Bolashak is an international scholarship awarded for the brightest students of Kazakhstan. “Bolashak”  scholarship was assigned by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, in October, 5, 1993. Owing to the project young generation can det the knowledge in the U.K., the U.S., Denmark, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, China, South Korea and other foreign countries. Many Bolashak graduates hold main positions in state and private organizations in Kazakhstan.

Yesterday I interviewed one of 2010 Bolashak Scholarship winners. Bagnur graduated school with “Altyn belgi” award. The question of higher education arose after her school completion. She was to choose between two potential universities to get her Bachelor Degree – Kazakh British Technical University and Nazarbayev University. At the same time she thought about foreign education and applied for Bolashak Scholarship Program. Bagnur chose the sphere of industrial engineering to pursue her Bachelor Degree in the U.S. Submitting the application in June, 2010 Bagnur received the answer in September, 2010. She was a scholarship winner. However, she went through difficult stages of competition process before she reached the end.

During the competition procedure applications are rejected to nonconformity to the Rules of Selection. The approved applicants undergo Kazakh language test – KazTest. KazTest includes tasks on listening, grammar and reading. Further on, all finalists pass the psychological testing. The sphere of psychological questions comprises logical thinking, abstract thinking, arithmetic tasks and aberrant questions. The applicants are recommended for the Independent Expert Committee based upon the results of the tests. In addition, the efficiency of the essay and IELTS/TOEFL scores are taken into consideration during the admission procedure. According to Bagnur’s opinion, the most responsible and the most difficult stage of competition was IEC Interview. The staff of IEC consists of Ministers, Vice Ministers, members of International Programs Center. One can expect any kind of questions on Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, History of Kazakhstan, Kazakh Literature, Politics from the jury. It is important to get prepared beforehand to such questions as ” Why have you chosen this profession?”, “How do you hope to contribute to the future of Kazakhstan?” IEC is a salient and decisive stage of scholarship admission, it is necessary to demonstrate your confidence, knowledge of the Kazakh and English languages.

Bagnur asserted that IEC Interview was difficult not only for her, but for all other finalists as well. She witnessed the people leaving the room in tears, in joy and in uncertainty. Bagnur says “It is better to get Bachelor Degree in your native language at home. Study abroad is more profitable for Master’s Degree. The privilege of foreign education is in English. English unites the students with different native languages.”

Bagnur is a clever, ambitious girl. She did what many other students fail to do. She won the Bolashak Scholarship. But the point that makes her case unique is that she abdicated it. Today she is a student of the most prestigious university of our country. She is adamant in her future plans, which is promised to be bright.