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2023, November 2 NU now

Best in Central Asia and Caucasus: NU Leads in International Subject Rankings

Best in Central Asia and Caucasus: NU Leads in International Subject Rankings

2023, November 2

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Nazarbayev University entered two prestigious international subject rankings, published by Times Higher Education and Shanghai Ranking.

Both evaluation systems use advanced ranking methodology, where research, international publications, and the level of the university's internationalization play a major role.

On October 26, Times Higher Education (THE) released its Subject Ranking of universities, where Nazarbayev University (NU) emerged as a leader in the Central Asia and Caucasus region again. NU had entered THE World University Ranking for the first time just a month earlier. The university took a position in the range of 501-600, thus entering the top 30% of the best research universities in the world.

Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, who recently became the head of NU’s Supreme Board of Trustees, previously stated that this achievement “validates Kazakhstan’s decision to establish Nazarbayev University as a world-class research-intensive university for the country and the region.” 

“To put the ranked group (501-600) into context, being in the top 30% puts us in the top ten of the CIS, equally in the top ten of ASEAN, fourth amongst the higher education institutions of the new EU member countries (post-2004), and in the top five of Latin America. So that's a good start; now we must go forward and upwards,” Founding President Shigeo Katsu explained.

To compare, besides NU only three other Kazakh universities entered THE rankings in 2024 - Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (range 1201-1500), L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University (1500+), and Satbayev University (1500+).

According to the new subjects ranking, Nazarbayev University performed the best in the Education category, which evaluates universities leading in such disciplines as education, teacher training, and academic research in education.

NU took a position in the range of 251-300 in this category. The university happily shares its advanced knowledge and innovative education methods with other Kazakh universities. Thus, as per the initiative of the Kazakh Ministry of Science and Higher Education, NU is conducting the Academic Leadership Institute program for 100 executives of different universities, where they jointly look for growth and development opportunities for Kazakhstan’s higher education.

Furthermore, in Arts and Humanities, Computer Science, Engineering, and Social Sciences, NU ranked in the 401-500 range worldwide. It took a place within the 501-600 range in subjects like Clinical and Health, and Physical Sciences, while finding itself in the range of 601-800 for Life Sciences, and Business and Economics.

Thus, subjects offered at NU are the best among universities in Central Asia and the Caucasus. It is worth noting that THE ranking includes only those subjects for which information was provided by the university.

The table above portrays the positions of other universities in Kazakhstan, which do not rise higher than 601+. Moreover, if you check the universities of Central Asia and the Caucasus, none of them rank higher than 601+ either, which shows Nazarbayev University’s advantage compared to other universities in the region.

In addition, Nazarbayev University is the only Kazakh university represented in the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2023 (GRAS) published by the Shanghai Ranking on Oct. 27. NU’s Telecommunications Engineering subjects took a place in the 201-300 range, and the Electrical and Electronics Engineering subjects - in the 401-500 range.

In GRAS 2023, institutions are ranked in 55 subjects across Natural Sciences, Engineering, Life Sciences, Medical Sciences, and Social Sciences. The ranking has scrutinized the universities that have published a certain number of publications during the period of 2018-2022. The publication threshold is set differently for different subjects. In 2023, it listed more than 1,900 universities.

The GRAS rankings use a range of objective academic indicators and third-party data to measure the performance of world universities in respective subjects, including research output (Q1), research influence(CNCl), international collaboration (IC), research quality (Top), and international academic awards (Award).

Entering such rankings as the Times Higher Education and Shanghai Ranking underscores the strategic development of Nazarbayev University in recent years and its commitment to academic excellence.


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