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How Will the Quotas for Female Applicants to Uzbek Universities Work?

According to the presidential decree, starting from the 2020/2021 academic year, a 4% budget quota for female applicants to universities will be introduced In Uzbekistan. Below, we examine the details.

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Are special budget quotas allocated only to female applicants?

No. The special quotas for female applicants will be allocated for the first time. For the new academic year, quotas are divided into seven types:

  • for disabled persons – 2 799 quotas,
  • for female applicants – 940 quotas,
  • for persons recommended by the command of a military unit – 1 175 quotas,
  • for applicants whose parents work in the armed forces – 1 175 quotas,
  • for applicants whose parents work in the internal affairs bodies – 705 quotas,  
  • for orphans – 1 400 quotas,
  • for graduates of schools of the Sokh district (Ferghana) – 500 quotas.

During the last academic year, 102.4 thousand people were admitted to universities as freshmen-bachelors. This year, it is planned to admit 131.8 thousand young people to undergraduate studies. Previously, applicants passed admission exams in three subjects. This year, as an exception due to the pandemic, they will be taking tests in two subjects.

In total, 119 universities operate in Uzbekistan (17 of them are branches of foreign universities), where 238.5 thousand male and 202.5 thousand female students were receiving higher education at the beginning of the 2019/2020 academic year. 17.4% of students are financed by the state grant, 82.6% study on a paid contract basis.

Read also: Only One of 10 Applicants Can Be Admitted to Uzbek Universities

Why are the quotas introduced?

To ensure access to higher education specifically for female applicants. Special quotas for them are introduced due to gender discrimination during the admission to the university.

There was strong competition among applicants due to the allocation of benefits to military personnel. According to the results of admission tests, those who served in the military received extra points. 4% quota will enable female applicants to get higher education free of charge.

Are quotas allocated for full-time attendance only?

Yes. This quota can be used only for a full-time attendance. It does not apply to part-time attendance studies since there are no budget-funded places.

Who and how will allocate quotas for the applicants?

The Ministry for Mahalla and Family Affairs will recommend candidates for the quotas; applicants’ documents for admission will be accepted from June 20 to July 20.

However, no exact criteria are listed so far. Navoiy Region’s Khokimiyat (local authority) claimed that they receive many questions about these benefits, but they could not provide any information. The document does not mention the criteria as well.

Recently, Deputy Prime Minister for Social Development of Uzbekistan Bekhzod Musaev said that quotas are provided mainly for girls from low-income families.

I want to receive the quota, what should I do?

Contact the mahalla committee at the place of your residence.

Will the quotas be allocated fairly?

We do not know. The working group from the mahalla committees and khokimiyats (local authority) will create the lists of low-income families. The human rights defenders assisting poor citizens note that these working groups do not help everyone. In addition, their work is not entirely transparent, which does not exclude corruption schemes.

For example, activist Tatyana Dovlatova, who helps poor people in Tashkent, notes that she addressed the khokimiyat repeatedly asking to publish the lists of families who receive annual subsidies from the state, but she was ignored.

Corruption during admission to universities is a frequent occurrence. Now, the main thing is to prevent corruption during the creation of the lists for female admission quotas by mahalla committees.

What are the quotas’ pros and cons?

Most applicants with disabilities or orphanages’ students are not able to pay the university fee for education. Quotas for them were increased by 35%.

Quotas for female applicants are introduced for the first time, but an uneven division into seven quota types will not reduce, and perhaps even further increase inequality. Now, the children of military personnel and law enforcement officers and those who have served in army have more privileges.

There are much less quotas for female applicants from low-income families or remote regions. It also infringes on the rights of other applicants to study a particular specialty.

What should those abroad due to coronavirus do? How do they apply?

This can be done online. Applicants will be able to submit documents to any national university via the State Testing Center’s website. There is also the video instruction for documents submission.

It is also possible to apply to capital’s universities via public service centers in every region. As for the admission exams, the Head of the Press Service of the State Testing Center and the organizer of admission exams to universities Orzikul Boboev told kun.uz that conditions had not yet been created for this issue.

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