Private supplementary tutoring and educational inequality in secondary education in Kazakhstan

Anas Hajar, Mehmet Karakus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This mixed-methods study is the first to explore the association between fee-charging private supplementary tutoring (PT) participation and access to higher education in Kazakhstan from the perspectives of Grade 11 students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Guided by the work of Entrich in 2018, a four-dimensional model of educational inequality in PT, this study found that the scale of PT had expanded during the pandemic, with 75.06% (623 out of 830) of participants engaged in PT, mainly to excel in the university entrance examinations and gain a state grant at their preferred university in Kazakhstan. Also, 73.8% of the students spent 40,000 tenge (US$88) or less on PT per month. Although participants’ families prioritized boys for providing PT services, most participants neither agreed nor disagreed that PT was a financial pressure on their families, probably because the majority attended group tutoring delivered at tutorial centres, and this mode of tutoring reduced the unit cost and gave them the attention they needed from their tutors. The 30 interviewees had positive attitudes towards PT, but some mentioned a few of its disadvantages, including the spread of less qualified, costly tutors due to the unregulated PT market in Kazakhstan. This study suggests pedagogical implications and areas for ongoing research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-636
Number of pages20
JournalCentral Asian Survey
Issue number3
Early online date14 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • private supplementary tutoring
  • ; access to higher education
  • educational inequality
  • secondary school students’ perceptions
  • mixed-methods study


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