Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System Reviews

Updated Sep 6, 2019

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3.8
83%
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  1. "Research oriented and beneficial for professional development"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Networking opportunities Management supports professional development Paid parental leave Work life balance

    Cons

    Vacation time can not be taken all at once, should divide 30 days in two parts

  2. Helpful (5)

    "Administration-heavy University where faculty struggle to have a voice"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    -Competitive salaries and benefits -Teaching loads for professors allow time for research

    Cons

    Deans and vice-deans of schools rarely oppose edicts by the administration. When the university administration makes a decision it is considered "settled" and schools, much less departments, rarely put up any fight or opposition. This is not normal or "best practices" for a putative western-style university. A lot takes place in secret – power is wielded with a heavy and injudicious hand, as those who have it dare those who do not to stand in their way. The university has several institutional partners. However, they have less power than they should, lending their prestigious names to this upstart institution. Thus, the partners come in and give "advice," and the university is free to ignore when it does not suit them. What often happens is that something one of the partners recommends does not suit the Kazakh administration. This is then relayed to the Deans, who tell the institutional partners to back off. The institutional partners are surprised that an upstart university with no international name or presence would refuse to follow basic procedures as established over hundreds of years of university practice in the west. Many faculty would love it if the university adopted these practices, but school administrators and the Kazakh university officials team up to ensure that they (the established university foreign partners) do not have too much influence, much to the detriment of the faculty. Nepotism is, unfortunately, common, with School-level administrators installing their spouses in departments and making sure they get teaching positions whether or not they have the requisite qualifications, making it next to impossible for those departments to function independently or normally. There should be a vigorous dialogue going on about the future direction of the university. Those in leadership posts, if questioned, and if they feel threatened, will invoke worn out platitudes about serving the students, the community, and the country. They will say something to the effect of "we are simply foreigners here" and must respect the local institution's ways. These excuses can be used to silence anyone who questions them, can be used to silence those who question why so much is done in secret here. It’s hard to think of anything like an open forum to discuss a policy change at the university, the cancelling of a program, the deemphasizing of a particular curricula; these kinds of discussions are what keeps western universities healthy. They do not happen at NU, where it is verboten to question those sitting working in administration. Interference by non-academic personnel in the Kazakh administration with the schools and departments is an everyday occurrence. People without academic training or qualifications, but who control the budget of the schools, regularly force vice-deans into making policy changes. The Vice-deans pass along these points to the faculty. Deans of the Schools are free to basically do what they want in their schools, as long as they keep those in the administration happy and do not put up too much fuss when some new rule or idea is passed along. Administration in one school has been known to send out e-mails to the faculty warning them not to make mistakes with their grades at the end of the semester. They have also been known to send out e-mails telling faculty how to arrange the distribution of grades in their courses, despite their not being any official policy about this. Finally, know that if you come here that no one publicly discusses the country's human rights issues, the lack of a free press, and the lack of free and fair elections. It's supposed to be an autonomous university but the elephant in the room is that the university is named after the President. There are plenty of scholars studying the region's history, but there is very little substantive analysis being done about the lack of substantive reforms in this country's political system.


  3. "Talented researchers are needed"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager 
    Recommends

    I worked at Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System full-time

    Pros

    There is a big need for talented researchers, especially at the senior level

    Cons

    State funding is a little tough, but manageable.

  4. Helpful (12)

    "look elsewhere"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System

    Pros

    Very good salary and benefits ok if you are content to live on campus among students. Students hard working and bright. Some interesting colleagues.

    Cons

    Very low morale among faculty. Never worked at a school where so many people were constantly angry and upset. Upper management rules with an iron fist. Endless paperwork for everything and very restrictive policies about travel.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Disorganized, hierarchical, a lot of changes"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Human Resources Consultant in Astana
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Did not notice anything positive.

    Cons

    Management changes almost every year. And they are still trying to find a footing in business and a lot of trials and errors

  6. "Research"

    5.0
    Current Employee - Research Interviewer 

    I have been working at Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Work from home is simple and easy

    Cons

    Needs more hours for work I recommend

  7. "Better than other places in this city"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Laboratory Assistant in Astana

    I worked at Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good friendly environment, all young, motivated, smart and interesting people.

    Cons

    A bit chaotic way of management of study courses at the school of science and technologies. The teacher thinks about curriculum a week before the labs, not at the beginning of the year. Procurement of lab supplies may take up to 6 months, so courses should be planned well before the beginning of the year. Another problem is that there is a fast flow of human resources, every year new lecturer/professor who has no idea what has been done last year.

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  8. "Professor"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Professor in Astana
    Recommends

    I have been working at Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Ready to share my vast experience to develop new work place. Like to work in Malaysia. Very good in teaching, research and management

    Cons

    There are no downgrades basically because of long experience of work in academia.

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  9. "Academic associate"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System full-time

    Pros

    western style management. Competitative salary

    Cons

    a lot of beurecratiac domucments

  10. "NU student employment"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    work at campus, networking opportunities

    Cons

    low salary, small rooms, not very systematic assignments

Found 43 reviews