Kostanay formerly known as Kustanay (Russian: until 1997) and Nikolayevsk is a city located in the northern part of Kazakhstan at the Tobol River. The population living in Kostanay is 301,317 people. Kostanay is the capital of Kostanay Province.
In Kostanay there are 8 higher educational institutions. There are also 22 colleges in which over 12,200 pupils are taught. In 2002-2003 there were 723 schools open, with a total number of 155,500 students. The state network of culture totals 380 libraries, 201 club establishments, 8 museums and 2 theatres. There are numerous athletic facilities: two sports arenas, 26 stadiums, 10 sports complexes and 567 sports halls.
There are 15 functional institutions in Kostanay region, 5 of them are state and 10 are non state. One of the leading institutions of the region is Kostanay State University. Buitursynov.Kostanay is rich in objects with a historical-cultural heritage. The regional center includes the Sunni Muslim mosque, the Building of Regional Administration, Kostanay State University, Altynsarin Regional memorial museum, the Kazakh Drama Theatre, the Central Square, and the railway station.