Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University is a public institute of higher education, founded on a charter signed by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Government of the Republic of Turkey. The charter was signed on September 30, 1995, in Izmir, Turkey, and created Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University. The day that the charter was signed, September 30, is now Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University Day, which is celebrated every year with celebrations marking the beginning of the academic year, with participation from the leadership of the university, faculty and staff, and also specially-invited guests.
The University presents students with diplomas that are officially recognized in Kyrgyzstan and in Turkey, as well as in other countries.
The first students began their studies in the 1997-1998 academic year in the fields of Turkology, History, Management, and Computer Engineering. The first class consisted of 86 students and 38 professors. In the 2020-2021 academic year, there were a total 5,950 students studying in 11 faculties (Humanities, Sciences, Economics and Management, Theology, Communications, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine, Agriculture, and Arts), 3 schools (Physical Culture and Sports, Tourism and Hotel Management and Foreign Languages), and one School of Vocational Education. There are currently 374 faculty and staff members and 298 administrative personnel working in management, finance, and upkeep of the university.
Currently, there are 78 programs, of which 7 (9%) are professional preparatory programs, 42 (54%) are undergraduate programs, 20 (26%) are graduate programs, and 9 (11%) are doctorate programs. All programs meet the requirements set by the Bologna Process.
The governments of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Turkey reviewed the 1995 charter to make sure that it was properly updated for modern times, and on April 26, 2011, signed a new Agreement about the continuing work of Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University. KTMU has since become one of the leading universities in Central Asia based on the strength of its academic programs and research work, as well as its work with the broader community. Faculty and staff are evaluated based not only on their teaching abilities, but also on the work that they publish in internationally indexed journals (SCI, SSCI, AHCI), their participation in international research projects, and their knowledge of foreign languages.
Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University was awarded the Dostuk Award by the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, A. Atambaev, on August 30, 2017, for the university's contribution to the social, economic, spiritual, and intellectual growth of the Kyrgyz Republic. The Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic and Clarivate Analytics also honored KTMU with the Most Productive Organization award at the Web of Science Awards 2017. These awards reflect the high level of work being done at Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University at the national and international level.