Welcome to an ambitious academic
undertaking, designed to impact generations
of global business leaders to come. The
establishment of the Graduate School of
Business at Nazarbayev University signals
an exciting approach to management
education in one of the most dynamic
regions of the world. This new education
model, which draws from world-class
faculty in a curriculum informed by local
business knowledge, is being designed to
promote innovation, enabling Kazakhstan
and the wider Central Asia region to manage
our vast natural resource wealth and be
competitive in world markets.
Join us as we build a business school that
will reflect Kazakhstan’s unique position
in the world – both a leader in Central
Asia, and an important bridge between the
world’s most influential economies.
Our history began in 2006, when the
President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan
Nazarbayev, addressed the nation with his
strategy to promote Kazakhstan into the
ranks of the most competitive economies in
the world, by the establishment of a world
class international research university. The
founding of such a university was intended
to ensure a breakthrough in the training of
scientists, engineers and social scientists
that would assist in the industrial innovation
and development of the Republic of
On June 20, 2009 the Government of the
Republic of Kazakhstan issued a resolution
to establish a non-profit joint-stock
company “New University of Astana”
fully owned by the government; and in a
general meeting on September 4, 2009
with President N.A. Nazarbayev, a series of
direct assignments were issued to launch
the establishment of the New University of
Astana. “Creation of such a new university
is a crucial national project which will
exert large-scale systemic impact on the
development of our nation and many of our
citizens. I believe that the New University
must be positioned to become the national
brand by harmoniously combining national
identity and the best international models
of education, science and research
practice.” said President Nazarbayev.
The set of courses taught at the university
were intended to reflect the priorities of the
national economy. Engineering would be a
key focus in order to support the mature
industries of Kazakhstan, and the President
placed a high priority on several other
scientific domains – genetics, biochemistry,
and biophysics - which represent new
fields in the country. Innovation as an
ecosystem in the country was another goal,
as Presidency Nazarbayev emphasized
in his address to the nation in January
2010. The President announced that
within the framework of New University
of Astana, three new research centers
would be established: the Center of Life
Sciences , whose mission was to conduct
joint research with the leading global
scientific centers in the fields of organ
transplantation, artificial heart and lungs,
stem cells and longevity; the Center for
Energy Research, which would focus on
renewable energy, high-energy physics and
technology; and finally, the Interdisciplinary
Instrumentation Center which was intended
as a hub of engineering research, providing
laboratories and design space.
In June 2010, New University of Astana
was renamed as Nazarbayev University
by Resolution of the Government of the
Republic of Kazakhstan, and the University’s
Grand Opening Ceremony was held and
attended by the President.The first students
of the University began their studies
on September 27, 2010, attending the
Foundations program. Shigeo Katsu was
appointed Rector of Nazarbayev University
on December 6, 2010 and the President
signed several bills related to the University,
its schools and its funding, in January 2011.
The inaugural meeting of the Supreme
Board of Trustees was convened in June
2011, and in August of that year education
in the three undergraduate schools
began: School of Engineering, School of
Science and Technology, and School of the
Humanities and Social Sciences.
In November 2011, Nazarbayev University
hosted its first international conferences,
“Modern Trends in Education,” and
“Regenerative Medicine and High-Quality
Longevity.” On February 27, 2012, the first
seed grants were awarded. Also in 2012
was the renaming of the PE “Center for Life
Sciences” to PE “Nazarbayev University
Research and Innovation System” (or
In late 2012, three graduate schools were
officially established: Graduate School of
Business, Graduate School of Public Policy,
and the Graduate School of Education.
In March 2013, the Graduate School of
Business launched its Executive MBA
program in strategic collaboration with The
Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.
On April 18, 2013, the Strategy of
Nazarbayev University for 2013 – 2020
was approved by the decision of the
Supreme Board of Trustees creating a
classic academic governance system,
strengthening the roles of the Academic
and Research Councils, and President of
Nazarbayev University. On April 24, 2013,
the new executive body of the university,
the Managing Council, was formed by
the decision of the Board of Trustees of
History of the University
7Republic of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev
speaking at Nazarbayev University
In 2009, Nazarbayev University established a strategic collaboration
with Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business to assist in its
ambition to build a world-class business school in Astana.
Duke’s Fuqua School of Business is a world- renowned institution
based in the United States, with the #1-ranked faculty in the world..
The school has a global network with presence in London, Dubai,
New Delhi, Shanghai and St. Petersburg. Fuqua has a history of
innovation, having launched three MBA programs for
working professionals and most recently an MMS program, and
having developed unique relationships in the most critical regions of
the global economy.
The collaboration leverages leadership, faculty and staff expertise
in building the NUGSB from the ground up. The initial focus will be
to develop high caliber MBA programs that will prepare the next
generation of business leaders to succeed, while building faculty
strength and increasing the research capabilities of the institution.
President of Nazarbayev University, Shigeo Katsu
and Dean of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, Bill Boulding
The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Nazarbayev University is building the Graduate
School of Business (NUGSB) to become the
leading institution of its kind in Kazakhstan and
Central Asia, conducting high-quality research
and training the next generation of business
It is NUGSB’s mission to transform individuals,
industries and society through world-class
professional business education and research.
As an NUGSB student, you can expect to be
studying in a diverse classroom made up of
individuals from many different backgrounds.
1. Executive MBA
2. Full-Time MBA
1. Small to Medium Sized Enterprise
Executive Development Program
2. Customized Programs
3. Open Enrollment
Graduate School of Business
NUGSB Dean Ramon O’Callaghan and NU President Shigeo Katsu
Executive MBA (EMBA)
Executive MBA: Local Context – Global Scope
The NUGSB EMBA program tools working professionals with the quantitative
and qualitative skills necessary to lead their organization. Students receive
the highest quality education from a world class faculty through a variety
of unique learning methods including team based, case-based, traditional
classroom, and experiential learning.
Members of the NUGSB EMBA will also travel to the campus of Duke
University in Durham, North Carolina, in the United States to learn about
the economic, political, cultural, and social issues that affect business there.
Observing the cultural and institutional differences which influence business
dynamics in a different environment will help students navigate the different
perspectives needed to manage the very real uncertainties that lay ahead in
this global world.
While the core curriculum provides a foundation in all the functional areas
of business, students have the opportunity to specialize through the EMBA
Thesis. Students focus on a business case or a topic identified by their
employing organization, using this project as a mechanism to integrate their
new skills into a career-specific context.
Students will develop a wider scope through their U.S. residency providing
students an opportunity to learn in a global context, while expanding their
personal and professional networks.
Prepare for Tomorrow, Today: High Quality, World-Class Experience
Employers benefit through:
• Increased employee effectiveness
• Employee loyalty
• Building long-term capabilities necessary to
compete in the global marketplace
• Improved decision making
• Playing a role in transforming business in
Kazakhstan by developing management and
• Access to faculty, student, government, and
Students benefit through:
• Obtaining an MBA while working full time
• Accelerated career trajectory
• Enhancing professional network regionally
• Strengthening core business skills, and
engaging with faculty and students from
a broad range of academic and applied
Networking at an EMBA event14
EMBA Class of 2014 with representatives
from the NUGSB and FUQUA
Sovereign Wealth Fund «Samruk-Kazyna» JSC , «NCOC»,
«TengizChevrOil», «Samruk Energy», «KazMunaiGas E&P»,
«Kazakhstan Temir Zholy», «Kegok», «Kazpost», and
Functional areas and industries:
Energy, Transportation, Corporate Development, Finance,
Law, Service, Information Technology, Education, and
The EMBA program is designed for corporate managers and entrepreneurs with 5 or more years of work experience, and for entrepreneurs.
Each class cohort is drawn from a broad range of industries and disciplines, and individuals represent a variety of functions within their
organizations. The program is particularly suited to individuals in significant leadership positions, both private and state owned institutions.
EMBA Class of 2014
Number of students: 18
Average age: 36
16 EMBA Class of 2014
All courses subject to final approval.
This capstone allows
each student to deepen
their skills and expertise
specific to career goals and
industry or organizational
Students select 3 courses applicable to their
career goals: Finance, Leadership,
Marketing, Strategy and Negotiations
The 12 required core courses cover the fundamental building
blocks of business education: Managerial Economics, Management
and Organizations, Quantitative Tools for Managers, Financial
Accounting, Marketing, Foundations of Finance, Strategy, Supply Chain
Management, Managerial Accounting, Corporate Finance, Financial
Analysis, and Entrepreneurship
This period lays the foundation of skills necessary for success in the program:
Computer Applications; Quantitative Methods; Team Building;
Nazarbayev University is a community of scholars and learners,
committed to the principles of honesty, trustworthiness, fairness,
and respect for others. Students share with faculty and staff the
responsibility for promoting a climate of integrity. As citizens of this
community, students are expected to adhere to these fundamental
values at all times, in both their academic and non-academic
NUGSB Honor Code
Through our strategic collaboration
with Duke University’s Fuqua School of
Business, students benefit from some
of the No.1 ranked faculty in the world
for intellectual capital (2012 Bloomberg
Businessweek) teaching in their
The faculty is comprised of thought
leaders and leading researchers whose
expertise and passion for innovation
create a one-of-a-kind learning
environment. Nazarbayev University
is able to draw high-caliber faculty
members from around the world who
have in-depth experience that cuts
across all industries and functions.
19Professor Mohan Venkatachalam
The EMBA program employs a variety
of learning methods, among them: team
based learning, case discussion, experiential
learning, and simulation.
Team-based learning is the core of a
student’s experience, as he or she will
depend on fellow classmates and work
collaboratively on most aspects of their
coursework. As a member of the team, the
student will develop leadership skills and
learn how to support each other and benefit
from the diverse talents, abilities, and
perspectives of their team.
Case discussion challenges the student
to apply theory and tools learned in the
classroom to real business problems.
Through these discussions, the student
learns about making decisions with
incomplete data and uncertainty. The
insights made during case discussion refine
management and leadership skills.
In the classroom, student’s unique
knowledge and business experience are
integrated into the curriculum.
In the NUGSB EMBA students move quickly
from theory to practice and immediately
apply learned skills back at work.
20 EMBA students getting the result
they were looking for
Exams take place two
weeks after each final
class on the Nazarbayev
University campus, or at
an approved location.
Students return to
campus for two
more days of intense
Students will participate
in an immersive learning
experience studying in
residence on Nazarbayev
University’s campus in
Back to Work:
Two weeks later:
Pre-reading is required
for all courses and
in the program between
sessions is also required.
Students allocate time
to study from Tuesday-
Friday, while managing
Typical Course Format
The EMBA program is designed to minimize time away from work
while providing an immersive, top-tier educational experience.
Students begin with an eight day orientation, spend two weekends
for each course in the classroom, and travel to a residency abroad
in Durham, NC, USA at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Instruction will be in English with simultaneous Russian translation.
Candidates for the EMBA program at
the Nazarbayev University Graduate
School of Business are expected to have
at least 5 years of work experience.
However, exceptional candidates with less
experience will be considered.
Applicants will be considered after a
complete application has been submitted,
which must include the following items in
Candidates must submit a 1-page business/
professional resume containing employment
and education background.
Two letters of recommendation
The most valuable recommendations come
from people who know the candidate’s
professional skills and abilities. We require
one of two recommendations be written by
an employer/ individual who can assess the
candidate in a work-related environment.
The second recommender should be chosen
at the candidate’s discretion.
Candidates must submit official transcripts
from all undergraduate and post-graduate
education. Transcripts must be submitted in
their original form as well as in an English
English Language Tests
Official results from recent TOEFL or
IELTS exams for applicants whose native
language is not English.
GMAT and GRE Tests
Although official GMAT or GRE scores are
not required, a candidate with limited
quantitative experience can strengthen the
application with a competitive GMAT or GRE
Candidates are required to give thoughtful
answers to the essay questions for
admissions. These questions will be
available on the application form; essays
must be submitted in English.
Letter of Corporate Support
A letter from the candidate’s current
employer outlining the company’s support
of time and financial commitment is
Admission interviews are by invitation only.
Interviews include a variety of behavioral
questions covering the topics of teamwork,
potential contribution to the EMBA class, and
the candidate’s overall expectations from the
The NUGSB Admissions team will conduct
a quantitative assessment of candidates.
In cases in which background and
academic history does not demonstrate
sufficient quantitative experience, a
formal assessment will be conducted with
the candidate to determine their current
In the event that a candidate’s quantitative
abilities are not sufficient, the NUGSB
Admissions team will suggest a course of
action to improve the applicant’s candidacy.
It should be noted that entry is competitive;
these minimum requirements do not imply
automatic admission into the program.
While applications will be considered on
a rolling basis, only a limited number of
EMBA students will be accepted, so it is
advised to apply as early as possible.
Please find the Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Business Application
for Admission and Recommendation
on our website:
The popular palm trees inside
the Nazarbayev University atrium
DOES OUR ORGANIZATION LOSE
AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE DURATION
OF THE 21-MONTH PROGRAM?
While your organization will part
with your EMBA students during
weekend programs and international
residencies, their learning will
be immediately applicable to the
workplace each time they return.
We encourage employers to be
sensitive to the demands of the
program, so as to realize the highest
return on their investment
HOW DOES THE PROGRAM APPLY
TO MY SPECIFIC ORGANIZATION?
Each executive and sponsoring
organization has unique goals
and perspectives to bring to
this program. The NUGSB EMBA
recognizes that the most successful
students will be able to apply
their education immediately at
the workplace. To encourage
this process each student will be
required to work on a thesis that
directly relates to their career
objectives and which will be
evaluated by NUGSB faculty.
Through this opportunity, the
sponsoring organization can directly
benefit from the EMBA experience.
Open House Information Session
at Nazarbayev University
GIVEN THE RIGOR OF THE PROGRAM AND
THE NECESSARY TIME COMMITMENT, HOW
DOES THIS FIT INTO THE EXECUTIVE’S LIFE?
The program requires a significant
investment of time and attention. Students
enrolled in this program successfully
balance their significant professional and
personal responsibilities with the rigors of
the academic curriculum.
Students are expected to spend substantial
time each week on academics. Every
student manages their time differently;
some study for a few hours each day
while others may study during weekends.
It’s important to find a routine that works
for each student, their team, family,
and colleagues. Gaining the support of
significant other, family, and co-workers—
will be key to success.
Some companies help to alleviate workload
by providing their employees with
additional support (e.g., staff support, time
off), but most students receive no relief in
WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF THE CURRICULUM?
The program consists of 12 core courses, 3
electives, and 1 project/thesis. The core
courses cover the foundation of a general
management education: finance, operations,
marketing, strategy, accounting, and
leadership. The electives allow students to
enhance skills in areas such as, investments,
negotiations, leadership, and strategy. The
project/thesis requires each student to
apply this education to his/her career.
HOW QUANTITATIVELY RIGOROUS IS THE
Success in this program demands a high-
level mastery of quantitative skills; however,
quantitative excellence alone is not
sufficient. The program requires students to
use and improve leadership, management,
and other qualitative skills necessary in
today’s global business environment.
IS ATTENDANCE TO ALL COURSES
Yes, attendance at all courses and
residencies is a requirement. This is a
program which requires you to move
step by step at the same time as your
classmates and you are required to
move through the curriculum with your
In areas in which a particular EMBA student
has experience, he/she is able to make a
major contribution to the conversation in
class, as well as in group work.
MY COMPANY IS IN ASTANA, MUST
OUR EMBA STUDENTS ALSO RESIDE ON
The NUGSB EMBA program is an immersive
and intense learning experience. Even if
a student is a resident of Astana, he/ she
must live on campus during the weekend
residencies. Residency adds to the group
learning environment, and is essential for
EMBA students to fully absorb the learning
objectives for each course.
HOW TECHNOLOGICALLY SAVVY
DO I NEED TO BE?
During the eight day orientation the student
is introduced to technology necessary
for a successful EMBA experience. Most
students are comfortable with word
processing, e-mail and the internet; now
spreadsheets, electronic bulletin boards and
other electronic tools become essential. We
recommend that you have basic skills, at
least Excel, Word, and PowerPoint to help
WILL I BE REQUIRED TO HAVE A LAPTOP
OR SPECIAL PROGRAMS?
Every student in the program needs a
reliable laptop as well as a stable internet
service provider (ISP). These tools are
essential for completing the program
requirements. Once you are accepted to
the program, you will receive more details
about computer and software requirements.
All inquiries about the Executive MBA Program can be submitted to:
Office of NUGSB Admissions
53 Kabanbay batyr Ave.,
Astana, 010000 Republic of Kazakhstan
Тел.: +7 (7172) 70 90 28
Тел.: +7 (7172) 70 66 67