ASTANA – Nazarbayev University (NU) has, for the first time, entered the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2024, landing in the top 30% of international research universities, according to a release published on Sept. 28.
This entry represents a significant accomplishment for the NU, which is only a decade old and has ranked 501-600 among 1,904 universities from approximately 100 countries.
As the definitive source of data, insight, and expertise on higher education worldwide, THE put NU at the forefront among Kazakhstan’s four universities in the list and the wider region of Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, who also serves as Chair of the NU Board of Trustees, noted that this impressive result confirms Kazakhstan’s commitment to developing NU as a “world-class research-intensive university for the country and the region.”
“It recognizes the university’s position as an established higher education leader in Central Asia,” he said.
NU’s Founding President, Shigeo Katsu, who stepped down in June after a decade of service, expressed his gratitude to students, professors, and staff who laid the foundation for NU’s success.
“NU will continue to contribute to Kazakhstan’s economic growth in the years ahead and pay attention to sustainability issues, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” he stated.
THE World University Rankings emphasized peer-reviewed research, aligning with NU’s mission as a research-centric university. The methodology considers 17 performance indicators, including teaching, research environment, research quality, industry relations, and international outlook.
NU received high marks for its research environment and quality, reflecting a strong reputation for research excellence with numerous publications ranking in the top 10% globally for field-weighted citation impact.
NU also showed excellent performance in international outlook, with over 70% of its faculty originating from 58 countries and more than 67% of its publications in 2018-2022 featuring international co-authorship.
Dr. Ilesanmi Adesida, Provost and Acting President of the NU, commented that the results indicated the extent of talent in Kazakhstan and urged continued progress.
To be included in the THE World University Rankings, institutions must meet eligibility criteria such as a minimum of 1,000 publications for the previous five years and 150 publications annually.
The number of scientific publications involving NU has exceeded 7,000, approximately one-sixth of 42,549 scientific publications published by Kazakh universities from 2011 to 2022.
Following its exceptional performance in THE World University Rankings, NU aims to join the top 20% of world universities in the rankings by 2030.