From Mongol Studies Online Reference
Mongolia's education system has undergone major changes in the past century. The educational reforms under communism were a stark break with traditional education, that were often religious and esoteric. These reforms were modeled on Soviet education systems and greatly expanded access to education for Mongolian citizens. Among the changes was a transition from the traditional Mongolian script, from 1941 to 1946, to the Cyrillic alphabet. Literacy was also greatly expanded as most of the population enjoyed free primary school. However, the move to democracy and free markets in the 1990s has had some negative impacts on education in Mongolia, though these setbacks have been ameliorated some by an improving economy and policy reforms. Many adults also benefit from the Non-formal distance education programs sponsored by the government in conjunction with foreign NGOs in Mongolia.
 See also
- Education for Students with Disabilities in Mongolia pre-1990
- Education for students with hearing impairments
- Education for Blind and Visually Impaired Students
- Education prior to communism
- Education under communism
- Non-formal distance education
- Institutions of Higher Education Listing
 Primary and secondary education
The system in place for lower-level education in Mongolia has been similar to the one used during communist times, though the government has begun reforms to expand it. The original system included four years of compulsory schooling followed by a further four years of compulsory lower-secondary education. There were then two years of upper-secondary non-compulsory education that either have a vocational, technical, or general education focus. The expansion, began in 2004 with the official school entry age dropping from age 8 to 7. A further expansion is set to take place in 2008 with the entry grade-level dropping one more year to age 6. The goal is to have a 12 year, 6-4-2, system for primary and secondary education.
As of 2003 there were 688 primary and secondary schools with about 528,000 students and 20,725 teachers. There were 32 vocational and technical training centers with 20,000 students and over 800 teachers.
Primary education has experienced some turbulence with the rise of free markets and increasing urbanization. As more families move to the cities with their children urban schools are suffering from overcrowding while rural schools suffer from low attendance. After the communist regime stepped down and free markets were introduced, the Mongolian education system was reformed through decentralization and handing control over to local provincial governments. Prior to this, the government highly subsidized education Mongolia with education spending consuming 27% of the budget in 1985 (by 1999 this number dropped below 15% of the total budget). Every child, no matter how rural, could go to well equipped schools that had some of the lowest student to teacher ratios in the world.
This situation changed when privatization of herds and the economic downturn of the 1990s put pressure on the financial stability of families and strained school budgets. This led to an increasing amount of children being taken from school and put to work helping their families. The introduction of capitalism led 36.3% of the Mongolian population below the poverty line by 1995. At one point more than 15% of rural children were being put to work herding every year, and over 8% of urban children were working in cities rather than attending school. Some herders questioned the need for education if their children were only going to be tending flocks themselves. The dropout phenomenon was exacerbated by the fact that many children needed to attend distant boarding schools. At one point these schools implemented a “Meat Requirement” to help cover the cost of feeding students. That meant a family had to pay 70 kg of meat per child a year. The “Meat Requirement” was in essence a school fee that some families could not afford, and it has since been rescinded. Boys also suffered the most from the dropout rates because they were more likely to be needed tending herds and were often seen as problem students. Fortunately, primary education in Mongolia has largely rebounded and school dropout rates are decreasing. However, the quick growth of dropouts during the economically turbulent 1990s does illustrate how fragile access to education can be in Mongolia. And while legal safeguards are in place guaranteeing 8 years of primary education, there is still no way to enforce these laws.
 Higher education
Higher education in Mongolia came with the communist revolution in the early 20th century and was based on a Soviet model. Since it s inception the higher education system has seen significant growth to this day. As of 2003 there were 178 colleges and universities, though only 48 of those were public. However, there were 98,031 students at the public universities compared to 31,197 private students, indicating the continued importance of publicly funded higher education in Mongolia. Under communist rule all higher education was provided free of charge. Since the early 90s, however, fees have been introduced, though the government still offers grants and scholarships. Mongolian universities offer a variety of degree programs,
 Research and scholarship
Scholars suffer from Mongolia’s isolation from the rest of the world's knowledge society. Mongolian scholars tend to be dissatisfied with their access to information in general and some are still uncomfortable with online databases. In many cases university library resources are underdeveloped and not satisfactory to the needs of scholars. Furthermore, it may not be possible for scholars to subscribe to professional journals because of cost and language barriers. The most popular ways for scholars to find information is to borrow articles from colleagues, use a library copy, or get a copy from colleagues abroad. About 84% of scholars use the Internet for research, which is about the same percentage of English speakers. The increasing importance of the Internet in research and global academic exchanges has pushed more scholars to favor English over the language that used to dominate Mongolia's academia, Russian.
 Prominent areas of research and scholarship
 Further reading and links
- Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science website (in Mongolian). Accessed 3 July 2008.
- Consortium of Mongolian Universities and Colleges website. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- Mongolian National Council for Higher Education Accreditation website. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- Choijoo, Altangerel. "Mongolia Teacher Training Survey." Global Strategic Planning Meeting on Teacher Training in Human Rights Education, June 2005. Accessed from the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library, 9 July 2008.
- Mongolian embassy to the U.S. Education website. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- Mongolia Dossiers. UNESCO International Bureau of Education. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- Developing the Mongolia Education Sector Strategy 2000-2005. John C. Weidman, 2001. Current Issues in Comparative Education. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- Education in Mongolia. World Education News and Reviews, 2003. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- Education USA Mongolia Centers. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- Higher Education Systems. International Association of Universities online database. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- Mongolia. Okhidoi Otgonjargal, 2003. The International Comparative Higher Education Finance and Accessibility Project. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- Mongolian Higher Education in Transition. John. C. Weidman, 1999. International Higher Education. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- The Changing Structure of Higher Education in Mongolia. World Education News and Reviews, July 2003. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- Mongolia entry in World Data on Education website: International Bureau of Education – United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (IBE-UNESCO). Accessed 3 July 2008.
- Robinson, B. (1995). Mongolia in transition: a role for distance education. Open Learning, 10, 3-14. Accessed 7 July 2008.
- Krätli, Saverio. Education Provision to Nomadic Pastoralists: A Literature Review. Brighton, U.K.: Institute of Development Studies, 2001. 84 p. Accessed 5 July 2008.
- "Using ICT to Improve Rural Education in Mongolia." Asian Development Bank. Adb.org, 2008. Accessed 6 July 2008.
- UNESCO in Mongolia
- Steiner-Khamsi and Stolpe (2005). Non-Traveling “Best Practices” for a Traveling Population: The Case of Nomadic Education in Mongolia. European Educational Research Journal. Accessed 9 July 2008.
- ↑ Sedgwick, Robert. "Education in Mongolia." World Education News and Reviews, 2003. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- ↑ "Mongolia." World Bank, June 2007. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- ↑ "Education." Mongolian Embassy to the United States. Mongolianembassy.us. No date. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- ↑ "Biography." Danzan Ravjaa: The Heritage of the "Terrible Noble Saint of the Gobi." Danzanravjaa.org, No date. Accessed 27 June 2008.
- ↑ "Pedagological Heritage." Danzan Ravjaa: The Heritage of the "Terrible Noble Saint of the Gobi." Danzanravjaa.org, No date. Accessed 27 June 2008.
- ↑ Worden, Robert L. and Savada, Andrea Matles, editors. "Education" in Mongolia: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1989. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- ↑ Weidman, John C. "Developing the Mongolia Education Sector Strategy 2000-2005: Reflections of a Consultant for the Asian Development Bank." Current Issues in Comparative Education, 2001. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- ↑ Dedolph, Carolyn. "Mongolia: Education for All." Asian Development Bank, 2008. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- ↑ Del Rosario, Mercedes. “Mongolian Dropout Study.” Mongolian Education Alliance, Ulaanbataar, Mongolia, 2005. Accessed 3 July 2008.
- ↑ Baasanjav, Mijid; Munkhbaatar, Begzjav and Lkhamsuren, Udval. “The Changing Structure of Higher Education in Mongolia.” World Education News and Reviews. 16.4 (2003).
- ↑ Yadamsuren, Borchuluun. "Report of the Study on Information Needs of Mongolian Scholars." American Center for Mongolian Studies Library. Accessed 24 June 2008.