Dear NU community,
On 1st August, 2019, Nazarbayev University implemented the decision of the Board of Trustees (dated April 1, 2019, No.36) to:
1. Change the legal structure of the Graduate School of Education (NUGSE);
2. Restructure the School of Engineering (SENG), School of Science and Technology (SST), and School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) into two new NU Schools:
School of Engineering and Digital Sciences (SEDS); and
School of Sciences and Humanities (SSH).The restructure is designed to reinforce the principles of the new core curriculum, to enhance our critical mass in our research endeavours and create efficiencies for accreditation.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the relevant Dean or Vice Dean or the Academic Advising Unit.
Best wishes for the coming academic year,
Office of the Provost
Five NU students – Narbayev Bakdauren, Kurmanbek Bakytzhan, Aikyn Nartay, Khamiyev Izat and Dairabay Zhumazhenis – brought home medals from the International mathematical Olympiad (IMC), held in Bulgaria from July 28 to August 3, 2019.
“We chose good guys and began to work with them further: we advised them to participate in the Republican Olympiad, where they took first places,” says the team’s mentor, Dr. Yerlan Amanbek.
The students started preparing for the Olympiad this summer. Even though the students are young, they have already participated in competitions at this level.
“At the Olympiads, you understand that all participants share a common passion – mathematics, which, of course, contributes to making new acquaintances that may be useful in the future. It doesn’t matter what country and university you’re from. Everybody is judged solely on their knowledge and abilities. You are surrounded by like-minded people, and there is much more than you could imagine,” says Bakdauren Narbaev, a bronze medalist at the IMC. Bakdauren, who has participated in various Olympiads since primary school, believes that no talismans are needed to win. Rather, to win, one needs only good preparation, healthy sleep and proper nutrition. The student believes that it is possible to achieve great results if you put in hard work, study, and focus.
The main purpose of such Olympiads – is to give interested students a chance to develop their skills and grow as individuals, while participating in a subject they love. “A lot depends on the mentor, he must push the student to the right path at the right time, instill in him a love for the subject, but without motivation, talent and labor nothing will happen,” says team captain Bakytbek Zhumanov.
Bakytbek’s love story with mathematics began in the seventh grade, when a school teacher noticed the enthusiastic child and invited him to participate in the Olympiad. Now a couple of years later as a student of Nazarbayev University he participates in regional and international competitions. This year Bakytbek went to the Olympiad as a team leader. Currently, Bakytbek is an employee of the Department of Mathematics of the School of Sciences and Humanities of Nazarbayev University and plans to begin a doctoral program in his specialty.
“When you’re in the beginning of your career, you still don’t know what your passion for mathematics will bring you. One day you wake up and realize that it becomes a part of you, your guiding star and a guide to life,” says Bakytbek Zhumanov.
“Our students have been participating in the international math Olympiad since 2012. It has already become a good tradition,” said Dr. Amanbek. According to him, participating in Olympiads at such an international level helps to create a special ecosystem of like-minded people, where mathematicians from all over the world gather together. And such events are a good experience for students of Nazarbayev University.
Today, more and more organizations care about the health and safety of their employees. Achieving and maintaining good performance in workplace health and safety means not only providing conditions for successful and safe work, but also working within organizations to encourage employees to take care of their health. A healthy and safe workplace allows organizations to increase their efficiency, productivity, and the job satisfaction of employees.
Nazarbayev University also pays great attention to this issue. Marat Tavasov, Director of the Health and Safety Department, will talk about what is being done to ensure health and safety measures on campus.
Could you please tell us about the role of the unit you lead in health and safety at the University?
Organizations are a lot like living organisms. While organizations are not alive, they do act and follow their own laws of functioning and development, with each element being important and valuable, much in the same ways living beings are complex systems. Therefore, it is very important to create all the necessary conditions for the normal operation of each of the university’s components. Protecting employees’ health and safety in the course of their work should be systematic, comprehensive, and holistic. Our department not only seeks to create a safe learning and working environment, but is also responsible for the implementation of a number of legal, socio-economic and managerial tasks.
Our department was established in 2015. In addition to our daily work to review and address emerging issues and questions in the field of health and safety, we are also responsible for developing and implementing a health and safety management system, and coordinating activities to ensure health and safety at the University.
Specifically, we regularly conduct special training sessions for the campus community to improve knowledge in health and safety, as well as participate in the planning and response to emergency situations at the University.
We provide ongoing training on safety and health measures to newly arrived students and staff to ensure safe living and learning on campus. For employees whose work involves increased health risks (e.g. labs, boiler rooms, workshops), we provide mandatory training about the worksite’s safety measures, organization, and maintenance, as well as on the minimum fire safety requirements.
For major events at the university, we organize announcements and information about campus safety measures via mailing lists. We also ensure compliance with fire safety measures, and, if necessary, ensure the presence of medical staff or an ambulance team at these large events.
Every year, we conduct evacuation drills in case of fire or other emergencies so that people know how to deal with such situations in order to avoid risks to their health and lives. Unfortunately, not everyone is always willing to participate in such exercises, treating them too lightly. I would like to emphasize the importance of such knowledge in cases of real danger to people’s health and lives and encourage staff and students to take part in all of the trainings we offer.
In recent years, we have also provided first aid training for all university staff. I am a certified instructor in first aid having completed the BLS First Aid Instructor’s and American Heart Association certification according to UK standards. I believe that everyone needs to know the basics of first aid, because hypothetically any one of us can face a situation where the life of another person can depend our knowledge of and training in first aid. I glad that awareness of first aid’s importance is increasing and that we have a lot of people who want to learn.
What medical services are available to students and staff on campus?
The university cares a lot about the health of our students and staff. For example, employees and students are encouraged to participate in voluntary health insurance programs. We also make sure that members of the campus community follow mandatory medical checkups and even provide access to these services when possible. This allows for timely identification of health problems, and for planning and implementation of preventive measures. Every year, seasonal influenza vaccination is conducted on campus for anyone who is interested.
In order to improve access to qualified medical care, in January 2018, together with UMC, the University Health Center was opened on campus, which provides outpatient and polyclinic services. At the University Health Center, within the framework of voluntary health insurance, students, employees and their families living on campus can seek treatment for issues covered under the plan. The campus is also home to general practitioners and specialists, as well as diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, preventive medical examinations and screening.
Today the issues of mental and emotional health, emotional burnout are growing increasingly important. How are these issues addressed at the University?
Certainly, maintaining mental health is one of the most serious issues of modern society, not only for us, but for the whole world. I think that in this or that period of life, mental health problems arise in many people, given the current rhythm of life, socio-economic problems and the saturation of modern life with numerous stresses.
Today Nazarbayev University has a special psychological counseling service. However, so far this service works only with students, but, as far as I know, a number of activities are also planned for the staff.
Undoubtedly, we have a need for joint activities with psychologists. We plan to hold special sessions and meetings for employees and teachers, which will involve the University Health Center, Psychological Counseling Center, and other units.
In general, I believe that in order to maintain a positive psychological atmosphere in the team, each member of the team must be constructive and tolerant of criticism, not translating possible disagreements into personal relationships.
Life stresses are often caused by excessive stress at work. Therefore, it is important to try and reduce stress at work and build a competent time management. In my opinion, managers should plan everyone’s work more efficiently, not to make employees stay after work on a regular basis, but to use their working time to solve current tasks to the maximum extent possible.
It is also important to engage in sports, which allows you to deal with psychological stress and stress. To help do this we have recently opened a new Athletic Center at our campus, where both students and faculty members, as well as all university employees and their families will have access to classes. We hope that we have set the prices for the swimming pool, main gym, and smaller residential gyms low enough that most people can enjoy them. Our community has the ability to take part in healthy living on campus by participating in sports and fitness at the sports center, open courts, in the campus green areas and parks, and even in some areas of the student dorms. Our sports center holds an annual sports contest among employees of the university and its subsidiaries, where they not only compete with each other in different sports disciplines, but also involve their relatives and family members in sports.
In general, it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle. For example, you can’t drink alcohol on our campus. Smoking is only allowed in specially designated places.
We also believe that for better understanding, respect, support and a sense of community, it is necessary to introduce informal meetings and team-building, where people will communicate more and thus understand and respect each other better.
Here we have a multinational and multicultural environment, but we are a community with common values and goals, so our common goal is to form our own, university subculture based on the principles of trust, mutual understanding and respect.
Are there any interesting ideas or innovations that are planned to be implemented in the NPI?
Of course, we have a lot of plans. Some of them are already being implemented, and some of them are still in their infancy.
For example, over the past six months we have been working on establishing a health and safety management system that will reflect the activities of schools, departments and organizations in the field of health and safety. This is an ambitious document, which will reflect the main measures to improve safety control.
Also, together with the Provost’s Office, we would like to create an integrated base for laboratory equipment, premises and materials, including information on technical inspections, trained employees, etc. This will enable us to respond to deficiencies in a timely manner and to take appropriate measures to prevent dangerous situations and provide the necessary training. I would like to note that the main problem here is that many people do not understand the need for training, because they do not see possible risks in the work. But we believe that it is necessary to carry out preventive work and not only to be responsive after emergencies have occurred.
One of the biggest issues we now face is how to improve communication between departments, schools, organizations and employees of the university, as well as how to more effectively coordinate their activities. This requires additional attention and streamlining.
In order to solve this problem, two coordination committees were established at the university, which control and regulate the issues related to living on the campus and increase its safety and attractiveness, consider the problems and wishes of students and employees living in dormitories.
The activities of the second committee are related to occupational safety and health, in which all interested departments of the university take part. It is a working body that deals with all emerging issues and questions related to campus safety and tries to find a collective solution to them.
Recently, we have started to look at how to improve conditions related to environmental issues. This includes the provision of requirements for environmental protection, collection, removal and disposal of waste from the laboratories. We want to create a waste management plan that will stipulate maximum allowable emissions in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Code.
Since this year, we have been taking part in the review and acceptance of documents for students, particularly those related to their health status. For Kazakhstani students, this is an approved form, and for international students, a specially designed form that they must complete before arriving in Kazakhstan. This document is included in the list of mandatory documents to be submitted by students when entering the university. Meanwhile, foreign students come to us often without medical examination and insurance, or there are cases when the documents do not meet the requirements, so we study and carefully check all the documents and certificates provided. This year, we have introduced a special unit in our department for this purpose – a health manager who will work directly with students, provide them with all the necessary information and advice on the provision of medical care. This is especially true for our international students and professors, because here they find themselves in a completely different environment from their usual social environment. Therefore, the issues of their adaptation, access to necessary information, safe living are very important for us.
Recently we interviewed Akmaral Shalgimbayeva – a graduate of Nazarbayev University’s Graduate School of Education, specializing in “Master of Science in Leadership in Education” – about her social project of an online school for foster parents.
Akmaral, how did studying at Nazarbayev University affect your professional life?
I always wanted to deal with social problems and be as useful to society as possible, so I tried to get involved in various social projects. Perhaps that’s why I chose to study and work in the field of education. While studying at the university, I learned about the specifics of educational reforms in Kazakhstan and Central Asia and studied the most effective models of educational programs in the world. After graduating from my master’s degree in 2015, I aimed to put my knowledge into practice. I taught at the Kazakh National University in Almaty and also volunteered in orphanages.
What projects are you working on now?
Working as a volunteer in orphanages, I have often seen that foster parents after the adoption of children faced various difficulties in life, ranging from legal subtleties of the adoption process to issues of education, leisure time, etc. Meanwhile, there are many parents who have already successfully dealt with these difficulties and could share their experience with others. There are also a number of competent experts who can provide good advice for foster parents on how to solve certain issues and problems. Therefore, I had an idea to open an online school for foster parents. Although there are already existing resources for exchange of experience in this area, we saw two potential places to improve. We wanted to be online because useful information needs be available to all parents, no matter where in Kazakhstan they are. Many of the existing online resources are heavily text-focused and we wanted to provide a platform with more video content. The main goal of our project is to help foster parents to give their children, who were left without parents, a family, warmth, to bring them up as worthy people, to give them a good education.
Initially, my work on this project began with participation in the Zhas Project contest. I learned about it last year and immediately applied to participate in it, and then successfully passed the competition, having the opportunity to develop and implement this project in practice.
The Zhas Project- project is a joint project of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It has a very noble and popular goal – to involve young people in the life of society, to develop their vital skills through a training program for the benefit of the community. It includes four main components: provision of grants and scholarships for social projects; training of young people in life skills development and project management; work with vulnerable youth groups; implementation of an effective advocacy campaign, feedback system and problem-solving mechanism.
As part of our participation in the project, we have undergone a very interesting and informative three-step training in life skills and project management. Having completed the training, we were able to start implementing our own social projects.
What assistance do you plan to provide to foster parents in the online school?
As you know, raising children is not an easy thing, and the upbringing of foster children and has many specific nuances and difficulties. Therefore, in the online school we will try to give parents not only the theoretical foundations related to the psychology of education, but also share practical and real-life cases from families with foster children. More specifically, we plan to consider such topics as motivation to become foster parents, the different developmental stages of children, how character, personality, and self-esteem develop at different ages, integration and bonding between members of the family, and what parents need to know about the foster child and others.
As for the experts involved in our project, I can name, for example, Raushan Karimova, Doctor of Psychology, professor and head of the scientific and technical laboratory of the Abai Kazakh National Pedagogical University. She has extensive experience in working with teenagers and has written extensively on topics and methodology related to childhood development and education. We also involve Tuyak Eskozhina, a foster parent and director of the Nur Family Children’s Home, in the project. She and her husband have raised about 800 orphans to adulthood over the past 20 years.
We plan to launch this project by September this year on a special website and on Youtube. The course will be absolutely free for all students, who can be potential or current foster parents, as well as anyone who wants to improve their level of literacy in the field of psychology of children.
Our task is to make potential adoptive parents aware of the importance and seriousness of the issue of adoption, because we believe that every parent should know about the possible difficulties and nuances before reaching out to a single child and changing his or her fate. It is clear that it is impossible to convey all knowledge about the psychology of children, each case is certainly individual and different from others, but we can try to give certain recommendations and some pedagogical techniques.
I know that today Nazarbayev University already has a number of social projects initiated by students, and this fact makes me very happy as a graduate of this university. I am sure that in the future our graduates will continue to develop this direction and bring benefit to Kazakhstani society.
The Harvard College Project for Asian and International Relations 2019 Asia Conference (HPAIR 2019 Asia Conference) took place at Nazarbayev University.
HPAIR Asia Conference 2019 is a five-day international youth conference held since 1991 in the largest cities of Asia (43 conferences in 12 different countries), which for the first time in history takes place in Central Asia. More than 500 delegates from more than 40 countries came to Nur Sultan to participate in this prestigious international event.
The conference is organized by the non-profit organization HPAIR at Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences in cooperation with Nazarbayev University. The aim of the conference is to create a discussion platform for the exchange of experience between students and young professionals to discuss and study the most important economic, political and social problems facing Asia.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Passion for change”, which included discussions in six different areas: global markets and economics; art, media and culture; social policy and social justice; energy and environmental sustainability; governance and geopolitics; and science and technology.
Among the speakers of this conference are heads of international companies, well-known influencers, public figures in various fields, including the president of UNICEF Korea, Dr. Song Sang-hyon, former Indian Foreign Minister Nirupama Rao, former head of Standard Chartered Bank’s global markets for the Middle East and North Africa, Daniel Azzi, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rae Kwon Chung, senior partner at McKinsey & Company and director of the McKinsey World Institute, Jonathan Watzel, chief technical officer of the World Bank Group, Leslie Goe, partner at Bain & Company Southeast Asia, based in Singapore, Till Westring, director of the International Monetary Fund’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Chikahisa Sumi, chairman of the Indonesian Institute of Infrastructure and former Indonesian Minister of Finance, Chatib Basri, a television presenter, professional moderator and journalist with news organizations such as CNN in Washington, ABC News in New York, Channel News Asia in Istanbul and Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin, Ali Aslan and others.
The conference organizers have prepared a number of thematic evening events as well as a large-scale case competition to entertain the conference participants. Specifically, these events include an international night (I-Night) and a carnival of cultures and traditions (I-Carnival). I-Night is a holiday of international cultures, where unique musical, theatrical and dance performances of delegates from different countries will be demonstrated. I-Carnival is a traditional HPAIR event, which will be in the form of an international fair, where visitors will be able to taste traditional dishes and buy national souvenirs presented by the conference delegates. I-Night and I-Carnival symbolize the cultural diversity of the world, contributing to the strengthening of cooperation between representatives of different peoples of the world. In addition to the traditional cultural festivals, the HPAIR Asia Conference 2019 Organizing Committee is planning to hold an event called Kazakhstan Night, where guests will be introduced to Kazakh culture, traditions, history and music.
The competition in the format of an Impact Challenge case championship allowed the participants of the conference to immerse themselves in the ecosystem of international companies and organizations by solving the problems they provide. These problems were the practical case studies from different fields, from social policy, industry, business and international relations. This is a unique and invaluable opportunity for the participants to connect with each other, to brainstorm and collaborate. Participants of the Impact Challenge case championship will bring all their ideas and experience to solve real-world problems and challenges facing the Central Asian region, CIS Countries, and the world. Thus, Impact Challenge is an opportunity to find potential and innovative solutions at the global level through the eyes of young people.
Sponsors of HPAIR Asia Conference 2019, who supported the initiative of students to hold this prestigious international conference in Kazakhstan, include such organizations as Kazzinc LLP, Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), Chevron and Microsoft.
This autumn the Fab Lab of the Innovation cluster of the Nazarbayev University in cooperation with Tel-AvivUniversity Friends Association supported by “Astana Zhastary” run the social event In Nur-Sultan city called Makeathon “TOM: Nur-Sultan”.
What is Makeathon TOM?
Only teams from the city of Nur Sultan can participate!
Makeathon TOM – is a 72-hour marathon where inventors, developers, engineers and doctors (makers) develop devices for disabled people (need knowers).
The project consists of II stages:
Stage I – September 20 – PreTOM: The first meeting with teams and disabled people. This stage is about the generation of ideas and the transition of these ideas into a prototype.
Stage II – October 25-28 – TOM: the stage of the Makeathon itself: 72- hour continuous work of teams on the developing the prototype.
Applications are accepted on the website: www.kazakhstan.tomglobal.org//
Fill the application and participate in Makeathon TOM: NUR-SULTAN. You are also open to call your active friends, acquaintances, relatives and those who want to improve the lives of disabled people. You have a unique chance to contribute to social life, where you can use all your skills and prove yourself as a social entrepreneur.
The application can be submitted by teams from 3 to 5 people or to individual candidates. There are no restrictions on age and profession. The period of submission of applications is 15.08.19-15.09.19. On September 16 there will be a selection of applications by the competent jury. Results will be announced on September 17. Food and expenses for tools and materials for prototyping will be provided by organizers.
Waiting for your applications on our website: www.kazakhstan.tomglobal.org//
If you have any questions please contact:
+7 702 199 81 99
+7 7172 26 60 23
Good luck to everyone!
Recently, Nazarbayev University hosted an Orientation Week for new students. This annual event introduces students to all aspects and features of student life at NU, including its history, traditions, rules and regulations.
During Orientation Week, students take part in group and specialized information sessions so that they can more easily adapt to the university’s culture. Because of orientation, they are more quickly immersed in NU’s academic environment, and are able to socialize, and establish friendly relations with staff and other students. During this event, students are automatically enrolled in the program at the university’s on-campus polyclinic, where they can receive medical care. Students who are not residents of Nur-Sultan are accommodated in comfortable dormitories connected by the “skywalks” to the university buildings. The campus offers students all the necessary services: from catering and hairdressing salons to the possibility of organizing co-working and clubs.
University life is not only about studying, but also about opportunities for students’ personal development.
With more than 200 student clubs at the university, students can always find something new and interesting to do in their extra curricular time, including participating in clubs focused on research, their major field of study, professional organizations, culture, and entertainment. New students also have great opportunities for self-realization in sports life – NU has a very modern Sports and Athletic Center, where students can engage in fitness, dance, martial arts, rock climbing, viewing games, and swimming.
During the orientation week, all new students received memorable gifts, including branded Nazarbayev University T-shirts. Many students have already chosen certain areas of activity they would like to engage in in the future, as well as individual development programs, during the orientation days.
Abylaikhan Kazymbetov, one of the students of the University Training Program 2019, was encouraged to share his impressions of participation in his first university event: “The orientation week is very interesting because everyone is showing us everything here. You come here, you look around and you realize that from now on you are part of something bigger. I think this is how the love for the University is born. Although I had a long time ago a commitment to NU. This is the only university I have ever applied to, and I have purposefully tried to do my best to study here. Besides, I have already joined the ACM club and I plan to open my own WebDev Club, for which there are already like-minded people”.
“We wish incoming students the best of luck and a good journey through the world of knowledge and science. For those who have just started their journey, you should know that this can sometimes be a difficult path, requiring tireless work and efforts, but at the same time the journey is always surprising, interesting and hopefully fulfilling”, – the Department of Student Affairs of NU.