Astana IT University opens in Kazakh capital

NUR-SULTAN – The expo site in the capital has become the home of the newly opened Astana IT University. As a one-of-its-kind in the country, the university has the mission of preparing qualified personnel to implement the Digital Kazakhstan state programme, according to the city administration press service.

Approximately 600 students will study cryptography, robotics, Big Data, artificial intelligence, digital forensics, programming and other subjects. This year, 579 scholarships were provided.

Deputy Prime Minister Berdibek Saparbayev noted the development of a country can be assessed by the education level of its youth. From the first days of its independence, First President Nursultan Nazarbayev set the task for Kazakhs to become an educated generation, he noted.

“You have a unique opportunity to become the first students of a new IT university that meets all international standards. Everything depends on you. Everyone should keep up with the demands of the times to be a good citizen of their country and contribute to the development of our country,” said Saparbayev at the Sept. 9 meeting with university staff and students.

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Construction took ten months. The complex has 680 open-plan offices, 140 classrooms, a gym, sports halls, coworking area for start-up projects, library, CISCO training laboratories and cyber labs.

Capital Akim (Mayor) Altai Kulginov noted youth from all the parts of the country can apply.

“In the age of digitisation and globalisation, we can move forward only with learning power. We intend to organise an e-sports championship in the capital to promote digital technologies. We plan to open a park nearby with Astana Innovations, Astana social and entrepreneurial corporation and iKomek, a 24-hour city call centre and offices. You can gain experience and get a job there. The main thing for you is to study,” he said.

The university is the result of an effective public-private partnership, said Nursultan Nazarbayev Education Fund Director Dinara Kulibayeva.

“Information technology is not only about the creation and processing of data. It is a combination of interrelated scientific and technical fields. You will learn how to apply this knowledge in practice. I believe various start-up projects in the IT field will be implemented here,” he added.

The training is designed as a three-year programme. More than 2,000 students are expected to study at the university next year and 1,700 scholarships will be provided. Foreign teachers will start their classes in January and technical programmes will be conducted in English.

“This university with a new educational approach will bring competitive personnel in as information and communication technologies and information security fields in Kazakhstan’s IT sector. The university created the favourable conditions for those who want to create and develop something new,” said Askar Zhumagalyiev, ​​Minister of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry.

He recalled the country faced a lack of IT specialists 10 years ago when the International University of Information Technologies was opened in Almaty. Now, its graduates are in high demand.

“I believe the students of Astana IT University will continue this tradition and also become first-class IT experts. The university’s location and the innovative potential of the EXPO 2017 exhibition will contribute to this,” he added.

The list of partners includes the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), Astana HUB and SAP University Alliances. Cooperation is planned with 1C, ASBIS, Apple value added distributor, ChocoFamily, CISCO, Cyber ​​labs, HP, Huawei, IPMA, the International Project Management Certification Authority, Kolesa Group, KPMG, Qazaq Cybersport Federation and Qaztech Ventures.

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