The idea to establish KBTU belongs to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who had a number of meetings with official representatives of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This activity resulted in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two states in November 2000. British Prime Minister Tony Blair and RK President Nursultan Nazarbayev became Patrons of the University.
The University was established by Resolution No 1027 of the RK Government dated August 3, 2001, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the RK Ministry of Education and Science and the British Council. On behalf of Kazakhstan, the founder is the RK Government and the authorized agency is the RK Ministry of Education and Science.
The University’s development has been actively promoted by the President’s Administration, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Ministry of Finance, the State agency for Strategic Planning, the Embassy of Kazakhstan to the UK, and the Educational Foundation of N. Nazarbayev. Four of these bodies are represented in the KBTU Board of Directors. On the British side, KBTU partners are the British Embassy to Kazakhstan, with the British Council as its main representative. Consultation services are provided by the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University – both situated in Aberdeen, the "oil capital" of the UK; Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh); and the University of Westminster (London). All these universities offer advanced training courses in Oil and Gas and in Business Administration. Moreover, they are world leaders in education for the oil-and-gas industry.