Kazakhstan University Research Output Ranking

Posted August 16, 2016 By Prof Alex James, Nazarbayev University

Kazakhstan has huge ambition to place few of its top universities among the best in world university rankings. Nazarbayev University was setup in 2010 on a target to be the flagship university and has a long mission to be one of the leading university in the world. How far are we in terms of research performance in this short 6-year duration of its existence?.  I would like to draw a comparison with Kazakstan and Australian universities, as these both countries share several similarities, such as geographic similarity in size, and in diversity, heavy dependence on natural resources, almost similar population size etc. The top universities in terms of the number of publications sorted by the field-weighted citation impact are shown. Clearly, the there is a lot to catch up for the universities in Kazakhstan to be competitive in the world research ranking; however, they are growing very fast and given that not all PhD programs are in place in some of these universities, they have a lot of potential for excellence.

Some observations are that the publication growth in the last 5 years in the top Kazakh universities are very high in comparison with top universities in Australia. These numbers should be carefully read as the number of publications with the top ranked Australian universities are not comparable in size, they are way ahead in numbers and size. Further, between the universities within Kazakhstan, there are only very few universities that aim for international research competence, such as by ensuring top quality research faculty, reputable publications, and active international collaborations. The language of instruction is English in only very few universities such as Nazarbayev University and Kazakh-British Technical University, making the possibility to attract international engagements challenging. While there is substantial challenges, the growth of research output in Nazarbayev University seems to be steady, and the publications in good quality forums need to have a substantial increase in the next 5 years to be competitive in world standing.

Institution Country Publications Publications (growth %) Citations Authors Authors (growth %) Citations per Publication Field-Weighted Citation Impact
Nazarbayev University  (Est 2010) Kazakhstan 751 4150 1687 487 4000 2,2 1,05

L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University

(Est 1996)

Kazakhstan 981 297 2572 836 331,2 2,6 0,63

Al Farabi Kazakh National University

(Est 1934)

Kazakhstan 1255 218,8 1401 1433 315,6 1,1 0,46
Kazakh National Technical University (Est 1934) Kazakhstan 453 715,8 260 552 938,5 0,6 0,34
S.Seifullin Kazakh Agro Technical University (Est 1957) Kazakhstan 16 - 13 26 - 0,8 0,34
Kazakh-British Technical University   (Est 2001) Kazakhstan 215 258,8 171 193 216 0,8 0,33
Buketov Karaganda State University  (Est 1972) Kazakhstan 138 310 67 196 267,9 0,5 0,31
Kazakh National Pedagogical University Abai  (Est 1928) Kazakhstan 225 880 108 337 928,6 0,5 0,27
South Kazakhstan State University (SKSU) Kazakhstan 259 4200 70 510 4180 0,3 0,17
Institution Country Publications Publications (growth %) Citations Authors Authors (growth %) Citations per Publication Field-Weighted Citation Impact
University of Western Australia (Est 1911) Australia 24932 30,4 210899 9899 36,4 8,5 1,86
University of Melbourne (Est 1853) Australia 47777 26,3 435043 21163 37,5 9,1 1,85
University of Queensland (Est 1909) Australia 42379 32,4 364152 18268 41,1 8,6 1,8
University of Sydney (Est 1850) Australia 48909 19,1 400594 21625 46,7 8,2 1,79
University of Adelaide (Est 1874) Australia 20859 49,7 158997 8593 55,7 7,6 1,76
Australian National University (Est 1946) Australia 23445 16,8 168746 8690 22,3 7,2 1,75
Monash University (Est 1958) Australia 40729 32,6 324779 17390 42,1 8 1,72
University of New South Wales (Est 1949) Australia 40322 24 294686 16596 35,4 7,3 1,71
Griffith University Queensland (Est 1971) Australia 14705 65,8 89788 5676 70,6 6,1 1,62
Curtin University of Technology (Est 1966) Australia 15795 47,8 80509 5729 55,8 5,1 1,49
Year range 2011 to 2016
Data source Scopus
Date last updated 11 July 2016

National Level Comparison

The national level comparison on the number of publications per year indicated overall a steady growth. The growth of Nazarbayev University is in comparison with other universities at a much higher pace. This is indeed a positive sign and given the rate of change, it would be expected to overtake other universities in terms of research outputs in the next couple of years time.  In terms of field-specific citation impact, Nazarbayev University have been leading the research university in the country for all the previous years. 

In comparison with BRICS countries, the Nazarbayev University research seems to fair higher in terms of field specific citation index, which indicates a positive trend.