of GDP





Note – made up by the author on the basis of the data of the Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan at the rate of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan on December 31, 2010

In Kazakhstan the expenditures per pupil is lower than average expenditures in the countries of the third group (countries with less than $1000 per capita GDP) such as China, Turkey, and Russia. The evolution of budget expenditures per pupil at different levels of education is presented in Table 2. It is obvious that educational expenditures grow to a very little degree.

Table 2 - Budget expenditures per pupil at different levels of education (USD per pupil)


Pre-school education and training

Secondary education

Technical and vocational education











Total costs










Note – made up by the author on the basis of the data of the Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan at the rate of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan on December 31, 2010

The difference between the expenditures in Kazakhstan and in the second group countries (countries with $10000-20000 per capita GDP) such as Spain, Korea, Czech Republic, and Israel is much more considerable. The same situation takes place with the countries of the first group (countries with more than $20000 per capita GDP) such as USA, Japan, Luxemburg, and Australia.

The ratio of Kazakhstani teacher’s salary to per capita GDP is still much lower than in OECD countries and lower than in Russia. [6] The data of the educational workers’ salary are presented in Table 3.

Table 3 – The salary of educationalists, USD







Pre-school teachers






Secondary school teachers






College teachers






Teaching staff of higher educational institutions






Note – made up by the author on the basis of the data of the Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan at the rate of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan on December 31, 2010

The main objectives of the State Program of Education Development in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2020 are the increasing of education competitiveness and the development of human capital by means of people’s provision with high-quality education for the sustained development of the economy. The State Program suggests a complex of measures covering the changes in the structure, content, and technologies of education and training, management system, organizational and legal forms of educational subjects, financial and economic mechanisms. The given program suggests the solution of current problems. According to it a new model of teachers’ labor remuneration will be worked out. The new model will include the following:

- introduction of differentiated coefficients for the calculation of teachers’ salary and additional payment for qualification category;

- introduction of the result-oriented salary mechanism.

As a result of the taken measures by 2015 the average teachers’ salary will have been equal to the salary in private sector.

The result-oriented financing will be the component part of the reforms in the sphere of state expenditures management in secondary education.

By 2015 the mechanism of per-capita financing will have been realized in all educational institutions. It will allow of increasing the effectiveness of budget expenditures and will promote the accessibility of high-quality education for different layers of population. Teachers will be suggested the mechanism of per-capita financing of their professional development - a voucher-module system. Teachers will be given the opportunity to choose the place and time of their professional development course by means of transferring the sum of payment to teachers directly.

To promote the accessibility of paid educational services it is being planned to work out the mechanism of State Educational Accumulation System. With the help of the given system all citizens of Kazakhstan will be provided with the possibility to regularly accumulate the means for their child’s tuition fee in colleges and higher educational institutions in future. The given system suggests the accrual of state bonus to the savings of citizens.

Moreover, for the development of the effective educational system it is necessary to increase the educational expenditures by means of investors’ attracting. The attraction of private investments to the sphere of education and science will be implemented through the current mechanisms of private and public enterprise. [8]

In future economic benefits will be closely connected with educational investments considerably increasing the quality and efficiency of labor force. [7] Any capital investments in the sphere of education are the investments into profitable human resources corresponding to current and perspective needs of an individual, region, country, and the tendencies of the world development. Close cooperation of scientific thought and the practice of education together with the improvement of educational structure and the principles if its management at different levels with regard to social and productive needs of the society is of great importance for the given correspondence. The role of education also consists in predetermining the future states of the society.

In recent years favorable economic conditions have emerged in Kazakhstan. According to the macroeconomic growth characteristics the republic is considered as one of the leaders not only among the CIS countries but also among the countries with economic systems transformation.

Radical changes of Kazakhstani economy ensured the formation of market relations and the consecutive integration of the country into the world economy. Stabilization and economy development allow of raising the educational expenditures making it possible to constantly refresh the infrastructure and the resource base and to improve the quality of education. A new course of Kazakhstan’s economy oriented to the use of natural resources and the development of science intensive productions on the basis of latest scientific research and human capital use has been approved. Hereby, under the current conditions the necessity of education and the investments’ increasing is of great importance.

Nowadays it is quite necessary to make use of all human potential to help our country achieve an intellectual breakthrough. It is recommended to invest considerably to healthcare, culture, and education to form the intellectual and creative potential of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Nowadays the researches on modern human potential are of great practical and theoretical value. Therefore, the application of the world precedents accounting cultural and national traditions could promote rapid integration of Kazakhstan into the world society. One of the objectives of Kazakhstan is to lay the scientific-education foundation for the economy and to fill in all gaps in education. Education is to be considered as the main means in the struggle for competitive recovery.


1. Долгосрочная Стратегия развития «Казахстан-2030». Послание Президента Н.А. Назарбаева народу Казахстана «Процветание, безопасность и улучшение благосостояния всех казахстанцев». 10 октября 1997 г.

2. Стратегия индустриально - инновационного развития РК на 2003-2015 годы. Утверждена Указом президента РК № 1096 от 17 мая 2003 года.

3. Программа по формированию и развитию национальной инновационной системы РК на 2005-2015 годы. Утверждена Постановлением Правительства РК № 387 от 25 апреля 2005

4. Стратегия вхождения Казахстана в число 50-ти наиболее конкурентоспособных стран мира. Послание Президента Н.А.Назарбаева народу Казахстана «Казахстан на пороге нового рывка вперед в своем развитии». 1 марта 2006 г.

5. Послание Президента Н.А. Назарбаева народу Казахстана «Новый Казахстан в новом мире». Март 2007 г.

6. Стратегический план Министерства образования и науки РК на 2010-2014 годы. Утвержден постановлением Правительства Республики Казахстан № 39 от 29 января 2010 года.

7. Стратегический план развития Республики Казахстан до 2020 года. Утвержден Указом Президента Республики Казахстан № 922 от 1 февраля 2010 года.

8. Государственная программа развития образования Республики Казахстан на 2011-2020 годы. Утверждена Указом Президента Республики Казахстан № 1118 от 7 декабря 2010 года.

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №3 - 2011

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