Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Education

Graduate School of Education

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NUGSE received a grant from USAID for assessment of youth problems in Kazakhstan

The Research Department of the Graduate School of Education of Nazarbayev University received a grant from the National academies of Sciences, engineering and medicine of the United States, administered by USAID under the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Program. 

The application "Assessment of youth problems in Kazakhstan and experimental innovative solutions" was among 29 projects selected at two stages. In total, 474 applications were received from all over the world. The selection process was extremely competitive, so we are proud that the project was named one of the greatest. 

The project is aimed at reducing the number of NEET (Not in employment, education and training) youth in Kazakhstan, that is, young people who do not work or study. Researchers will develop working recommendations for the government of Kazakhstan on prevention of this phenomenon, coverage and reintegration of young people. The problem of unemployed youth is extremely acute. 30% of the world's youth (about 600 million people) doesn't study or work. In Kazakhstan, 7.4% of young people are classified as NEET, which is about 280 thousand people. Experts admit that this figure is actually much higher.

Therefore, within two years, an international group will conduct a three-stage serious study of the reasons for the transition of young people to this category and develop appropriate recommendations. 

To do this, it is planned to conduct a series of interviews and focus groups in different regions of the country. Potential effective solutions to this problem will be identified. The novelty of the project is due to the fact that all the proposed solutions will be tested in experiments based on a proven methodology. Randomized laboratory experiments will be conducted at Nazarbayev University and Alma U. The experiments will therefore be designed to determine the effectiveness of recommendations and mechanisms developed at an earlier stage. Only the tools that have been tested will then be issued as a result of the project for use in developing government measures for the unemployed youth.

The project team includes researchers from Georgia State University (Atlanta, USA), including our compatriot Bauyrzhan Yedigenov, FiBS (Research Institute for the Economics of Education and Social Affairs, Germany) - Galiya Yelubayeva. A non - governmental organization, the Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan, is involved in the cooperation. It is expected that within two years, the project will create laboratories for social experiments at Nazarbayev University and Alma U, and most importantly, a pool of researchers in the field of social experiments will be formed.