This was announced by Deputy Minister of Education and Science Bibigul Assylova in press conference on the construction of dormitories for students of universities and colleges based on public-private partnership within the framework of the Five Social Initiatives.

According to the speaker, the Ministry has begun working on implementing the Third Initiative “Increasing accessibility and quality of higher education and improving the living conditions of student youth”. Thus, meetings were held with representatives of the Ministry of National Economy, universities, the National Bank, second-tier banks, private developers in order to determine the mechanisms for implementing this task.

“The issue of improving the living conditions of student youth is planned to be tackled through private funds, including from universities, colleges, investors and other partners,” – the Deputy Minister stressed.

The appeal of this mechanism for universities, colleges, investors is that their expenses will be justified through state-guaranteed gradual reimbursements of a part of investments for building dormitories. However, if colleges, universities or private partners do not have land, local executive bodies will allocate a land plot with engineering and communication infrastructures.

As Bibigul Assylova noted, the draft law “On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Improving Living Conditions for Students and the Development of Per capita Normative Financing” is already being drafted. Soon it will be submitted for coordination to concerned state bodies.

The preliminary outline of the project implementation is as follows:

- A university, college or private partner prepares a design of the dormitory. Further, they conclude an agreement with Financial Center JSC.

- In the second stage, they receive a loan from a bank by contract, hire a developer and build the dormitory. If they build the dormitory, then from the day of its launch into operation they will receive an appropriate amount per one bed every month.

“Banks, universities and developers tentatively agree on the proposed scheme. According to the information of second-tier banks, there is sufficient tenge liquidity. The issue of entrepreneurs' access to inexpensive borrowed resources, including from foreign financial institutions, is also being considered,” – B. Assylova summed up.

Answering the journalists' questions about whether the construction of new dormitories will entail an increase in tuition fees, B. Assylova stressed that providing students with dormitories will not affect tuition fees in any way. In addition, the Ministry of Education and Science plans to set a course for cheapening dormitory construction, since the designs submitted to date are slightly overstated in terms of costs.

For reference: 530 thousand students are studying at universities of the country, including 204 thousand (38%) non-residents who need dormitories. According to the President's Five Social Initiatives, by 2022 it is necessary to ensure 75 000 new beds in student dormitories.

www.primeminister.kz

Published: 15 March 2018

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