al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KAZAKHSTAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 589-596
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.1143
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Access to higher education, barriers and opportunities for its obtaining are issues that are constantly raised and discussed in the countries, where the government has a policy of development of democratic principles of organization of society. Higher education is defined as a factor of social mobility - with equal access, and as a factor of differentiation fixation - in the absence of such equality. In general, Kazakhstan has the resources to provide access to higher education for all categories of young people, regardless of income level: there is the rise of higher educational institutions, including private ones. In 1990 there were 55 state universities with 300,000 students, and by 2012 their number reached 126 units, including public and private universities, respectively, the number of students has increased. There is a trend for reduction of the number of students in colleges: 2012 - 587,310; 2013 - 561 940; 2014 - 531 453 students. Each year, number of educational grants in universities increase. The rapid development of free education has made vocational education more affordable for individuals from families with medium and high incomes. However, the development of paid forms of higher education and the growth of spendings on training for admission by state grants (tutoring, extra classes, etc..) suggests that the economic barriers for obtaining higher education has increased. Despite the increase in the overall performance of admission to universities their accessibility for students from low-income families has decreased. The possibility of obtaining a prestigious, elite education are differentiated in the context of different social groups.

The article presents an empirical interpretation of the data of sociological surveys conducted in 2014 and 2015. The study consists of two phases. In the first phase of the study (2014) a survey among students aged 17-29 years in the cities of Astana, Almaty and Kazakhstan's five regions (Eastern, Southern, Western, Northern and Central regions) was conducted The sample represents Kazakhstan student youth and covers 600 students. The study results are processed and analyzed using the licensed software SPSS for Windows (version 21).

The second phase of the study (2015) is based on a qualitative methodology. The study is based on 166 interviews with parents and high school graduates. We conducted interviews with 83 households in Astana (the capital), Almaty (largest city) and the small town of Shu. Interview with parents and graduates held separately (83 interviews). The study involved pupils of 11 grade (graduation year) of private schools, gymnasiums, lyceums, secondary schools. The collected material is processed in the program for data management of qualitative research Nvivo 7.