A high-level meeting on the issues related to training and education in veterinary medicine was held at the Kazakh National Agrarian Research University (KazNARU) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Friday, November 04, 2022.
Various vice ministers and members of the Upper House of the Kazakhstani Parliament (Senate), KazNARU leadership, leading scientists, faculty members, and students attended the meeting.
KazNARU Acting Rector Akhylbek Kurishbaev chaired the meeting. Senator Ali Bektaev, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agrarian Issues, Nature Management, and Development of Rural Territories, moderated the meeting proceedings.The Chairman of the Board of the National Agrarian Scientific and Educational Center of the Ministry of Agriculture Kazakhstan, Darkhan Balpanov, was also present at the meeting.
Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, on September 01, 2021, said: “The health and productivity of livestock depend on the effective work of veterinarians on the ground. And this, in turn, directly affects the well-being of rural residents. Education has a decisive role in raising the country’s potential in this particular area of science.”
Veterinary sciences are taught at nine higher education institutions in Kazakhstan, of which three are specialized universities in this particular area of science education and training.The Vice Minister of Agriculture, Rustem Kurmanov, informed the meeting participants that KazNARU, the Kazakh Agro-Technical Research University named after S.Seifullin in Astana, and the West Kazakhstan Agro-Technical Research University named after Zhangir Khan annually train between 1500 and 2000 graduates in agriculture and veterinary medicine.
KazNARU Deputy Chairman of the Board- and Vice-Rector, Primkul Ibragimov Balpanov, informed the meeting participants that the University has created an appropriate scientific and educational infrastructure and human resources for the high-quality training of veterinary specialists.
Currently, over 1600 students are enrolled at the KazNARU Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, out of which 100 are undergraduate students, and 32 are doctoral students in the five departments of the Faculty. There are 128 professors, including 31 doctors of sciences and 50 candidates of sciences. Sixty-three percent of the faculty members have higher degrees in relevant fields.
KazNARU staff continuously develops new programs in cooperation with international partner organizations and experts. Modular educational and working curricula have been developed, taking into account the requirements of the OIE.
KazNARU applies best international practices and has been cooperating with the world’s leading universities, such as the Higher Veterinary School (Toulouse, France), the Hannover Institute of Veterinary Medicine (Germany), and Wageningen University and Research (Netherlands).
KazNARU “Veterinary Medicine” and “Veterinary Sanitation” programs are internationally accredited. The “Veterinary Food Safety and Technologies” program has been developed and is successfully operating in cooperation with Wageningen University and Research (Netherlands).
The University is the Republican UMO-SUE in the areas of “Agriculture and Bioresources” and “Veterinary”. KazNARU students travel to leading foreign universities in Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, and other countries to study under academic mobility programs.
As part of the integration, scientists from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of KazNARU and the Kazakh Research Veterinary Institute have carried out joint scientific projects worth about USD 320,000 on training young veterinary scientists. Over the past three years, 24 master’s and 5 doctoral dissertations on viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases have been jointly produced.Over 80 percent of KazNARU veterinary science students get employment after graduation.
Members of the Committee on Agrarian Affairs, Nature Management and Rural Development Mukhtar Zhumagaziyev and Duysengazy Musin, Vice Minister of Labor and Social Protection Kazakhstan, Olzhas Ordabayev, First Vice-Minister of Education and Science Kazakhstan, Sholpan Karinova, also shared their thoughts and suggestions at the Meeting.
The Meeting noted the lack of harmony among Kazakhstani universities in the training of veterinarians.
Each university, within the framework of academic freedom, independently develops educational programs, which affects the quality of training of veterinarians.
The Meeting participant stressed strengthening the role of the Educational and Methodological Association – Project Management Group (UMO-GUP) in the areas of education “Veterinary Medicine”, “Agriculture, and Bioresources”.
Since this specialty is costly, the Meeting participants suggested reviewing state grants that are awarded to students who study veterinary medicine. At present, the state allocates 1.82 million Kazakh tenges (approximately USD 2000) for the training of a student. Preliminary calculations, taking into account the standard costs at the market price, the increase in the MCI, and inflation show that they should be 1.811 million Kazakh tenges.
The Meeting recommended the allocation of more funds from the state budget for new and modern research laboratories (biological safety and biosecurity, veterinary clinics).
The Meeting also recommended that based on the experience of the country’s medical universities; to increase the employment opportunities for veterinary graduates, the review of the mechanisms for implementing the program “With a diploma – to the village.” is necessary.
The meeting proposed to increase one-time lifting allowances, the volume of allocated loans for the construction of housing for young professionals. The Meeting participants said that it is necessary to place a state order for undergraduate (up to 70%), master’s, and doctoral studies (100%) at the three leading agricultural universities.The Meeting recommended giving authority to UMO-GUP to conduct strict qualification control over the quality of training in agricultural specialties.