From the field: Recruiting in Kazakhstan

Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • We continue our “From the Field” interview series today in conversation with Maksim Kostiuchenko, the director of overseas relations with the education agency TravelWorks
  • The interview highlights the rapid growth in outbound mobility from Kazakhstan and its impact on regional study destinations in particular

After more than a decade of rapid outbound growth, Kazakhstan is firmly on the radar of international recruiters. The total number of Kazakhstani students going abroad has increased by 110% since 2012 alone and reached nearly 90,000 in 2017.

But more than eight in ten outbound students (83%) opt to study in Russia or in another CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) country. Maksim Kostiuchenko is a director with TravelWorks, an education agency with offices in Russia and Kazakhstan, and an authority on the Kazakhstan market. In our first video excerpt below he affirms that “Country number one is still Russia, country number two would be China, and country number three is Kyrgyzstan.” He notes as well that a majority of Kazakhstani students (up to 70%) return to their home country immediately following graduation from their programmes abroad.

In our next interview segment below, Mr Kostiuchenko provides some helpful tips for market entry. He points out that the Kazakhstan market is developing quickly and that, “We see a big potential for education providers [from additional destinations outside of Central Asia] to recruit students.”

In our final interview segment, the conversation turns to the readiness of Kazakhstani students to study abroad, with respect to language skills in particular. “Most students would require some kind of preparation in terms of language skills,” says Mr Kostiuchenko. “We are seeing a growth in the number of students who are choosing pathway programmes. Which means they are either not well prepared in terms of language our they want to immerse themselves into a new culture step-by-step – or maybe both!”

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