Kyrgyzstan discusses the integration of international migrants

Bishkek – On 8 September 2023, the Institute of Youth Development (IYD) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) holds an introductory information meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Labor and Social Security, Bishkek and Osh Mayors Offices, embassies, universities of Osh and Bishkek, youth organizations and civil activists within the joint Aikol Koom Project at the Innovation Centre.

The event aims at informing and discussing the main issues concerning the life of international students, as well as creating a common ground for the promotion of innovative solutions by young people themselves.

“When we say Aikol Koom, we mean a society that values fairness, respect and equal opportunities for all people, regardless of their nationality or cultural background. As part of the campaign, we will hold various events throughout the year to learn more about the lives of international students, so that they in turn integrate more quickly into our society and learn about our culture,”- says Zarina Uzbekova, IUD Program Director.

One of the main purposes of immigration to Kyrgyzstan is to obtain higher education. According to the National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic, at the beginning of 2021-2022, more than 35% of all students of higher education institutions were foreign citizens, with about 28%  -  from CIS countries. More than half of all foreign students were citizens of Uzbekistan, with students from India and Pakistan in second and third place. Students from Kazakhstan, Russia and Tajikistan accounted for about 9% (3% for each country) in 2020.

“Our baseline assessment has shown that universities are doing a great job of integrating international students. For us, it is important to include not only universities but all parties such as government, host society, student associations and international migrants in this project, and we hope to find common ground for cooperation at this joint meeting.” - notes Bermet Moldobaeva, Head of IOM Office in Kyrgyzstan.

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities