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Unaffordable Education: Only One of 10 Applicants Can Be Admitted to Uzbek Universities

This year universities have extended only 110,095 quotas, while over a million of applicants have applied for universities.

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Sardor is a high school graduate of Kashkardarya region of Uzbekistan. Since childhood, he has been dreaming about becoming a doctor, studying hard and making all to make his dream come true.

This year he failed admission examinations. He was among 1,067 million applicants who applied for a bachelor’s degree this year. However, state universities have extended only 110,095 quotas, i.e. almost 10 times less than the number of high school graduates.

Sardor and other 956,830 applicants must think now about what to do next.

How many scores?

Uzbekistan has such concepts as minimum pass score and pass score.

A minimum pass score is a required minimum that is needed to pass the examination. It should be 56.7 out of maximum 189 scores for fee-based study, and 68 for scolarship.

If the applicant fails to take this score, they won’t be admitted even despite the quota. However, if the applicant gets a minimum pass score, it doesn’t mean they would be admitted to a university.

A pass score is a minimum score achieved by the last admitted applicant at a given department. It is determined on an annual basis after the examinations.

Photo: CABAR.asia

Sardor applied for the Tashkent Paediatric Medical Institute to the department of general practice. 4,124 applicants more applied for this department. However, there are only 15 places for fee-based students.

Despite the fact that 2,364 applicants achieved the minimum pass score, only the first 15 were admitted. Therefore, the pass score for this major is considered the score achieved by the last admitted applicant, namely 176.9.

If several applicants achieve equal pass scores, the quota may be increased.

In 2019, the average pass score for budget study throughout the country was 116.9, and for a fee-based study – 93.7.

By results of entrance examinations, only 10 per cent of all applicants were admitted to the universities of Uzbekistan. Speaking about the most popular universities with highest rate of applicants per place, the percentage of enrolled students is much less than that.


Pay more

However, Sardor has another chance to enrol. The point is that Uzbekistan has a supercontract system in place, the second chance for those unenrolled. 

The three categories of applicants may use this system:

  • Those who could not get 1 to 4 scores to reach a pass score. If you didn’t get one score, you’ll have to pay 1.5 times of the standard tuition fee, two scores – two times, three – 2.5 times, four – three times.
  • Those who get over 56.7 scores (a minimum pass score for the fee-based study) will have to pay 10 times of the contract value.
  • Those who get under 56.7 scores will have to pay more than twenty times of the standard tuition fee. The exact contract value shall be determined by the State Commission.

Supercontract is payable only once, in the first year of study. In the following years, students pay standard tuition fee.

Paid education at the universities of Uzbekistan costs 1,330 dollars in average, i.e. the minimum amount of supercontract is 1,995 dollars, and over 26,600 dollars for third category of applicants.

Even the standard  tuition fee is unaffordable to many families with the average salary in the country 230 dollars, not to speak of the supercontract. 

To pay a standard tuition fee, an ordinary Uzbekistani has to take a loan and pay it out for 11 years, according to the estimates of Centre-1. Moreover, commercial banks do not provide loans to pay for supercontracts.

Sardor has a few options in addition to the supercontract. He can try to enrol to a university beyond Uzbekistan or try to enter next year.

In the latter case, he will have to pay for the repeated participation in the test (to’lov), which is 12 dollars, half of the minimum salary. Examinations are free of charge only to high school graduates, orphans and disabled persons of group 1 and 2.

Payments for entrance examinations became effective since 2019, and according to the head of the state testing centre of Uzbekistan, Madzhid Karimov, over 6 million dollars were transferred to the national budget.

All money goes to the Development Foundation of the State Testing Centre and is spent for events related to entrance tests, namely for the rent of premises where tests are taken, physical facilities, training and bonuses for extra work to the employees of the State Centre.

However, Sardor has little chance to enrol next year. There are about one million prospective students every year, while universities extend 10 times fewer quotas.

Data material was prepared in the framework of the AUCA’s Summer Institute with the support of Meridian Centre. CABAR.asia provides a platform for publications as part of the School of Analytic Journalism and to promote development of analytics in Central Asia. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the organisations.

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