About Us

General Information

Welcome to a new way of thinking.

Nazarbayev University is a modern, English-speaking research university located in Astana, the Republic of Kazakhstan’s capital and the heart of Eurasia. Admission and progression are entirely merit-based and integrate professor-led teaching and research starting on day one as a freshman.

We’re more than a novelty. NU is providing a higher education that prepares graduates for success in an age of globalization and technological disruption. Our graduates receive world-class degrees in earth sciences, digital sciences, public administration, educational leadership, engineering, medicine, and more.

Nazarbayev University, established on the initiative of Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2010, is the country’s flagship academic institution with aspirations to become a global-level research university. This is the first university in Kazakhstan which is guided by the principles of autonomy and academic freedom. The University’s autonomous status was granted by the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan on 19 January, 2011 “On the status of “Nazarbayev University”, “Nazarbayev Intellectual schools” and “Nazarbayev Fund””.


To give Kazakhstan and the world the scientists, academics, managers, and entrepreneurs needed to prosper and develop.


To be a model for higher education reform and modern research; to contribute to the establishment of Astana as an international knowledge, innovation, and medical hub; and to prepare students for a world of increased volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.


Here you can download the booklet about Nazarbayev University

Strategic goals

  1. Higher Education Reform Leadership

    To ensure that the lessons of Nazarbayev University's experience are transferred and understood by other universities, schools, and research centers

  2. Academic excellence

    To achieve Nazarbayev University's mission by developing and maintaining academic excellence

  3. Research excellence

    To develop a program of world-class research by partnering with the world's best researchers and research institutions

  4. A model for creating healthcare services

    To establish a healthcare system that will provide a model for healthcare services throughout Kazakhstan

  5. Innovation and translating research into production

    To become Kazakhstan's main driver of innovation, leading the way for Astana to become a regional hub of innovation

Global Partnerships

NU’s global engagement is defined by the meaningful, mutually beneficial, and high-impact relationships with universities, research institutes, laboratories, clinical sites, and industry across the world.

These partnerships and networks open up unique global opportunities for our community, enabling our students, faculty, researchers, and staff to thrive in times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity and achieve their full potential.


Nazarbayev University scholars conduct research in many fields, and seek to expand human knowledge through innovation, analysis, and collaboration


International publications


Of publications in the top 10% most cited publications worldwide


Research and teaching laboratories


Publications by students


The Strategy of Nazarbayev University defined the main strategic goals and directions for the development of the University toward the goal of becoming a leading model of higher education, which would establish a benchmark for all higher education institutions of the country. The Strategy set out the mission, vision, strategic goals, stages of development and the results of the joint efforts by administrative staff, faculty, students, and researchers of the University for 2018-2030.

Here you can download a full version of Nazarbayev University strategy 2018-2030



Students are the top priority for NU. We strive to attract the most talented students from Kazakhstan and beyond. Merit-based admission and progression policies, academic integrity as DNA, and critical thinking skills have ensured the success of the graduates. NU will continue to grow while, of course, preserving quality. NU intends to increase the student population to 8000 by 2025, having the goal to expand the number of international students to 10%.


Source: NU Office of the Provost, Data Digest 2023-2024 as of September, 2023, link to the website.

*Student that have not yet chosen their study track


Total number 7089

  • 4790 Undergraduate students

  • 1652 Graduate students

  • 647 Foundation students

  • 53% STEM

  • 23% Humanities and social scienties, business, education and public polisy

  • 8% Medicine

  • 7% Undeclared*

  • 9% Foundation program


NU places a high premium on faculty excellence and diversity. We are building an internationally competitive research-active faculty with many winners of awards and members of honorary and professional societies. All professors hold a western type PhD or equivalent highest-level degree in their respective fields. Our diverse faculty hails from 57 countries. NU faculty and teaching community consists of 520 full-time faculty (including 27 postdoctoral scholars) and 48 classroom, teaching assistants.








    Associate professors


    Assistant professors




    Teaching fellows



History of University

Nazarbayev University was announced in 2006 by the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and founded in 2010 as the country’s flagship institution for academics and researchers to collaborate. We’re also the country’s first global-level, autonomous research university, granted by law on 19 January, 2011 “On the status of ‘Nazarbayev University,’ ‘Nazarbayev Intellectual schools’ and ‘Nazarbayev Fund.’” 


    • Anouncement by the President of the intent to create a world class university


    • Appoinment of project team to establish the univercity. Creation of "New University of Astana" JSC


    • Opening ceremony of Nazarbayev University



    • Start Foudation program
    • Opening of Research Centres — Center of Energy Research and Center for Life Sciences


    • Signing of the Law "On the status of “Nazarbayev University”, “Nazarbayev Intellectual schools” and “Nazarbayev Fund"




    • Opening of undergraduate schools.


    • First research publication under Nazarbayev University name;
    • First medical research conference at Nazarbayev University.


    • First JCI accreditation of a National Medical Holding hospital


    • Opening of the Graduate School of Public Policy and the Graduate School of Education


    • Launch of Executive MBA program at the Graduate School of Business
    • Approval of Nazarbayev University Strategy for 2013-2020 by the Supreme Board of Trustees


    • First Oxford University Press publication by NU "Kazakhstan -2050"


    • Opening of the Pilot Technopark


    • Establishment of the National Laboratory Astana


    • First Graduate Ceremony with participation of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan


    • Opening of the School of Medicine


    • Establishment of the University Medical Center with three of the former National Medical Holding hospitals


    • Launch of the ABC Quick Start Acceleration Program


    • First PhD Defencse (GSE)
    • Launch of the institutional self-evalution exercise


    • Launch of the Asian Universities Alliance


    • EUA's independent external evaluation of NU is published
    • Launch of the institutional self-evalution exercise


    • Commencement of the first PhD graduates


    • Opening of School of Mining and Geosciences
    • Opening of GSPP's PhD program in Public Policy
    • Opening of the Zero Year program for graduate students


    • Introduction of the Undergraduate Core Curriculum Framework (UCCF)


    • Opening of Laboratory complex C4
    • Approval of Nazarbayev University Strategy for 2018-2030 by the Supreme Board of Trustees


    • NU Transformation announced



    • Opening of the Athletic Center
    • Fifth Graduation Ceremony (Commencement)
    • First Doctors of Medicine and Bachelors in Applied Nursing


    • Restructuring of School of Engineering, School of Sciences and Tehcnology, and School of Humanities and Social Sciences into two schools
    • School of Engineering and Digital Sciences and School of Sciences and Humanities


    • Accreditation GSPP - 2 academic programs


    • CPS’ program English for Academic Purposes received accreditation from BALEAP


    • 1st digital graduation ceremony


    • Asian Universities Alliance’s Executive Presidency for 2020-2021


    • Rationalization Exercise
NU History