“Dual degree” and reconstruction of the main building. What Narxoz is up to in 2020.

February 21, 2020

The leading Kazakhstani university introduced the “dual degree” programme. This is education of specialists who, for their time of studies at Narxoz, will get two diplomas: one of the Kazakhstani national standard and one of a foreign partner university.  

In 2020 the Narxoz University launches new exclusive programmes of “dual degree” jointly with leading foreign universities. In their last year, students will leave for a partner university in a foreign country for a year, to obtain specialisation. Then they will be issued an international certificate that will give them wide opportunities for employment. It will be mandatory to undertake an international internship. As a result, graduates will get two degrees after 4 years of studies.

This and a lot more was shared by Narxoz Rector Andrew Wachtel at the first summary meeting with the public.  

Reconstruction of the Narxoz main building

Businessman and philanthropist Bulat Utemuratov plans to turn his alma-mater into the hub of talents in Central Asia.

For this, in 2018 professor Andrew Wachtel, Ph.D., graduate of the Harvard University, member of the US Academy of Science, was invited to be the Rector of Narxoz. He now has ambitious tasks of turning the university into the leading provider of specialists in business, jurisprudence and social sciences.

One more important task is modernisation of the university infrastructure. The inherited Soviet era buildings do not comply to the modern requirements. Therefore, it was decided to carry out a large-scale reconstruction of the buildings.

“We have decided to not demolish the Soviet structures as this is the heritage of past times and it also will be much easier to modernize the already available buildings”, told Andrew Wachtel. 

Reconstruction in the main building started in February 2020 and it will be completed in 2022. According to the design of the project authors, the campus will meet the world class modern standards.

One of the best in the world architects in construction of education institutions – Henry Mayerberg – is involved in this reconstruction. He has 40-year experience in the field of construction of campuses for education institutions behind him.

“We are here not for just teaching people”

According to the University Rector, the University’s target is education of international professionals and high-skill managers.

For two years under his management the University has changed contents of educational programmes and invited highly skilled teachers with foreign education and practical experience.

Foreign specialists are needed to ensure high quality of educational programmes. They bring in new ideas and methods, this improves the quality of higher education.

“We are here not just to teach people. We help them to step on the way of development of knowledge, research and analysis. We are now introducing the practices of the best world universities. At our University we give young people support in access to the global educational community where they are able to share experiences and be engaged in challenging research”, noted Andrew Wachtel.

How the “dual degree” programme works

Dual degree is a rare opportunity to obtain two degrees for four years of education, to improve English and to have an internship in foreign companies. A student who studies under this programme, spends three years in Narxoz, and then goes to a partner university for a year.

The Narxoz University cooperates with the following higher education institutions of:

  • United Kingdom – Coventry University;
  • France – La Rochelle, CEFAM University;
  • Russia – Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation.

Educational programmes were developed so that a student could get education both in Kazakhstan and abroad, thus obtaining two degrees which are recognized all over the world.

Curricula are synchronized and comparable: grades and exam results are recognised by partner universities automatically.

Narxoz will become a public university

In his speech at the summary meeting Andrew Wachtel noted that universities – both in Kazakhstan and in the US – always were closed institutions. Narxoz plans to become a public higher education institution.

“We want to be transparent for everyone, and therefore the transit to a non-commercial form is very important. All most outstanding world universities have such culture. This gives people wide opportunities to participate in the university development”, explained Andrew Wachtel.

The society will be able to take part in management of the University via councils. This is how the best private universities work in the US, and this is how the Skolkovo school is organised in Russia.

Currently there are 4,180 students studying at the Narxoz University, 56 of them came from foreign countries.  

© Bulat Utemuratov
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