The Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation wrapped up the competition of the Orleu program. It was held this year for the second time and determined five winners. All of them are from underprivileged families, and all will be paid for a year of undergraduate studies at the universities in Kazakhstan which they chose. The executive director of the Yessenov Foundation, Aiganym Malisheva, will tell us more.
Please introduce the winners of the program.
Two of them – Kymbat Okas and Anuarbek Ashykbayev – were the winners of last year. They studied well all year, as evidenced by their transcripts and GPA (2.68 and 2.65, respectively), and they applied for the grant again. Thus, having won, they guaranteed themselves the payment of the second year of study at the university. Both are students of Asfendiyarov Kazakh National Medical University. The other three winners are freshmen, just graduated from high school. Aigerim Makset, 17, from a large family, originally from the Mangystau region, she entered and will be studying for our grant at Suleyman Dimirel University. The girl wants to become a math teacher at school. Kamilla Ismailova is 16, she hails from Almaty, the winner entered Asfendiyarov Kazakh National Medical University for general medicine. 17-year-old Rashid Dosmambetov will study at the Semey Medical University with a grant from the Yessenov Foundation. The guy plans to acquire the specialty of a dentist.
How can you explain that most applicants choose medical specialties?
I think this is due to the high competition for these specialties, there is also a high passing score of Unified National Testing (UNT) – 70 points. The amount of tuition fees is large and many families are just not able to afford it. For example, the cost of studying at the Faculty of Dentistry is 1,400,000 tenge, and general medicine costs a little less than 1,200,000 tenge. This is the data of Asfendiyarova KazNMU, it is there that most of the applications for Orleu program are received. But in other universities, the cost is about the same.
How was the competition of the program carried out this year?
We have received 41 applications. This is 20% more than last year. More and more applicants are learning about the program, which makes us happy. According to the results of the first round, after evaluating and checking all the documents, we selected the 13 best applications. They were evaluated according to the following criteria: UNT score, motivation letter, academic achievements, social status of the applicant. Let me remind you: our program is aimed primarily at teenagers from low-income families. The second round was traditionally held as an online interview with the participation of our psychologist-coach Yelena Amreyeva, who has been conducting selections within the framework of the foundation’s programs for several years and has proven herself well. Following the results of the second round, we selected the 5 strongest candidates (two of them are winners of the first year of the program).
According to the Program Provisions, the number of grants is up to 10.
Yes, it is so. As in the first year of the program, when we selected only 4 finalists based on the results of the selection, we never “pull out” those who could have won the grant, but did not prove themselves to the end. We have five such guys this year, including two winners of last year, i.e. sophomores.
By what criteria do you choose the winners?
They are many. Clarity and reasonableness in setting tasks, learning ability and the ability to quickly perceive and analyze new information, emotional intelligence and empathy, organizational and communication skills, the ability to adapt to a new situation (stress resistance) and find non-standard solutions, as well as an active life position. The knowledge of languages is also taken into account.
What do you think the contestants really lack? What do they need to tighten up, what skills do they need to strengthen or gain in order to win?
Most importantly, it is necessary to carefully read the position of the program and try to collect the entire package of documents. Since this also indicates a desire to receive a grant, a motivation. When writing an essay, one should not copy-paste ready-made texts taken from the Internet. We check all texts for plagiarism. And of course, at the interview during the selection, one need to be yourself, answer questions sincerely and be active. That’s the simple formula for success.
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