The First Academic Year of the Kazakhstan Branch of MEPhI Is Open

On September 12, Almaty hosted the grand opening of the first academic year at the Kazakh branch of the Russian National Research Nuclear University MEPhI on the basis of the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University.

Minister of Science and Higher Education of Kazakhstan Sayasat Nurbek and Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education Natalia Bocharova cutting the symbolic ribbon

The event was attended by Minister of Science and Higher Education of Kazakhstan Sayasat Nurbek, Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education of Russia Natalya Bocharova, Deputy General Director of Rosatom State Corporation Tatyana Terentyeva, Rector of MEPhI Vladimir Shevchenko, Rector of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University Zhanseit Tuimebaev.

Vladimir Shevchenko expressed gratitude to the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the leadership of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University for their comprehensive support and active assistance in opening a branch. The Rector of the Nuclear University also noted that today the largest percentage of foreign students studying at the Russian sites of the university are students from Kazakhstan. The branch in Kazakhstan became the sixteenth in the branch network of the university, but the first and only one opened in the year of the 80th anniversary of MEPhI.

“The University is always a story about the future, about those young people who come to its walls every year with their ambitions, talents, desire to change the world for the better,” said Vladimir Shevchenko and assured that those applicants who come to MEPhI “are in no way inferior to their peers from the best universities in the world.” This, according to the rector, “is the key to our future success, the key to our achievements in the next 80, and possibly several times over 80 years.”

Rector of the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University Zhanseit Tuymebaev said that the Kazakh University occupies a leading position not only in national, but also in international rankings. In particular, it is ranked 150th among the best universities in the world in the QS world ranking. The rector emphasized: “The opening of a branch of MEPhI is of strategic importance.” Al-Farabi Kazakh National University has a developed scientific and innovative structure: 8 research institutes, 29 research centers, 140 scientific and educational research laboratories. But the university does not intend to stop there and wants to develop as a research university.

“The opening of branches of Russian universities is a symbol of strategic partnership and friendship between the leaders of our countries, between our countries and our peoples,” said Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan Sayasat Nurbek, especially noting the speed with which Kazakhstan managed to start implementing the program for opening these branches. For the first time, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, announced it in his message in January, already in February a corresponding agreement was concluded with Russia – and now the MEPhI branch has begun work.

Sayasat Nurbek recalled that in order to replenish the scientific personnel of Kazakhstan from next year, the model for financing magistracy, doctoral studies and postdoctoral studies will change in the republic, more emphasis will be placed on research work at universities.

“I would like the joint project of MEPhI and Al-Farabi Kazakh National University to become a model program for training personnel for applied research,” Sayasat Nurbek said, promising that every effort would be made to make the MEPhI branch grow into a “large regional cross-country project.”

Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education of Russia Natalya Bocharova, in turn, noted that MEPhI has become the flagship of the project to open branches of Russian universities in Kazakhstan after a very long pause.

“I sincerely thank the rector of MEPhI Vladimir Shevchenko and the rector of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University Zhanseit Tuymebaev for the work that was done to open this branch,” Natalya Bocharova summed up.

Finally, Tatyana Terentyeva, Deputy General Director of Rosatom State Corporation, in her speech emphasized that Kazakhstan is a strategic partner for Rosatom, and scientific and educational cooperation plays a special role in this partnership. Since 2010, Rosatom has been implementing a project to train personnel for the national nuclear programs of the partner countries, thousands of students from 65 partner countries are studying in Russia, and in particular, about 700 students from Kazakhstan in nuclear specialties.

“By opening a MEPhI branch, we are opening a new page in our relations,” said Tatyana Terentyeva, noting that the development of nuclear technologies makes it possible to raise national science to a new qualitative level and makes it possible to make a technological breakthrough, especially since nuclear technologies today cover not only energy, they penetrated into other areas – for example, medicine and agriculture.

At the MEPhI branch, Kazakhstani students will be able to study under two undergraduate programs ("Secure High-Performance Computing Systems" and "Physics of Elementary Particles and Space Physics"), as well as a master's program in the field of computer security (the program "Secure High-Performance Computing Systems and Technologies". Number educational programs will grow from year to year, increasing the number of highly qualified specialists for the needs of the economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.