How is Nazarbayev University (NU) different from other universities in Kazakhstan?

Nazarbayev University is a unique project that does not have an analogue in the Eurasian area. The project aims to develop a world-renowned university in the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Astana and provide a qualitative breakthrough in training national engineering and scientific experts to meet the requirements of the industrial and innovative development of the country. The University, initiated by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, aims to become a national brand of Kazakhstan which properly combines the benefits of the national system of education and the best scientific and educational practices of the world. Moreover, the modern scientific infrastructure of the University contributes to conducting innovative research. The best national and international researchers have been invited to the University to promote integration of education, research and industry and develop effective academic environment. In accordance with the Government Resolution dated December 24, 2015 Nazarbayev University was designated a status of a research university.

What is the tuition fee for undergraduate degree programs?

Education at the undergraduate level is carried out on the basis of the “Nazarbayev University” educational grant, other grants and scholarships, as well as on a fee basis. Enrollment to the undergraduate programs of the Schools is performed on a competitive basis for available places of the first and/or second academic year at the University.

What is the admission process for the program?

To participate in the selection process for undergraduate admission an applicant has to register at the University website, complete the application form, submit all the required documents and pay the application fee before an official deadline. Results of standardized tests shall be sent to the University directly by test administrators.

What is the duration of study in undergraduate program at Nazarbayev University? How many credit hours are required to complete the undergraduate program?

The University Schools work according to academic calendar, that includes three academic periods – Fall and Spring semesters and Summer semester if there is any. To complete an undergraduate degree students have to earn a certain number of credits in compliance with each School requirements (in average 120 credits in 4 years of study). The requirements usually include the list of required and elective courses that have to be taken and minimum number of credits that have to be earned.

What are the entrance exams for undergraduate admission?

To participate in the selection process for undergraduate admission applicants according to their category shall provide the following certificates: IELTS/TOEFL, SAT Reasoning Test with Essay, SAT Subject Test (mathematics /physics or chemistry /biology). The detailed information on categories of applicants and minimum passing scores is available in section “Undergraduate” of the University website admissions.nu.edu.kz. All exams/tests are taken by applicants at their own expense.

What is a credit system of education?

Credit – a unit used to record courses taken and differs in American and European systems of education. Each American credit typically represents the number of hours spent in class each week. Hence, a 3-credit or 3-unit course would commonly be a class that met three hours each week for one semester. Credits may or may not be counted toward graduation of fulfillment of requirements.

Is there any requirement to pay back the sum of the “Nazarbayev University” educational grant if a student drops out of the University?

In the case a student drops out of the University, the student is required to pay back the sum of additional expenses, not covered by the grant, de facto incurred by the University during the period of the study of the student from the moment the Agreement is signed.

What are the faculty members of the University?

Nazarbayev University is proud of its international faculty. The University employs highly qualified full-time faculty members with academic and scientific degrees obtained in USA, Australia, UK, Germany, Canada, India and other countries. Faculty recruitment is carried out in international labor market.

What is the language of instruction at Nazarbayev University?

The language of instruction at the University is English.

What is the University’s position to Kazakh language learning by the students?

The special program on Kazakh language, literature and culture is designed in the University. The program combines the best teaching methodologies from Kazakhstani tradition with international best practices to ensure that every student of Nazarbayev University develops a deep knowledge of Kazakh language and culture. Learning Kazakh language is a part of general degree requirements.

What is direct and transfer admission?

Starting from 2012 Nazarbayev University offers direct and transfer admission to the undergraduate programs of the University without completion of the NUFYP program. There are two options: - Direct admission – for applicants, who have graduated from secondary/vocational schools, colleges or University Foundation program, A-level and IB programs within the last two years; - Transfer admission – transfer of students from Kazakhstan and foreign higher educational institutions. An applicant shall meet the minimum admission requirements specified in the “Regulations for admitting applicants meeting the direct admissions criteria to Nazarbayev University without completion of the University Preparatory Certificate Program”. The detailed information on direct and transfer admission requirements is available in section “Undergraduate” of the University website www.admissions.nu.edu.kz.

Who is eligible to participate in the selection process for undergraduate admission?

The University considers applications for direct admission to the undergraduate study from citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, foreign citizens and persons without citizenship, belonging to one of the following categories: applicants who have completed secondary, post-secondary, technical, vocational or higher education; applicants who have completed Foundation Programme in educational institutions located in the territory of the United Kingdom; applicants who have successfully completed International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. The University considers applications for transfer admission to undergraduate study from citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, foreign citizens and persons without citizenship who have successfully completed at least one academic year of an undergraduate program at universities of Kazakhstan or at a foreign higher educational institution.

What is Grade Point Average (GPA)?

A system of evaluation of students’ achievements used by many colleges and universities in USA, sometimes in Europe, where letter grades awarded at the completion of grading periods are converted to a numerical average. At Nazarbayev University GPA is calculated using a 4.0-point scale. A student’s GPA is computed by summing the products of the numerical grade received in each course and the credits given for the course, then dividing by the total number of credit hours studied.

What is plagiarism?

A student plagiarism is considered a breach of academic norms and rules established by Nazarbayev University. It includes a representation of another author’s work in student’s work, published on paper or electronic media without detailed source link. With the appearance of internet, plagiarism has become a serious problem. Sometimes students copy whole paragraphs or pages from internet and represent another author’s work as their own work. Such breach is a serious academic misconduct that may result in sanctions or even student’s withdrawal from the University.

What service does Nazarbayev University offer for graduates’ employment?

There is a Career and Advising Center in Nazarbayev University that is designed to encourage student excellence in career development and preparation as well as facilitate the acquisition of a job prior to graduation by organization of student internship, employer presentations in Nazarbayev University and professional development Program, tours and job fairs.

What do NU students do at their leisure time?

There is a comfortable and stimulating environment for recreation at NU. Sport is an intrinsic part of student experience and university life. Sports Center located on campus provides various opportunities for involvement in sports through classes and sport clubs for the NU community. More than 90 student organizations and clubs are currently working at the University which target various areas of intellectual development, research work, creativity, entertainment, culture, art and sport.

What are living conditions in dormitory?

Nazarbayev University provides the students with comfortable housing and studying. The rooms are for 2-4 people and are equipped with all required conveniences. There are bedding items, wardrobe, cabinet, hangers and blinds for every student. There is a shower room in every room. There are recreation rooms for students in the dormitory, where students can watch TV, DVD, play piano, dance and play Ping-Pong. Moreover, there is a medical center, pharmacy, café, grocery stores, laundry, dry-cleaning, and payment terminals in the dormitory. Having been accommodated at the University dormitory, a student shall sign an accommodation contract, which includes all main rules and provisions. There is an ID-card access system in the dormitory in order to ensure security of the students.

Will the students be provided with dormitory accommodation?

The students of the Nazarbayev University are provided with a place in the dormitory on campus, in case of availability.

Is it required to take the Unified National Test (UNT) to apply to Nazarbayev University?

UNT is not required while applying to Nazarbayev University. UNT is a mandatory requirement to apply to other higher educational institutions in Kazakhstan.

What is covered by the “Nazarbayev University” educational grant?

The “Nazarbayev University” educational grant covers tuition fee and other expenses related to education process.

What are the requirements for the winners of International and Republican Olympiads?

Applicants-winners of the International Subject Olympiads (IMO , IPhO, IChO, IBO, IOI, Mendeleyev Olympiad, Zhautykov Olympiad), awarded gold (first place), silver (second place) and bronze (third place) medals for the last three years at the time of submitting an application to the University, as well as winners of the Republican Olympiads awarded gold (first place) and silver (second place) medals for the current academic year, shall be considered for admission to the undergraduate programs at the University provided that their Olympiad subject corresponds to the major to which they are applying, after successful passing an interview and submitting IELTS/TOEFL results.

What is the registration fee during the application process?

Since 2016 Nazarbayev University introduced the application registration fee to undergraduate program, which is 5000 tenge for Kazakhstani residents and 14 000 tenge for international applicants. Registration fee is paid online through internet transaction from the personal NU account of each applicant.

For what reasons can a student be dismissed from the University?

There may be various reasons for student’s dismissal from the University. The main reasons are: - providing false documents or information during the admission processes to the University; - non-attendance of a certain amount of training and/or practical sessions (seminars) without reasonable excuses; - unsatisfactory grades in the intermediate or final examinations; - violation of the Student Code of Conduct, Academic Integrity Policy; - repeated violation of the internal policies and safety regulations; -not returning from an academic leave for valid reasons; - voluntary withdrawal.