Our interviewee is Aizhamal Zhazykpaeva, acting director of the Admissions Department of Nazarbayev University, who has been admitting students to the University for 5 years.
Aizhamal, tell us about the peculiarities of Nazarbayev University admissions office?
The main feature I would highlight is openness and accessibility in our work. Our office provides year-round assistance in advising applicants and their parents on admission to Nazarbayev University, as well as in applying to our programs which include: pre-university training program (NUFYP), the bachelor’s degree, a preparatory year for the master’s degree program (NUZYP), the master’s degree, and doctoral studies.
The admissions office staff thinks that it is very important for applicants to access information about admissions that will help them to make their career choices in the future. Every year, almost as soon as the recruitment process for the current year is over, we immediately start preparing for the next year’s intake, analyzing all the nuances and possible flaws associated with the previous academic year’s admissions. Our task is to help applicants prepare for university in advance. To achieve this goal, we hold open house events at the University and as well as at various locations throughout Kazakhstan. This recruitment campaign happens not only in the country but also abroad; we participate in international and Kazakhstani educational exhibitions, provide consulting assistance, visit companies and organizations, hold parents’ meetings, and seminars for teachers and career guidance counselors.
Our Admissions office acts as a kind of “guide” to the applicant before he or she becomes a student in terms of providing general information and preparation for entering Nazarbayev University.
Nazarbayev University was one of the first universities in Kazakhstan to introduce an online registration system for students. What are the advantages of such a system?
In 2011, Nazarbayev University’s Department of Admissions first introduced online registration for university entrants. The main advantage of this system is that the whole process is carried out online via the internet. To apply for admission, applicants only need to go to admissions.nu.edu.kz, create a personal account, fill in the “Applicant’s Application Form”, attach scanned copies of the necessary documents and send the completed application to the University. This means that applicants can apply for admission to the University from anywhere in the world, at any time of the day. The information about the applicant is automatically transferred to the Department’s database, after which the employees of the Department process the application and after a decision is reached the department contacts the applicant regarding their admission status.
Since 2015, we have implemented a number of innovations to make the registration process even easier and more accessible.
In today’s increasingly competitive higher education environment, are you implementing innovative approaches to working with applicants?
Of course, we try to stay current and use the best tools to provide quality services to students interested in Nazarbayev University programs. In addition to official recruiting events, our employees regularly hold informal presentations in the regions of the country with interested parties. Notifications are posted via social networks. Coffee shops and other informal venues are chosen for meetings, where students can ask questions and get a full consultation in a relaxed environment.
Anyone interested in learning more about the requirements or the application process can also write to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for consultation through the Skype platform. From anywhere in the world, our applicants can ask questions through Skype consultation.
As they say, it’s better to see something once than hear it a hundred times. Therefore, we believe that everyone can benefit from a tour of the university campus, to arrange a tour you can contact u us via e-mail at email@example.com. Our staff will meet and guide you through the campus, introducing you to the blocks of study, library, dormitories and other important places. This will allow guests to better understand and see with their own eyes the conditions for study and student life, as well as other opportunities provided by the University.
Through social networks of the University on the platforms of VK, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., we try to actively communicate with interested users. And we try to make these social media postings exciting with live broadcasts of employees and students of the university, which gives applicants the opportunity to get information “first hand” and allows us to answer all their questions related to the stages of admissions, programs, etc.
At our university, there are amazing students who, besides studying, are ready to do many other things on a voluntary basis – including the promotion of the university. Every year, our students hold informal presentations and meetings in their home towns and former schools during their holidays. To do this, students are trained about admissions and take brochures and other information with them to distribute at the presentations. These students can talk about their university studies, share their experience of coming here, and can give useful advice to applicants from their home cities and schools.
Finally, applicants can contact our Call Center directly at 8 7172 7065555 and get advice in three languages – Kazakh, English, and Russian. Applicants can also write a live chat on the admissions.nu.edu.kz website. To do this, they only need to click on the active window in the bottom right corner of the page.
In general, all interested citizens can use any convenient platform of the University for live communication: chat on the website and social networks such as VK, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram.
Tell us more about Nazarbayev University students
To date, Nazarbayev University has trained representatives from 15 countries, including students from Central Asia, the Russian Federation, China, South Korea, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Mexico, and Africa. In 2018, the Nazarbayev University Foreign Students Association was established at the University to provide comprehensive support to international students.
Of course, the University seeks to create a multicultural and multinational student body and explores new ways to attract talented young people from abroad. Today, one of Nazarbayev University’s strategic development goals is to increase the portion of international students to 10% of the total student population by 2025. Therefore, we are trying to work harder to increase Nazarbayev University’s brand recognition internationally and to attract foreign students from different parts of the world.
What advice would you give to the candidates wishing to enter NU?
Admission to Nazarbayev University programs is based on the meritocracy principle, which facilitates the selection of the most promising and talented students. Thus, the requirements for admission to Nazarbayev University programs are the same for all candidates, regardless of citizenship.
Those wishing to enter Nazarbayev University would be advised to consult the website (admissions.nu.edu.kz), which describes all the requirements and deadlines for admission to each School and University programs. If you have any questions, we advise you to call the Call Center of the University’s Nazarbayev Admissions Department (8 7172 706555).
Further, some school programs require that applicants take international certified tests such as IELTS/SAT/GRE/GMAT, etc. Each of these tests has a slightly different format that students should become familiar with, and we recommend that students prepare early to take the tests required for admission into certain programs. Because certain scores are required for admission we recommend that applicants begin preparing for these tests as much as two years in advance. By preparing for and taking the tests early, the applicant will increase their chances of success, since sometimes the tests are not offered frequently, sometimes it can take a while to receive scores, and sometimes the applicant may need to retake a test to get a sufficient score. We also advise you to carefully read the instructions to avoid making mistakes when filling in the online application form; these instructions are available in the applicant’s Personal Web Office.
And of course, it is best to send your application in before the last day of the online registration period. Do not leave everything until the last moment.
In case the applicants need more detailed information on any issue, we advise you to contact us – the Admissions Department to get advice directly from a manager. Please consult Nazarbayev University Admissions, because external bodies like centers for exam preparation or other internet resources may not have accurate information. The university is not responsible for the reliability of information presented by external parties or resources.