UCL signs partnership agreement with New University of Astana

12 March 2010

A partnership forged between UCL and the New University of Astana (NUA) will enable more high-potential school-leavers from Kazakhstan to meet the demanding academic standards required for entrance to the world’s top bachelor degrees.

Mr Aslan Sarinzhipov, President, New University of Astana with UCL's Professor Michael Worton

The agreement, approved last month by the NUA’s Board of Directors ­­under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Karim Massimov, will see UCL deliver a foundation year at the NUA and a programme in English for academic purposes starting in September 2010.

The NUA is a new university being established by the Kazakh government, with strong support from Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, to bring world-class education to the Kazakh people, with the aim of becoming the leading university in Central Asia. The NUA is located on an entirely new campus near Astana’s city centre.

The NUA has plans to partner with world-leading universities to deliver teaching and research across a wide variety of disciplines including Medicine, Social Sciences, Natural/Applied Sciences, and Engineering and Technology. It will also have research centres focusing on Energy, Instrumentation and Life Sciences. All teaching and research at the university will be in the English Language.

The partnership with UCL is the first to be signed. Initially, UCL will deliver a foundation year and a programme in English for academic purposes at the NUA’s Centre for Preparatory Studies, starting in September 2010. The foundation year is modelled on the highly successful University Preparatory Certificate (UPC) programmes that the UCL Language Centre in London offers to high-ability international students. The UPC provides an academic training and academic English language support to enable students to meet the requirements of demanding bachelor degree programmes offered by UCL and other leading universities. The UPC will constitute the first year of the NUA’s four-year bachelor degree programmes.

The programme in English for Academic Purposes (EAP), also currently available in London, will cater for able students whose English requires further support before they can benefit from the UPC.

Entry standards will be set at the same level as the programmes delivered in London. Teaching will start in September 2010 when 500 students will be admitted to the centre.

The next stage of the partnership will see a team from UCL undertake a feasibility study in Spring 2010 to support the establishment of the NUA’s School of Engineering and Technology.

Professor Michael Worton, Vice-Provost (Academic and International), said: “Kazakhstan has a bold vision to create a world-class university in Astana, which will become the leading university in the central Asia region. UCL is pleased to be working with the NUA in order to bring to fruition this ambitious project.”

Nigel Percival, Director of Educational Liaison at UCL, said: “UCL has been working with the Government of Kazakhstan for a number of years to support its aim of making sure its brightest students have the best educational opportunities. By entering into this partnership with the NUA, more of the country’s brightest students will be able to take advantage of the high quality academic programmes that UCL is able to offer.”

The NUA is in discussion with other universities, including Harvard University, Duke University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Carnegie Mellon University and the National University of Singapore.

Image: Mr Aslan Sarinzhipov, President of the New University of Astana (left) with Professor Michael Worton, UCL Vice-Provost (Academic and International)


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