"Bolashak" is a program for young people

The benefits of studying abroad under the “Bolashak” program

This year marks the 27th anniversary of Bolashak International Scholarship Program. A presidential program, introduced in November 1993, has become an important component in the history of Kazakhstan's independent development. The Bolashak program is a scholarship for the citizens of Kazakhstan to study in foreign universities.

Since the program has been established, around 6,500 students have selected the universities in the United States and the United Kingdom. In particular, young people of Kazakhstan have successfully graduated from Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia, Duke, Georgetown, Emory, Carnegie, Mellon, Indiana University, Vanderbilt and other universities.

When Bolashak program was implemented for the first time, 100 graduate students had the opportunity to further their education in foreign universities. Now you have an opportunity to complete not only postgraduate (doctoral) program, but also a master's degree. Most of the early “Bolashak” graduates have been from the humanities and social sciences. Over the 12 years, the program has provided the opportunity to study abroad for about three thousand students. In the same year, the Center for International Programs (CIP) was established in order to manage the expanded scholarship program. The Bolashak program was amended in 2008 to provide special quotas for the students, civil servants and academics from the rural areas.

A Bachelor`s degree of the Bolashak scholarship was terminated in 2011. However, a special program approach has been made to award the scholarships. This approach requires applications from the employers for a training, that is formed in accordance with national and industrial development programs. Therefore, the training was carried out to meet the needs of recruitment in certain regions. Upon graduation, the specialists are required to work in organizations, where the Bolashak program is implemented, for about 3-5 years.


According to the market demand, the Bolashak Scholarship offers the specialists for all sectors of the economy, including: business, international relations, liberty, science, machinery manufacturing and other important areas.

First of all, it is the development of social-economic opportunities of educated and qualified young people in the country. For many scholars, the Bolashak program is the only opportunity to study at the best universities of the world.

It should be noted that the Bolashak scholarship provides an internal overview of the educational process in Kazakhstan. A scholarship is a world-class program of great international level. In 2014, the Bolashak program was acknowledged as the "Best Scholarship Program in the World". In its turn, Russia has used the experience of the Bolashak program to train the specialists abroad. In addition, the National Research Foundation of China, various organizations of Poland, Malaysia and Ukraine are constantly researching the mechanisms of the Bolashak program as well.

The scholars of the “Bolashak” program play an important role in building a positive image of Kazakhstan abroad. They represent a scientific and teaching staff of Kazakhstan's youth, civil servants, engineering and medical skilled workers.

We know that the “Bolashak” Scholarship has undergone many changes over the years, the last additions were made in 2013. The categories of candidates have been expanded for the Bolashak program. Nowadays, the scholarships are available for the government officials, academics and medical staff, engineers and technicians, as well as the professionals in arts and mass media. In order to join a world scientific community and strengthen the scientific potential of domestic scientists, all scholars have the opportunity to learn a foreign language for 12 months before the thesis defense.

Since the “Bolashak” scholarship has been established, much of the work, that has been done over the years, changed for the better in areas where there is a shortage of specialists in the country. The list of areas for the “Bolashak” applicants is compiled annually based on the requests from the government agencies, universities and research organizations in Kazakhstan.

According to the statistics, the most popular professions among the applicants of “Bolashak” scholarship are public policy, political science, public administration, pedagogy and psychology, accounting and auditing. In addition, applicants are actively choosing majors in finance, economics, oil and gas. A list of oil and gas specialties includes petro chemistry and petrochemical synthesis, oil and gas development, computer science, information technology and systems, information security, computer hardware and software. It is enough to choose a health profession for the health workers.

This does not mean that all the students, currently studying outside Kazakhstan, are studying through the “Bolashak” program. Only a few of them have achieved their dreams with this program. A Government of Kazakhstan provides fully funded scholarships only for students studying abroad through the “Bolashak” International Scholarship Program. The scholarships include tuition fees, living expenses, and the preparatory language classes of the University in some cases.

“Bolashak” graduates are a great example of talented, progressive young people with an active citizenship. Upon completion of the program, graduates will return to Kazakhstan with a full range of knowledge and experience, but most importantly, they will prove their readiness to work for the benefit of the country, to improve the lives of our citizens and contribute to their development.