Nazarbayev University

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Nazarbayev University
Kazakh: Назарбаев Университеті
Russian: Назарбаев Университет
Nazarbayev University.JPG
Motto To lead. To innovate.
Established 2010
Type Public
Endowment Estimated US$370 million (2011)[1] US$2 billion construction[2]
Chairman Aslan Sarinzhipov
President Shigeo Katsu
Provost Anne Lonsdale
Students 1920 (total)
Location Astana, Kazakhstan

Nazarbayev University is an autonomous research university in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. Founded as a result of the initiative of the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2010,[3] it is an English-medium institution, with an international faculty and staff. The acceptance rate for undergraduate programs is 1:8.5. All undergraduate students attend free of charge, and students in good standing receive a stipend. The faculty-to-student class ratio is 1:9.

Nazarbayev University is legally linked to the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools and the Nazarbayev Endowment Fund, which are dedicated to promoting education reforms in Kazakhstan.

On June 15, 2015, the president of Kazakhstan awarded diplomas to the graduates of the first cohort of the Nazarbayev University.[3] That day 446 students received their bachelor's degrees.[3]


The university consists of six schools: the School of Engineering, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Science and Technology, the Graduate School of Business, the Graduate School of Education, and the Graduate School of Public Policy. The School of Medicine is expected to open in 2015, and a School of Mining is being considered. Nazarbayev University offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees, from bachelor to Ph.D. degrees.

As of 2012, undergraduate majors available to students included anthropology, biology/biomedicine, chemical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, computational science, economics, electrical and electronic engineering, mathematics, mechanical engineering, physics, political science/international relations, robotics and mechatronics, sociology, history, and world languages, literature and culture.

Many students at Nazarbayev University are admitted to the Nazarbayev University Foundation Programme, a one-year program that prepares students for entry into the undergraduate schools. At the end of this preparatory year, students apply to undergraduate programs in the university. Some students are admitted directly to undergraduate programs, while others transfer to the university from other universities. A partnership with University College London ended in July 2015 after five years, and after a short relationship with the University of Warwick the foundation programme is now run solely by Nazarbayev University.

The university's language of instruction is English.[4]


The Supreme Board of Trustees is the managing authority of the university, Intellectual Schools and the Fund, It is headed by the president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Board of Trustees is in charge of general management of the university’s activities.

The deans/directors of the constituent schools of the university are:


Nazarbayev University has established partnerships with several internationally recognized and respected institutions. Each school in the university has at least one partner institution, with which it works on issues of curriculum and programme design, student admissions, research collaborations, faculty recruitment, and quality assurance.

Partnership with «Samruk-Kazyna» JSC

The chairman of the Board of «Samruk-Kazyna» JSC Umirzak Shukeyev and the rector of Nazarbayev University Shigeo Katsu signed a memorandum of cooperation in September 2014.[5] To implement this memorandum, the parties will develop a five-year roadmap.[5]

The memorandum aims at further developing mutually beneficial cooperation between Nazarbayev University and «Samruk-Kazyna» JSC in research, education and innovation.[5] The two parties intend to develop the intellectual innovation cluster of Nazarbayev University, educational programs for the executives of «Samruk-Kazyna», including subsidiaries and affiliates (ExecutiveEducationCenter), information and communication technologies, and the NU’s Graduate School of Business.[5]

The memorandum will lead to the creation of the corporate research center of «Samruk-Kazyna» in the Science Park "Astana Business Campus." The Center will serve the needs of the chemical industry, the metal industry, renewable (green) energy, «green» building, and energy efficiency.[5]

Partnerships with international schools


In addition to the research conducted in the schools by faculty, staff and students, Nazarbayev University is home to:

  • National Laboratory Astana (NLA)
  • The Centre for Life Sciences (CLS)
  • Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System (NURIS)
  • Technological Park (Technopark)
  • Nazarbayev University Theoretical Astrophysics and Gravitation Group (NUTAG)
  • The Institute for Advanced Study of Nazarbayev University (IASANU)

Technological Park

Aslan Sarinzhipov, Kazakhstan's Minister of Education and Science, unveiled the technological park (Technopark) of Nazarbayev University in mid-July 2014.[6] The Technopark was designed with partners from South Korea and the United Kingdom.[6] It is a multipurpose facility for research in biotechnology, robotics, IT, renewable energy, and mechanics.[6]


Recent speakers and visitors

In early May 2015, the former head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barrozo spoke about the "European Union and International Relations".[7] Barrozo noted in conclusion: "Having delivered a speech here, I can say this university is a good example of the organization of the education in Kazakhstan".[7]

In late May 2015, the Nobel Laureate George Smoot gave a presentation about the Energetic Cosmos Laboratory, which will be established at Nazarbayev University.

In July 2015, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi addressed students at the university.[8]

In November 2015, the Secretary of State of the United States, John Kerry, gave a speech about the partnership between the United States and Central Asia in the 21st century.[9]

NU Campus infrastructure

  • Territory 145,7 ha
  • About 5100 people
  • 3500 students, 1600 staff, including about 3500 living on the campus
  • 34 vehicles owned + 620 cars parking
  • Over 20 building in use
  • Over 70 research and teaching labs
  • Technopark
  • Boiler


Green Policy initiatives at Nazarbayev University

Background information
Green Campus at Nazarbayev University may be defined as a set of measures aimed at environmental management including bringing business, cadmic and research activities of Nazarbayev to conformity with environmental management based on principles of sustainable development. Green Campus concept is aimed to become the unity of intellectual capabilities and infrastructure to achieve the harmony between ecosystem and economic initiatives. The main principles of development of Nazarbayev University Green Campus concept are supposed to become:

  • Decreasing emissions and other contaminants to zero level;
  • Development of national green university standards;
  • Contribution to the environmental and innovative development of Astana;
  • Improving quality of life on campus and health of campus community.

The list of Green Campus indicators includes carbon dioxide emissions, waste, water consumption, power consumption, heat use, microclimate, territory improvement, transport etc.[10]

The concept's authority and contestants

The initiative is started by top-management of Nazarbayev University. Organisers of the initiative are Green Campus Working Group and office of the Vice President for Innovation. Students as well as employees are allowed to take part in the Competition.[10]

Suggested standards to use

Examples: Energy, Water, Waste, Emissions.

Evaluation of existing efforts and capabilities at Nazarbayev University



  • The concept of the “Green office”
  • “Environment conservation via waste separation”
  • Paper recycling


  • Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies (HPRS): HST 328 History of the Anthropocene

Course description:
This course in the environmental humanities will focus on the history of climate change. We will discuss nature and culture in premodern societies, the emergence of modern societies, collapse, disasters and recovery, the coming of the Anthropocene, the discovery of global warming, climate change denial, capitalism and the organization of nature, the work done by climatologists, and finally the development and sustainability discourses.
Instructor:: Philippe Forêt


  • Technopark
  • Over 70 research and teaching labs

The concept "Environment conservation via waste separation"

The place: the city of Astana, Nazarbayev University.
The responsible authority: The Center "Cooperation For Sustainable Development" along with specialised waste recycling companies Kazakhstan Kagazy, Soyuz Plast, Eco-Dom Kz.
The aim: to introduce rational and ecologically safe system of waste collection and disposal at Nazarbayev University.
The types of waste separation trashes:

  • Wastepaper (paper, cardboard)
  • Plastic (Polyethylene terephthalate bottles, Polyethylene)
  • Electronics (broken cellphones, computers, notebooks, irons etc.)

Information heading named «Let’s be eco-friendly!»

As a part of Nazarbayev University’s “Green Campus” project the information heading named «Let’s be eco-friendly!» is expanded on the whole university. Initially the heading was leaded only in a frame of «University service management» and according to results of questionnaire it is quite interesting, useful and relatively wanted.

Recycling of Paper campaign

The initiative was started by the teaching assistants of NURIS with the leader of the project Aigerim Rakhmatulina. Later duties of the Head of the Paper Recycling Campaign were delegated to Daumenova.
Boxes for paper collection are installed near the security offices of blocks 2,3,6,7,8 and 9 of Nazarbayev University Campus. The paper is submitted to Recycling company, where all the collected paper is pressed in Astana and sent to their factory in Almaty to produce new packaging products. Kagazy Recycling has agreed to pick up the paper on the fifth day of each month.[citation needed] The amount of paper collected: January 2016 – 676 kg, February - 820 kg, March - 1195 kg.[citation needed]

Solid waste disposal
The bar chart presents data on how much solid waste was disposed on the university campus over the period of 2012–2015. The amount of solid waste is presented in cubic meters.

tooltip 1
  •   Blocks 1-9
  •   Blocks 11,19,20,21
  •   Blocks 22,23
  •   Technopark
  •   Boiler Unit
  •   Blocks 38,39

Thus, the data shows how solid waste disposal increased significantly over the period. Foe example, in 2012 3200 cubic meters of waste were disposed, in 2015 -7900 cubic meters were disposed. (about the size of the Sports Center)

Electricity consumption on the campus
The graph presents data on how much solid electricity was consumed on the university campus over the period of 2011–2015. The amount of electricity is presented in Million kW/h.

Diesel for heating
The graph presents data on how much diesel was supplied for heating the university campus over the period of 2010–2015. The amount of diesel is presented in Million Liters.


  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Kazakh President Awards Diplomas to First Graduates of Nazarbayev University". External link in |website= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Quick Facts & Statistics". Nazarbayev University. Retrieved 24 July 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 ""Samruk-Kazyna" JSC and Nazarbayev University sign memorandum of cooperation".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Nazarbayev University unveils technological park". Tengrinews.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Nazarbayev University is example of good organization of education in Kazakhstan - J. Barrozo". External link in |website= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 University Student Management (USM) at Nazarbayev University

External links

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