Legal and Organizational Issues of the Transformation of Public Universities into Non-Profit Organizations in Kazakhstan

  • Bakhyt ALTYNBASSOV Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Zaure ABDUKARIMOVA Taraz State University n.a. M.Kh. Dulati, Kazakhstan
  • Aigerim BAYANBAYEVA Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Sabit MUKHAMEJANULY Law Department, Narxoz University, Kazakhstan


This article discusses several legal and economic problems in the process of globalization of higher education in Kazakhstan. To date, the Government of Kazakhstan has issued a resolution on the transformation of 25 national and state universities into non-profit joint-stock companies, as well as amendments to the Civil Code and other current legislation. As a result of this study, it has been found that the concept of a non-profit joint-stock company was first used in Kazakhstan and contradicted the institution of legal entities in civil law. Such changes and amendments in civil law are an unprecedented phenomenon in the legal systems of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. There is also a risk that the transfer of higher education institutions to non-profit joint-stock companies may become the legal basis for the illegal privatization of public universities. The authors suggest that the privatization of higher education institutions has been detrimental to the state, and that reform should be addressed based on administrative and legal considerations and through improved university governance models. The modernization of the governance model of public universities according to modern requirements is beneficial to the state and society. The study analyzes the relationship between the university and its stakeholders based on Freeman’s Stakeholder theory. It also identifies deficiencies in legislation that impede the establishment of partnerships between the university and industrial companies and suggests ways to address them.


[1] Abdramanova, N.K. et al. 2019. The Relevance and Importance of Criminological Research on the Problems of the Legal Fight against Latent Crime in Kazakhstan. Journal of Advanced Research in Law and Economics, 10(1): 7-12.
[2] Abdramanova, N.K., Abdukarimova, Z.T. and Alaukhanov, Ye.O. 2020. Latent Economic and Corruption Crime as an Indicator of the Shadow Economy. Proceedings of the 2nd International Scientific and Practical Conference ‘Modern Management Trends and the Digital Economy: from Regional Development to Global Economic Growth’ (MTDE 2020). Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research, 138: 214-219.
[3] Altbach, P.G. 2004. Globalisation and the university: Myths and realities in an unequal world. Tertiary Education and Management, 10(1): 3-25.
[4] Altbach, P.G. and Salmi, J. 2017. India: World-Class Universities?, International Higher Education, 91: 22-24.
[5] Altynbassov, B., Saimova, Sh. and Tassova, A. 2015. Bologna process in Kazakhstan: Economic and legal aspects, Actual Problems of Economics, 168: 99-108.
[6] Altynbassov, B.O. et al. 2017. Organizational and Legal Aspects of Fee-Based Education in Kazakhstan, Journal of Advanced Research in Law and Economics, Volume VIII, Winter, 7(29): 2072-2077.
[7] Amandykova, S.K. et al. 2016. The Role of Science and Education in the Formation of National Human Capital: Kazakhstani Experience. Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 9(27).
[8] Arutyunova, A. 2019. Problems of Institutional Structures Formation to Support Talented Youth at the Regional Level. Proceedings of the ‘New Silk Road: Business Cooperation and Prospective of Economic Development’ (NSRBCPED 2019). Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research. 131: 367-371.
[9] Christopher, J. 2014. Australian public universities: are they practising a corporate approach to governance? Studies in Higher Education, 39(4): 560–573.
[10] Clark, B. 1998. Creating entrepreneurial universities: Organizational pathways of transformation. Oxford, England: IAU Press.
[11] Clay, R. 2008. The corporatization of higher education: The intermingling of business and academic cultures brings both concerns and potential benefits to psychology. Monitor, 39(11), 50.
[12] Freeman, R.E. 2004. The stakeholder approach revisited. Zeitschrift fur Wirtschafts-und Untemehmensethik, 5(3): 228-24.
[13] Huisman, J., Smolentseva, A. and Froumin, I. 2018. 25 Years of Transformations of Higher Education Systems in Post-Soviet Countries. Reform and Continuity. Palgrave Macmillan.
[14] Karagusov, F.S. 2020. O ponyatiyakh korporativnogo upravleniya i korporativnoy struktury v prave Respubliki Kazakhstan. Vestnik Instituta zakonodatel'stva i pravovoy informatsii , 1(59): 80-93.
[15] Levy, D. 2015. For-Profit versus Nonprofit Private Higher Education, International Higher Education, 12-13.
[16] Mundy, J. 1954. Liberty and Political Power in Toulouse 1050-1230. Columbia University Press, New York.
[17] Nazarbayev, N. 2015. The Plan of The Nation - 100 concrete steps to implement the five institutional reforms. Electronic resource.
[18] Newman, F., Couturier, L. and Scurry, J. 2004. The future of higher education: Rhetoric, reality, and the risks of the market. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
[19] Pavlyuk A.V. 2015. K voprosu o ponyatii aktsionernogo obshchestva v rossiyskom prave, Administrativnoye i munitsipal'noye pravo, 1: 8-18
[20] Robertson S., Novelli M., Dale R., Tikly L., Dachi H. and Alphonce N. 2007. Globalisation, Education and Development: Ideas, Actors and Dynamics. London: DfID
[21] Sagintayeva, A.K. et al. 2018. Korporativnoye upravleniye: vuzy Kazakhstana. Nauchnaya monografiya / - Astana: Vysshaya shkola obrazovaniya Nazarbayev Universiteta.
[22] Shaw, A.M. 2019. Public accountability versus academic independence: tensions of public higher education governance in Poland, Studies in Higher Education, 44(12): 2235-2248.
[23] Spielvogel, J. 2005. Western Civilization: Since 1500. Wadsworth.
[24] Suleymenov, M.K. et al. 2018. O ponyatii i pravovom statuse yuridicheskikh lits publichnogo prava v zakonodatel’stve nekotorykh razvitykh inostrannykh gosudarstvakh i byvshikh sovetskikh respublikakh,
[25] Tiede, H. 2015. American Association of University Professors Policy Documents and Report. IWU Authors Bookshelf. 82.
*** Civil Code of Kazakhstan, The General Part, 27.12.1994.
*** Endowment fund of Harvard University.
*** Endowment fund of Stanford University,
*** OECD. 2019. University-Industry Collaboration: New Evidence and Policy Options, OECD Publishing, Paris.
*** State Program for the Development of Education and Science of Kazakhstan 2016-2019. March 1, 2016. No. 205. Astana, 2016.
*** State Program for the Development of Education and Science of Kazakhstan 2020-2025. December 27, 2019. No. 988. Astana, 2019.
*** The Code of Kazakhstan No. 125-VI ‘On Subsoil and Subsoil Use’ (as amended and supplemented as of December 30, 2019), December 27, 2017,
*** The official website of the University of California,
How to Cite
ALTYNBASSOV, Bakhyt et al. Legal and Organizational Issues of the Transformation of Public Universities into Non-Profit Organizations in Kazakhstan. Journal of Advanced Research in Law and Economics, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 3, p. 726 – 734, june 2020. ISSN 2068-696X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 feb. 2024. doi: