Nazarbayev University in Astana was established seven years ago. In this short period University has established itself as an elite institution, combining the original traditions with modern education system and the best educational model. This is confirmed by the increasing number of applicants and students, and a high level of knowledge of graduates as well.

The history of the University began with that moment, when in autumn 2009 the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the educational institution was held. It approved the development strategy for the next three years. Originally, the University was called ‘New University of Astana’, but in the summer 2010, it was renamed in AEO ‘Nazarbayev University’. That autumn the University admitted its first students, and in 2015 the University awarded diplomas to its first graduates.

Nazarbayev University has important mission: to create an educational model, which serves as a model for all higher education institutions in the country. This is the first University in Kazakhstan, working on the principles of academic freedom and autonomy. The main objective of University is to prepare professionals who will subsequently contribute to the development and prosperity of the state. This is possible through the adherence to international standards of the quality of teaching, careful study of international experience and implementation of innovations in educational process.

Today Nazarbayev University has seven schools. They give education in various areas, including: engineering, technology, humanities and social sciences, business, politics, education and medicine. There are several specialties at each school. The students learn for 5-9 years, it depends on the selected direction of education, in English language.

Education system at University is conducted in four programs. The first of them is Foundation. This is a preparatory course for high school graduates. It is followed by the bachelor programme, where you can get education in 16 specialties, and master’s degree (doctorate programme). The fourth step is the advanced training programme. They allow complementing knowledge and skills in preparing both civil servants and top managers of small and medium businesses.

Nazarbayev University specifies the highest demands on applicants. Each program has its own conditions of admission. To become a student of the basic Foundation course, applicants must apply and register online. After that, you need to pass the entrance exams. Learning on the undergraduate is possible for graduates of the basic course and directly after secondary schools. The highest requirements are put before those who enter the master’s or doctorate. You need to have experience, recommendations, which include the characteristics of the professional qualities of candidates.

The state allocates grants that cover all expenses for the training, so applicants who successfully passed the entrance examinations, have the opportunity to get education in free of charge. Grants of Nazarbayev University provide free accommodation in the dormitory, and those who are involved in pre-university training programme are provided with meals at state expense. There is also the option of paid training. First and foremost, this applies to master’s and doctoral programs, however, it is possible for undergraduate students too. In this case, the cost will be about 21 500 dollars per year.

Nazarbayev University was conceived as an institution of research type, therefore, great emphasis is placed on scientific work. Currently three centers work under the University. The first of them is innovation research system, Nazarbayev University develops projects on energy technologies and study of their impact on the environment and climate. Its mission is of particular importance, as Kazakhstan is rich for mineral resources. Thus, the work of the Centre contributes to the growth of the energy sector.

An important activity of the University is the development in the field of medicine and healthcare. The Center of the Life Sciences deals with it. The goal of its work is the development of knowledge in the field of nature and medicine, and use of the received information for prevention of various diseases and prolongation of people’s lives.

Center of educational policy of the University is engaged in extensive research in the relevant field. Its main purpose is creation of innovative projects in this field, the study of experience of foreign systems, making recommendations for the reform of activities.

Today the University has about 45 research laboratories, the work is held on more than 80 projects. Numerous scientific works published in national and international journals and patents granted to specialists of Centers confirm on the highest level of activity.

Strategic partners of the Nazarbayev University are the largest American and British higher education institutions. The University supports the student exchange program, but also admit foreign citizens. The best students of the University have the opportunity of internships in leading foreign universities and research centers. It is worth noting that the majority of teachers are foreigners who came from the US, the UK, Australia and other countries. Professors from partner universities are invited. There is an exchange programme of teachers and joint scientific research.

International cooperation is one of priority directions of activities of the University. It contributes to the output of the education system of Kazakhstan to the world level.

Nazarbayev University cares about the comprehensive development of its students. Therefore, in addition to training in the specialty, the students have the opportunity to engage in various clubs and organizations of the University. Everyone can choose something: culture and art, different types of art. Much attention is paid to health and physical training of students is therefore, sport is an integral part of University life.

Nazarbayev University is a higher education institution of global level, the Central education and research activity in the country that serves to the prosperity and successful future of Kazakhstan.

14 June 2013, a Memorandum of cooperation between Karaganda State Technical University and ‘Nazarbayev University’ was signed.

The purpose of the Memorandum is to develop joint research and educational projects, including:

– exchange of students, scientific information, research and development;

– exchange of experience in the development and implementation of innovative educational programs;

– organization and holding of scientific seminars, presentations and round tables, etc.


The Memorandum was a result of mutual visits of representatives of working groups of scientists and heads of departments for the study of material-technical base and innovative projects, scientific-pedagogical potential of leading universities of Kazakhstan, and marks the end of the preparatory period and the beginning of a new stage of mutually beneficial partnerships.

One of the positive results of the interaction with Nazarbayev University is that, the second phase of clinical trials of new domestic hepatoprotective drug ‘Tsitafat’ was successfully conducted, clinical effect of which is 7-8 times higher than such classic preparations as ‘Essentiale’ and ‘Legalon’. Further joint research are conducted for the introduction in medical practice. The cooperation with the Mining school of Nazarbayev University is developed as well. In June of this year, the scientific-methodical complex of the Model of Patriotic education, developed by KSTU and including 263 names of monographs, textbooks, brochures, videos was given to Nazarbayev University as a gift.

As a result of joint consultations and meetings, the Road map for transfer of experience of Nazarbayev University for 2016-2017 was developed.