Nazarbayev University (NU), located in Astana, Kazakhstan, opened its doors to students in 2010 with an ambition to become a world-class research university by integrating the best of international practices into the country’s educational system. To achieve this objective, NU chose a unique model—to offer its own degrees and seek assistance from leading universities from around the world.
University of Wisconsin–Madison is one of seven university partners who are working to develop NU’s schools and colleges. As a strategic partner for NU’s School of Sciences and Humanities (SSH) [formerly the School of Humanities and Social Sciences], UW–Madison’s work involves giving advice and recommendations for the development of SSH personnel, programs, and services. The partnership provides services, facilitates collaboration and exchange, and offers opportunities for professional development for faculty, staff, administrators, and students from both universities.
The UW–Madison Partnership with Nazarbayev University is continuously growing and developing. Since 2014, UW–Madison has welcomed NU students through its summer Visiting International Student Program (VISP), a study abroad opportunity with academic, social, and cultural components. UW–Madison also collaborated with NU’s School of Engineering (SEng) for two years (2016–2018), and for 2018–2019, it is providing services to the Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System (NURIS), an NU subsidiary. Currently, UW–Madison is working under its Sixth Agreement— which consists of four aspects of the partnership—SSH, General Services, VISP, and NURIS.