Afghan women completed their master's degrees at Kazakh universities

August 17, 2023

Afghan graduates are taking a walk around the Ayusai Visitors Center

Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan/Natalya Kartuzova

On August 17, 27 Afghan women completed their master's degrees at two Kazakh universities — Kazakh-British Technical University (KBTU) and International Educational Corporation (IEC). The students are participants in the EU-funded cross-border initiative, which aims to empower women from Afghanistan through education at Central Asian universities.

Their journey began at Almaty Management University (AlmaU), where they mastered their English skills and prepared for their degree-specific academic programs. 

The academic Marketing and Engineering/Architecture training was the result of collaboration between KBTU and IEC. The programme also included extracurricular activities such as winter and summer schools, cultural activities and more to help students develop their soft skills and adapt to the local culture.

“I believe that the knowledge from our university will be in great demand. We hope that in the future, they will be among the best alumni” of KBTU,” said Didar Batryshev, KBTU's Vice Rector for Science and Innovation.

During the graduation ceremony, held in a picturesque Ayusai Visitors Center, the graduates reflected on their academic journey and celebrated their success. 

“I wish a bright future to all my fellows. As we got this opportunity to come here in challenging circumstances, it was like a bright light for us to be here, to be independent, to have been empowered and to empower other women,” said Medina, one of the programme graduates.

In 2019, a joint EU-UNDP project was launched to provide educational opportunities for 50 women from Afghanistan in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In 2021, the project received additional funding from the European Union, which led to its geographic expansion (Kyrgyz Republic) and the awarding of scholarships to additional 105 Afghan women.

Thanks to funding provided by the European Union and the efforts of UNDP, 155 women from Afghanistan will have the opportunity to receive an education in Central Asia by 2027.

This publication was funded by the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of UNDP and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.