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Study in Kazakhstan

Still a new destination for international students, Kazakhstan is already garnering an impressive reputation for higher education. Kazakhstan is a Central Asian powerhouse, and is one of the wealthier countries in that area. The country is a mixing pot of ethnicities, which diversifies the culture and education system.

Why choose Kazakhstan as an international student

More than 50,000 international students enrol in Kazakhstan’s world ranked universities each year. The country is welcoming to international citizens, both students and civilians. Only around 66% of residents are native Kazakhs, making the country ethnically diverse.

Higher education in Kazakhstan is divided into three levels. You can study at a Basic College, which provides fundamental education and allows you to gain a bachelor’s degree. You can also gain specialist diplomas in specific areas of education. To gain a masters degree, you will need to join a scientific programme, which takes 3 to 6 years to complete. This developing system produces graduates who are prepared for their next step in life, which a suitable and quality award.

International Student Visas

International students must obtain a Student Visa (C9) for studying in Kazakhstan, applied for after receiving university enrolment. The application process includes documentation and an embassy interview​​.

For more information about visas, see our International Student Visas advice article.

Universities in Kazakhstan

There are over 90 universities in Kazakhstan, and they can be divided into the following categories:

Public/State universities – Publicly funded and either organized at a regional or national level, these universities provide a wide range of study options at bachelors, masters and doctoral levels. Examples of these institutions include Karaganda State Medical University, Shymkent University, West Kazakhstan State University and Nazarbayev University.

Private universities – Private universities began to appear in Kazakhstan in the early 1990’s, and they include Turan University and University of Central Asia. Some private universities in kazakhstan are not-for profit, such as KIMEP University.

National academies & institutes – Academies and Institutes in Kazakhstan are higher education institutions that typically focus on providing high quality teaching of a specific discipline, such as the arts, engineering, law or business. Degrees are usually available at bachelors level, whilst some institutions also offer masters level degrees. Examples of academies in Kazakhstan include Adilet Law Academy and Central Kazakhstan Academy, whilst institutes include Atyrau Institute of Oil and Gas and Rudniy Industrial Institute.

The top ranked universities in Kazakhstan

University Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2024 Best Global Universities QS World University Ranking
Nazarbayev University 501-600 1275
Al-Farabi Kazakh National University 1201-1500 1664 230
L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University 1501+ 355
Satbayev University 1501+ 481
Abai Kazakh National Pedagogical University Not yet ranked 681-690
Akhmet Yassawi University Not yet ranked 781-790
Almaty Technological University Not yet ranked 801-850
Asfendiyarov Kazakh National Medical University Not yet ranked 901-950
Atyrau University Not yet ranked
Civil Aviation Academy Not yet ranked

Search for courses in Kazakhstan

Highlighted courses in Kazakhstan

Architecture UG:Bachelor

L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University Kazakhstan

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Computer Science Master

L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University Kazakhstan

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Design UG:Bachelor

L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University Kazakhstan

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Chemistry Master

L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University Kazakhstan

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Economics UG:Bachelor

L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University Kazakhstan

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View all courses in Kazakhstan

More information about Kazakhstan

Capital City Nur-Sultan
Currency KZT, Tenge
Language(s) Kazakh, Russian
Major Student Cities Astana, Almaty

Language Requirements

There are two different official languages of Kazakhstan; Kazakh and Russian.

Whilst it would be useful to have knowledge of the Kazakh or Russian language to study in Kazakhstan, there are an increasing amount of courses offered in English. If you choose to study in a non-native language, you will likely have to prove your proficiency. If you do not meet the required standards, it is common for universities in Kazakhstan to offer language courses to help you improve.

Even if you are able to study in English, you should make an effort to learn as much Kazakh and Russian as possible. Communicating with the locals and other students is a perfect way to practice. This is a skill that will look great on your CV/resume!

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