The Twinning Arrangement for Improvement of Medical Education is a component of the Kazakhstan Health Services Technology Transfer and Institutional Reform Project (KSTTIRP). The Canadian Society of International Health (CSIH) worked to improve Kazakhstan’s standards for recognition of and credit at its medical education institutions.
Kazakhstan faces challenges in improving the standards by which it recognizes and credits its medical education institutions and its graduates. There are six medical universities in Kazakhstan, and the number of students in medical schools has been increasing rapidly in recent years, with 4,500 first-year medical students in 2010. There is little training at the postgraduate level; students can take a 10-month training program or choose between various two-year speciality programs. Kazakhstan had already begun reforming its medical education system prior to the introduction of the project. Thus, the elements of an accreditation system were already in place, but improvement in the system was needed.
To improve the quality of Kazakhstan’s undergraduate and continuing medical education -- including nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, and medical technologies – to meet international standards.
CSIH worked closely with the MOH to improve national accreditation standards so Kazakhstan's universities can meet the international standards of the World Federation of Medical Education for basic medical education.
In February 2011, many of CSIH’s recommendations were included in the revised concept note, “The Concept of Medical and Pharmaceutical Education Development in Kazakhstan 2011-2015.” Furthermore, in March 2011, approximately 250 attendees, including representatives of 10 universities, 54 colleges, 25 institutions and NGOs, as well as representatives from Russia, attended a conference called, “The concept of medical and pharmaceutical education development in Kazakhstan to 2011-2015,” which was partially organized by CSIH.
Each medical school should outline its own vision and objectives, as well as particular faculty skills and competencies in order to develop tailored plan to reform management and governance structures. More management programs should be established that focus on developing capacity-building and monitoring and evaluation. Medical universities should emphasize the importance of faculty development through policies, such as financial support for faculty development activities and research. Moreover, medical education institutions should introduce the multiple mini interview procedure (MMI), which takes into account the non-academic qualities of candidates, in addition to their academic test scores.