At the present time the world-class research universities - it is not just universities that provide quality education, intellectual and cultural development, but also an effective forms of integration of education, science and industry, creating a competitive human capital for the country. According to KazNU development strategy prior to 2020 a complete modernization of the educational process, the diversification of educational programs are carried out (Bachelor-Master-PhD) in order to harmonize the content of education with internationally recognized leading foreign universities.
In academic year 2012-2013 in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the President of RoK N.A. Nazarbayev, and with considerations of the views of employers in the KazNU named after Al-Farabi, an innovative educational and vocational programs are developed and those programs meet an international standards and ensure that students acquire professional competencies which they need to increase their competitiveness in the Kazakhstan and international labor markets. For the formation of new curriculum, which are the foundation of any educational program, a detailed analysis of the state obligatory standards of education are carried out, as well as programs of Nazarbayev-University and leading foreign universities: Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburg, University College London (UCL), Heidelberg Universität, Munchen Universität , Sorbonne, Strasbourg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard, Stanford, Yale and others. A new basic curriculum of KazNU named after Al-Farabi on natural-technical and socio-humanitarian areas have been developed based on the analysis of new projects, in which the directivity of specialties are taking into account, an interdisciplinary training and competence-development of a modular approach to learning content are provided.
The developed core curriculum are focused on keeping competency requirements of employers, increasing on training and research component of each specialty. In these programs the vast majority of credits (~ 90%) is allocated to the professional unit of disciplines, which, in its turn, consists of a STEM-forming unit (STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematic), basic professional (compulsory) modules, the module of individual educational trajectories and interdisciplinary module. At the same time in the elective modules of individual educational trajectories credits for only about 25%, that allows to strengthen the basic training.
The list of elective disciplines is based on a comprehensive analysis of the labor market, and also reflects current trends of the science development. The catalogs of elective courses for all levels of education are formed in three languages - Kazakh, Russian and English. The content restructuring of curriculum of specialties is accomplished: bachelor disciplines are grouped into the following cycles:
- general disciplines (GD);
- humanitarian disciplines (HD);
- professional disciplines (PD).
The documentation packages are developed for each specialty, the proportion of elective courses in the professional unit is increased up to 60%, that provides more opportunities for individualization of learning in their own learning trajectories.
In accordance with the transformation program of the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University into the research university there is a tendency to reduce the number of undergraduate majors (at the expense of teachers who provide training for secondary school teachers) with a simultaneous increase in Master and PhD majors. Thus, in academic year 2013-2014 the training for 6 pedagogical specialties is completed.
Within the ongoing program of university transformation and transition from classical type to a new model of research university in Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, the work on improving the scientific and pedagogical potential of the department through their consolidation and redistribution of specialties between them is carried out, according to professional specializations for training skilled specialists. At the same time, the steady growth dynamic of number of enrolled students of postgraduate education programs are marked: Masters and PhD from the total number of students. The number of Master's degree and PhD majors twice exceeds the number of bachelor majors, and the university has a leading position among the universities of Kazakhstan in the number of Master and PhD students.