DEFA project

University DEFA project

DEFA project

Kyrgyzstan is carrying out higher education reforms geared at amending European standards in higher education management. Particular emphasis is placed on the adaptation of the Bologna process and European quality standards in higher education. At present, the transition to three-cycle education has been completed. A national qualification framework has been developed and approved. However, reforms of the universities’ management system so far have not kept pace. In particular, financial management systems are not adequately promoting university autonomy which is a precondition to cultivate innovative and competitive universities. The development of alternative management tools to the old management models increasingly requires the expansion of autonomy in the activities of higher education institutions. The aspect of financial independence occupies a prominent place in the system of autonomy of the university. This project is devoted to piloting and expanding new systems of university self-governance and increasing financial autonomy. By means of studying the European partners’ experience with expanding their institutional and financial autonomy, a model for university financial autonomy in Kyrgyzstan will be developed, piloted and evaluated. The project plans are to perform a needs analysis, develop an implementation strategy, develop a model of university financial autonomy, develop proposals for revision of legal regulations in close cooperation with the authorities in charge, and pilot training activities for staff from universities and ministries representatives. The project will study further prospects for increasing the financial, economic independence of universities in Kyrgyzstan, clarify the current, and projected limits of the powers of universities in the paradigm of developed and legally established model of autonomy, project will identify effective solutions to the complex process of financial and economic autonomy.

Main objectives

  • increasing the capacities of HEIs, bodies in charge of higher education and competent authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic not associated with the programme to modernize the higher education system, particularly in terms of governance and financing, by supporting the definition, implementation and monitoring of reform processes;
  • increasing the autonomy of the financial and economic activities of HEIs in the context of economic and labor market globalization, climate and demographic changes;
  • improving the quality of higher education in the Kyrgyz Republic and increasing its importance for the labor market and the society, as well as the visibility and competitiveness of the universities’ research activities.

Expected outcomes

  •    Developed a flexible and efficient model for the financial autonomy of universities of Kyrgyzstan;
  • Governmental regulation the financial autonomy of universities signed by the Prime-minister;
  • Order financial autonomy of universities signed by the Minister of Education;
  • Ten partner universities implemented a model of financial autonomy;
  • Number of R&D, and Innovation projects implemented jointly with business, the number of the Research and Innovation Centres/laboratories.

Expected results at the end of the project

At the end of the project we expect to achieve the following tangible results:

  • -          500 academic and non-academic staff involved in the questionnaires, interviews and seminars;
  • -          Analyzed the situation on financial autonomy of the universities of the Kyrgyz Republic;
  • -          Document “Strategy for the Development of the Financial Autonomy of Universities” and a Roadmap (plan for the implementation of the Strategy) developed to promote the policy of providing greater managerial autonomy in universities and systematically conduct development, implementation and use processes;
  • -          A methodological manual “Guidelines for the implementation of the financial autonomy model of the university” developed and discussed by 200 stakeholders, and recommended for approval by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic (MES).
  • -          A methodological manual “Guidelines for the implementation of the financial autonomy model of the university” approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic.
  • -          Skills Development Center on HEI Autonomy was established with the function to train the representatives of HEIs administration and teaching staff on the principles, mechanisms and requirements of HEI autonomy in governance and finance;
  • -          220 universities administration, policymakers, accountants and teaching staff involved in the focus groups;
  • -          2 European models of financial autonomy identified and analyzed;
  • -          400 participants will be trained in the seminars and training workshops for Kyrgyz stakeholders;
  • -          15 Training packages will be designed and implemented for the Skills Development Centre;
  • -          50 staff in partner universities appointed as responsible for financial activities (5 in each university);
  • -          1 SWOT analysis of financial autonomy for universities developed;
  • -          Measuring and office equipment and software installed at target universities for teaching and learning purposes.



Legal name



Kyrgyz State Technical University named after I.Razzakov




Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic



International University of Kyrgyz Republic



Issyk-Kul State University named after K.Tynystanov



Osh State University



Talas State University



Naryn State University named after S.Naamatov



Adam University



International higher school of medicine



International Ala Too University



Association of legal entities “Association of Universities of the Kyrgyz Republic”



Ministry of education and science of the Kyrgyz Republic



Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg



European centre of studies and initiatives



University of Florence