“World Class” Universities in Kazakhstan

If you do a quick google search with the keywords of “world class universities” or “ranking international universities,” you are bound to find out some interesting information.  Of course, I’m all about Kazakhstan!!!  Therefore, I learned where my former university in Almaty fit in with the other 12,000 universities listed from around the world.

This “westernized” university in Almaty was constantly promoted as being “world class” to the point where I hated hearing those two words put together in reference to where I used to teach.  Indeed, it has much going for it, it has an excellent library, state of the art classrooms with the latest in technology, and some brand new buildings.  Yes, the Kazakh and Kazakhstani students are great too.  Those students who work hard because they know education is the key to their future and the future of Kazakhstan.

However, looking at how this university compared to some of the others in the rest of Kazakhstan shows that it does not compare well with the world’s universities. It shouldn’t be called a “world class” university because it is too young to tell yet.  Existing (and surviving) for only 15 years hardly makes it able to compete with other solid institutions that have been around for 100s of years!!!  Please be very careful with the overuse of “world class” as an adjective!!!

As you can see in the table below that I got from this link, Karaganda State Technical came out on top in the Kazakhstan rankings out of 12,000 universities worldwide.  Why would Karaganda have such a strong presence, if you look at the other Kazakh universities listed?  Perhaps because it is where many of the intellectuals from all over the former Soviet Union were exiled to the KARLAG, similar to the gulag of Siberia.  These smart people were castoffs to this area of Kazakhstan that was at one point about the size of Texas or even bigger.  Maybe between hard labor and trying to survive they set up schools in their prison cells or at least their children knew that education was the way out and thus highly prized.

Karaganda has a long tradition of having good universities because many good scientists and engineers from Russia were perhaps spurned for doing “good science.” Regrettably there exists “bad science” which goes on at our American top universities these days.  For now, see some of the listings of reputable universities in Kazakhstan which shows the student population, visibility, “rich files” and ranking of scholars.

5433 Karaganda State Technical University 3,888 9,988 3,331 2,575
6043 Kazakhstan Institute of Management Economics and Strategic Research 5,198 8,191 4,853 4,535
6541 University of International Business 7,013 7,883 4,168 5,950
6830 Kazakh National Pedagogical University 5,000 9,286 6,743 4,389
7219 Kazakh Academy of Transport and Communication 10,917 3,736 15,209 10,216
7421 East Kazakhastan State Technical University 3,618 11,707 5,102 4,490
7616 South Kazakhstan State University 6,826 6,849 11,192 8,570
7645 Karaganda State University 3,236 10,742 8,393 5,253
7891 Eurasian National University 7,940 8,857 6,985 6,102
8145 Innovative Eurasian University 4,753 11,288 6,044 5,643
8594 Kazakh National Technical University 5,639 8,716 11,302 10,216
9132 Al-Farabi Kazakh National University * 4,044 14,039 6,642 3,966
9292 East Kazakhastan State University 3,697 12,082 8,117 8,570
9588 International Kazakh Turkish University 2,695 12,682 12,866 6,836
9606 Kazakh-British Technical University 9,013 8,314 14,737 10,216

1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Nomad said,

    these ratings do not make much sense-better compare some standardized tests performance among graduates – and here Kazakh universities will score well. Average Kazakh school or college graduate will have better scores on sciences than his American peer. KIMEP cannot be a world class uni, but it was certainly best run business school in the CIS.

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