Nazarbayev University will be the main driver of innovation in Kazakhstan and create a basis for making Astana a regional center of innovation – Yerbol Orynbaev


Nazarbayev University will be the main driver of innovation in Kazakhstan and create a basis for making Astana a regional center of innovation - Yerbol OrynbaevIn April the Supreme Board of Trustees of Nazarbayev University, Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools and Nazarbayev Fund approved a strategy for the Nazarbayev University for 2013-2020. This event has marked a new stage of development in the life of the University. According to international practice, the strategy of the University shall be its “destiny”, that is, the prerogatives must be long-term viability and expected excellence of the institution. According to this principle the strategies are worked out.

What goals and objectives are the Strategy of Nazarbayev University talks Vice Prime Minister in his interview with our correspondent.

– Mr. Orynbaev, what is the recently adopted strategy of Nazarbayev University?

– The strategy defines the basic purpose and direction to ensure effective and dynamic development of the University with the aim of becoming an advanced model of higher education, which will be a model for all higher education institutions in the country. The Strategy sets out stages of development and the results of joint efforts of employees, teachers, students and researchers of the University in the years of 2013-2020. Vision of the University is to train scientists and engineers, managers and entrepreneurs needed for progress and prosperity of Kazakhstan and the world. The mission of the University is to become the model for reform in higher education and science of Kazakhstan and to contribute to establishment of Astana as an international center of innovation and knowledge.

– Will you tell us more about the strategic goals facing the Nazarbayev University?

– The first goal is to lead the reform of the education system in Kazakhstan. It is necessary to ensure transfer of expertise of the University of Kazakhstani higher education institutions and research centers. Nazarbayev University is to become the new “growth point” in the system of higher education in the country. In his annual address to the people named “Socio-economic modernization – main direction of development of Kazakhstan” in January 2012, President Nazarbayev emphasized that there is need to disseminate the lessons of the Nazarbayev University and Nazarbayev Intellectual schools in the entire education system to pull up to their level all educational institutions. Feature of the organization of managing academic activities of the Nazarbayev University is availability of academic freedom and autonomy, the right to develop its own academic programs. This autonomy of the University is provided by Law “On the Status of Nazarbayev University”, by “Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools” and “Nazarbayev Fund”. To ensure collegiality and transparency of educational policy-making process of the University in accordance with international practice there have been created joint bodies such as the Academic and Scientific Council and Faculty Senate.

Since last year the University and the Ministry of Education and Science has started to work on defining the concept of transferring experience of the University management. The University will transmit its experience not only in academic activities, but also in innovation and application of science to production, as well as an integrated academic health system. Thus, for the higher education of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev University is an experimental platform that allows the government to reform existing universities and the creation of new institutions of higher education.

The second goal is academic leadership. Educational programs include a program of Nazarbayev University pre-university preparation, undergraduate program’s engineering, science, social and humanitarian areas, master’s and doctoral programs in education, business administration and public policy. The learning process is based on modern technologies of foreign partners, using a combination of lectures, laboratory and individual lessons, perform case studies and group projects, problem solving tasks and experiments. Programs focus on developing communication skills, critical thinking, the ability to identify and solve problems, and work in a team. In addition, the learning process in educational programs offered by the University is governed by the worked out and approved curriculum for each specialty, academic calendar and schedule of classes. Teachers of the Schools of the University independently worked out courses, teaching materials on the subjects given, some of which have been developed on the basis of recommendations of foreign partner universities.

The third objective is scientific leadership. The University should establish a system of world class scientific research, in partnership with the best scientists and research centers in the world. As part of the Nazarbayev University there will be set up national research centers of world-class in energy and interdisciplinary sciences. The establishment of national research centers, and laboratories will bring together leading national and international scientists to conduct cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in the priority areas of scientific and technological development of the country.

Nazarbayev University uses the experience of its partners in the management of scientific processes, in attracting foreign scientific experts in the development of scientific research. The University has formed a modern system of organization and management of research activities, that comply with international research universities.

– You have also said about creation of an integrated academic health system.

– Yes, it is the fourth strategic goal, i.e. to create a model of health service delivery. One of the main components of the Nazarbayev University is a real integration of education, research and clinical practice. The task of the University will develop and strengthen the health of the cluster that will be presented to the medical schools and other training health science centers and clinics at the University of National Medical Holding. The objectives of the medical cluster, or an integrated academic health system (IAHS) will achieve a breakthrough in the clinical diagnosis and treatment by bringing together researchers and physicians, improving quality and promoting progress in cost-effective care. In addition, there will be training and preparing the next generation of health care professionals, as well as scientists and physicians working in the areas of basic science and clinical medicine. It is provided to attract talented researchers and clinicians to create and strengthen University’s IAHS brand.

Researchers and clinicians from the Center for Life Sciences and the National Medical Holding will be the founders of important areas of basic and applied research in Kazakhstan and the former Soviet Union. They will lead projects to implement new methods of diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Competitiveness in the global market for medical services will be provided by integration of the National Medical Holding clinics with world scientific and clinical community and create a competitive advantage.

IAHS of Nazarbayev University will become a leader of the health system in Kazakhstan, Central Asia, the CIS countries and strengthen its position in the international scientific and clinical space. It will be the benchmark for healthcare organizations in the country, will promote the effective enforcement system modernization of the industry based on synergy of medical practice, research and education, implementation of innovative clinical programs to ensure effective transfer of technology in the healthcare system.

– What are the challenges facing the University in the field of innovation and applying science to production?

– This is the fifth strategic goal. The university should be the main driver of innovation in Kazakhstan and create a basis for establishment of Astana as a regional center of innovation. Innovation and introduction of science in production is crucial factor in progress and growth of competitiveness of the national economy. The level of development of high technologies is now a feature of economic development and scientific and industrial potential of the country. Advanced world experience shows that integrated scientific and educational structures provide high quality training of new professionals in demand in the labor market and technological changes in production, based on the latest knowledge and contribute to the economic growth of the country.

In the President’s Address called “Socio-economic modernization is main direction of Kazakhstan’s development” aims to create an intellectual and innovative cluster around the Nazarbayev University. This will contribute to establishment of the University as a world-class research university. The cluster must provide an enabling environment for scientists and entrepreneurs, as well as contribute to taking research results to the market.

Summarizing the above, it can be noted that Nazarbayev University will become the first research university of international level in Kazakhstan. With its activities related to implementation of the main priorities of the country, including such as intensive research capacity; industrial-innovative development of the country, to ensure transition to education that meets the requirements of innovative economy.