1.6. Al-Farabi University – SMART CITY
In order to achieve the university’s strategic goals and objectives, KazNU is implementing its own program for transformation into an advanced research and higher education institution (world-class university) “AL-FARABI UNIVERSITY SMART CITY”.
The “AL-FARABI UNIVERSITY SMART CITY” model is developed based on the ideas and teachings of Abu Nasr ibn al-Farabi about the virtuous society. Its implementation is aimed at creating a university of a modern formation, wherein two main components are simultaneously and harmoniously developed: technological infrastructure and spiritual-moral aspects of activity.
The university’s technological platform is based on the “E-Campus” project. KazNU is a digital-type university, wherein cloud-computing technologies are built into the automation of the university’s activities; smart technologies are implemented in the campus infrastructure management; Big Data technologies are used to form its analytical system.
In order to disseminate best practices of the large innovative corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Koniсa Minolta, Fujitsu, Samsung, Alcatel, Kaspersky Lab, Microsoft, Intel, Huawei, etc., scientific and educational centers of these companies have been established and are now actively functioning at the university.
The essential element of the E-campus infrastructure is KazNU’s Innovation Data Centre with the computing capacity of 5 Teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second). It combines a corporate data storage system and high-performance computing resources, which are used to solve application tasks on problems of ecology, oil and gas and uranium industry, bioinformatics, nanotechnologies, seismic and geological exploration, space technologies, economic and social forecasting.
The university is building the innovative IT-park of the “Alliance of Universities of the New Silk Road”, which involves more than 130 universities of the Eurasian Economic Community and CIS, based on the “Silicon Valley” model. Its core is KazNU’s Supercomputer with the capacity of 1620 Teraflops, listed in the world’s TOP-500 by computation capacity. It has been received as a grant from the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
Educational process at the university proceeds with support of the software- information complex called “Univer 2.0”, which was developed at al-Farabi KazNU, and provides all categories of users involved in the teaching and learning process, from admission to graduation of students, with automated workplaces. This system ensures consistent work of all participants of the educational process. Thanks to the cloud-based automation system of teaching and learning process, all educational (attendance, academic performance, allocation of grades in classes and exams, etc.) and auxiliary processes (procedures for distribution of vacant educational grants and places in dormitories, etc.) are open and transparent to the maximum possible extent.
Since 2016, there has been operating the Centre for Situational Management of KazNU, which is the organizational and technological complex, intended to be a software and information supporting system for managerial decisions based on integrated monitoring of factors, influencing development of ongoing processes.
Engineering and Hi-Tech Cluster, comprised of the Science and Technology Park, the Process Innovations Center (Engineering and Commercialization Center) and the Green Tech Center, is functioning in order to enhance research capacity and assimilate the latest knowledge intensive production technologies.
The Green Tech Centre represents a city-like “MINI-EXPO”, intended to implement innovative “green energy” projects, and enhance training specialists of a new formation by introducing state-of-the-art technologies and knowledge-intensive engineering, using various technologies for energy production: wind, solar, hydro and geothermal and biogas energy. The activities of all necessary alternative energy sources are accumulated within the center: heat pumps, biogas plant and wind-powered generators.
Within the framework of the program of training highly qualified personnel for priority branches of the industry and the country's industrial and innovative development, the university has opened innovative laboratories. They are Laboratory of information archiving and disseminating, Laboratory of nanomaterial engineering and technology of new industrial nanomaterials, Laboratory for production of chemicals for industry, Laboratory of agricultural chemistry, and Laboratory of Green energy for industry.
For the first time in Kazakhstan, the Earth's Remote Sensing Centre was opened at al-Farabi KazNU in collaboration with the Scientific Research Institute of Aerospace Information of the Academy of Sciences of P. R. China. The project is aimed at solving a wide range of original scientific, applied, technological, analytical and educational tasks in order to create “digital” Kazakhstan using advanced digital technologies for Earth sensing, which in its turn opens broad prospects for developing geological research, mapping, aerial and space surveys, spectral measurement and hyperspectral images, etc.
The scientific research institute "Archeology and Steppe Civilizations" was established for studying the steppe ecosystem, social-cultural, spiritual, and sacral values of the steppe world and problems of interaction of the biosphere and culture genesis.
The "Digital Technologies and Robotechnics" Center was established for scientific, educational and research work in the field of digital technologies and robotechnics, and for improvement of curricula of the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics based on the contemporary concept of mechatronics.
The most important responsibility of the university is spiritual education of youth as citizens of the country and the world. Al-Farabi Library, a structural unit of al-Farabi Kazakh National University, was opened in 1934, at the same time as the university itself. The library provides informational, educational, scientific and cultural-educational support for students’ and faculty members’ activities.
Al-Farabi Library is the largest university library in the country and Central Asia; more than 2.5 million documents are stored there. The library holding is the richest collection of scientific, artistic, courseware and training literature. Library readers can get information services not only in the traditional form and in the stationary mode, but also remotely through means of electronic transmission.
The spiritual and moral component of “AL-FARABI UNIVERSITY SMART CITY” model is based on the “Virtuous Society Citizens Formation” project initiated by KazNU; its goal is to unite universities in promoting and disseminating among youth the ideas of peace, goodness and justice that are embodied in the writings by Abu Nasr ibn al-Farabi.
Social infrastructure of al-Farabi KazNU includes:
- U.A.Zholdasbekov Palace of Students;
- Students Service Center "Keremet";
- Al-Farabi Library;
- Museums (Museum of al-Farabi KazNU, al-Farabi Museum, Biological Museum, Paleolithic Museum of Kazakhstan, Museum of Ancient and Medieval Archeology of Kazakhstan, Museum of the East);
- Youth Internet Center;
- Sports and Fitness Complex;
- Center of Young Scientists;
- "Smart Health" Medical Center;
- "AY-TUMAR" Foodservice Center;
- Art Center.