Collaboration with Nazarbayev University

Partnership with the Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Public Policy

The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore has had a unique, long-standing relationship with Kazakhstan, and with the country’s leading university, Nazarbayev University (NU).

In August 2012, the School inked a five-year agreement with NU to help establish a globally competitive public policy school in Kazakhstan. The Graduate School of Public Policy (GSPP) at NU was set up with the mission of improving governance in the region through research and education in public policy. NUS is the only Asian university that was chosen as a partner university for NU; the other partner institutions are all leading American and British universities.


Dean Kishore Mahbubani and Dr. Shigeo Katsu at the signing of the long-term agreement between NU and NUS at the LKY School with H.E Yerlan Baudarbek-Kozhatayev (left), then Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Under the partnership, the LKY School has supported GSPP’s faculty recruitment and development efforts. We were also involved in helping GSPP develop and launch two graduate degree programs: the Master in Public Policy (MPP) introduced in 2013 and the Master in Public Administration (MPA) in 2015. Both programmes have an intensive, two-week Singapore Studies module delivered at the LKY School to expose students to Singapore’s policy and administrative innovations. Since 2013, five groups of MPP and MPA students, totaling more than 70 students, have visited LKY School for a few weeks.

Since 2014, the faculty of LKY School have also undertaken joint research with GSPP faculty in areas such as public sector reform in Kazakhstan, anti-corruption efforts in the developing world, management of Kazakhstan natural resources, and constitutional reforms.

Today, GSPP is a vibrant, self-sustaining policy school. More than 40 students have graduated from its masters programmes; it also enrolls more than 50 top students from Kazakhstan and the central Asia region each year. These students will be crucial in raising standards of governance in Kazakhstan and Central Asia in the future.