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Glorious History of Abai KazNPU

Today the Abai Kazakh National Pedagogical University is the first higher educational institution in the country with 95-year history. This place of education is unique in the history of the Kazakh people. Since its formation, the university has been a leader in the development of higher education in the Republic of Kazakhstan in the field of training qualified specialists for all spheres of society. The opening of the Kazakh State University was officially held on October, 1928 by the decision of the Council of People`s Commissars of the Kazakh ASSR March 23 of the same year. Primarily, establishment of three faculties: pedagogical, agricultural and medical was supposed. However, it was decided to develop the newly established higher educational institution as an independent pedagogical institute for further intensive development of national education. That time it had the only faculty with three departments: physics and mathematics, natural science and linguistic-pedagogical. Therefore the University was renamed the Kazakh State Pedagogical University in 1930 and the name of great Abai was awarded to it in 1935.

Completing the staff by qualified scientific and pedagogical personnel was a serious problem for KazPI that time. Distinguished representatives of the Kazakh people: Oraz Zhandosov, Saken Seifullin, Baimen Almanov, Akhmet Baitursynov, Halel Dosmuhamedov, IliyasKabulov, Temirbek Zhurgenov carried out their teaching work at the Institute. In 30-th famous specialists-humanitarians: K.Zhubanov, S. Amanzholov, M. Zholdybaev, in the sphere of mathematics - A.Ermekov worked in KazPI. A huge role in the establishment and development of the Institute played the help provided by many educational institutions of the fraternal republics, especially the RSFSR, in particular the universities of Moscow and Leningrad. They generously shared the wealth of their libraries, equipment for classrooms. Those years, such famous scientists as literary critic N.N. Fatov, mathematician B.L. Kruglyak, physicist V.F. Zakhvatkin and many others came to do the pedagogical work to KazPI.

An outstanding statesman, talented scientist and teacher - S. Asfendiyarov, who stood at the cradle of the higher school and science of Kazakhstan, played an enormous role in the organization of the first university of Kazakhstan. S. Asfendiyarov, who was fluent in Arabic, Persian, English and French, a talented scientist, an outstanding statesman, took the organizational work of the University and accepted the first students. He made an invaluable contribution to the formation of the educational and material base of the educational institution, in providing it with textbooks and teachers.

Later in 1930, he contributed to the opening of the Alma-Ata Medical Institute, became the first rector and later the People`s Commissar of Health and the Deputy People`s Commissar of Education.

Mukhtar Auezov, Kazhym Zhumaliyev, Kudaibergen Zhubanov and others, also delivered lectures in the walls of KazMU. Professors of KazPI actively participated in the training of specialists for other higher educational institutions of Kazakhstan. Already the first years of establishment and development of the institute were marked by the fact that it began to supply the country with highly qualified specialists for primary and secondary schools. Over time, the level of training of specialists has significantly increased, a whole tradition of teaching and educating future teachers has arisen. The first scientific researches in the field of language, literature and history began to be carried out, which influenced the establishment of the institute the status of a scientific center. Thus, by the end of the 1930s, the accumulated educational experience, the improvement of the material and technical base, and the completing of the teaching staff by the teacher-scientists contributed to the fact that KazPI was perceived all over the country and beyond as a large scientific and educational center. KazPI is credited with preparing the conditions for the creation and development of a broad network of higher education institutions.

Period of hard testing for the Institute`s staff was the time of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Many teachers and students of KazPI were awarded the highest state awards for their heroic deeds in the forefront of the Great Patriotic War. Malik Gabdullin, the political leader of the infantry battalion, was awarded the title of a Hero of the Soviet Union for his exceptional feat of defending Moscow against the Nazi invaders.

Malik Gabdullin himself, a hero, literary critic and scientist, for a long time led KazPI and made an invaluable contribution to its development. Famous teachers and students of KazPI Lesbek Zholdasov, Kanash Kamzin, Kudaibergen Suraganov, Rakhimzhan Tokataev, Ahmediyar Kusainov, Sadu Shakirov, Eugene Breusov became heroes of the Soviet Union for their heroic deeds and were awarded the Golden Star.

In the postwar years, the need for specialized teaching staff in schools has increased dramatically, and the number of students attending admission courses has risen sharply, especially in the correspondence department. If in 1946, 362 students were enrolled in the first year of full-time studies, only 60 graduates graduated the same year. In 1956, 567 students were enrolled in the full-time department, and 594 students passed correspondence courses.

KazPI named after Abai celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1978 with worthy success. October 12, 2011 by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR the Institute was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for achievements in the field of training and education of pedagogical specialists.

Outstanding figures of science and culture, writers of Kazakhstan are graduates of the university, who KazNPU is proud of. They are: S. Amanzholov, H. Bekkhozhin, H. Zhumaliev, O. Zhautykov, M. Karataev, A. Iskakov, A. Kalybaeva, S.I. Kirabayev, G.Omarbekova, G.Sain, Sh.Satpayev, R.Syzdykova, A.Tajibaev, G.Kaiyrbekov, G.Sadvakasova. They made an invaluable contribution to the training of qualified specialists. In the walls of the Kazakh educational center, graduates gained their knowledge, subsequently becoming prominent state and public figures who made a great contribution to the development of science, education and culture. Among them we can name such people as M.Abdzhalykova, T.Tazhibaev, A.Zakarin, K.Aymanov, A.Sembayev, N.Jandildin, B.Bultrikova, D.Beysenova, A.Sharipov, E.Mambetkaziev, U.Zhanibekov , M.Ahmetova, A.Tumarbekov.

In the 1980s, the Institute carried out research work on the complex problems of the education system of the population, conducted annual educational and methodological conferences. At the same time, in order to improve the material base of the Institute, the problem of housing construction for humanitarian faculties, the construction of two hostels and provision of housing for young people was realized. Thus, special attention was paid to the social and living conditions of young professionals, as well as housing for young professionals.

October 25, 1990 the first Kazakh University was reorganized into a «university» status, and its name was changed into the Kazakh State Pedagogical University named after Abai (Kazakh State Pedagogical University). This coincided with the independence of Kazakhstan at that time.

A new stage in the history of KazPI named after Abai came in connection with the new socio-economic and political processes that took place in the early 90`s. New time required different approaches to the organization of higher education and training of new personnel focused on market relations. The domestic system of training specialists began to look for new forms of education. These factors were dictated by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Kazakhstan on November 24, 1992 on the transformation of KazPI into the Almaty State University named after Abai.

On September 26, 2003 by the Decree of President N.Nazarbayev No. 1201 the University was renamed into «Kazakh National Pedagogical University named after Abai (KazNPU)» and acquired the status of «national». On September 24, 2007, Abai KazNPU won international awards, such as «United Europe» and «European Quality» within the framework of the Leadership Program of the XXIst Century at the Oxford Summit of Leaders of Higher Education (Great Britain). And in 2007 the university was awarded the President`s Prize «For Achievements in Quality».

Today Abai KazNPU is a large scientific and educational center in the field of higher and postgraduate education in the areas of personnel training «Education», «Humanities», «Natural Sciences», «Social Sciences and Business», etc. The University has seven institutes: Pedagogy and Psychology; Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science; Philology; Arts, Culture and Sports; Natural Sciences and Geography; History and Law; Sorbonne-Kazakhstan.


An important event in the life of the university was the opening of the Institute Sorbonne-Kazakhstan a branch of the Sorbonne-Paris University, which has more than 800-year history.


Today, the University has 34 chairs, including 3 university departments (Military Department, UNESCO Pedagogical Department, Department of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan).

The University has 15 dissertational councils, the Council of Young Scientists, the Scientific Library and the Ulagat Publishing House. Recently, the Center of Advanced Studies and Distance Learning, the Center for Digital Services for Students «Shapagat», the International Scientific Laboratory of the Technologies of Education Informatization and Education was established.

Abai KazNPU annually improves its position among the best universities in the world.

In general, the educational activities of the university are enormous, and new tasks are constantly being set and solved. At the same time, Abai KazNPU has not forgotten the history of its development. The university has memorial plaques dedicated to the founders of the University Akhmet Baitursynov, Sanzhar Asfendiyarov, Oraz Zhandosov, Saken Seifullin, Baimen Almanov, Halel Dosmukhamedov, Kudaibergen Zhubanov, Ilyas Kabylov, Alimkhan Ermekov. These are educational tools that will serve as an example for future generations.