Singapore and Kazakhstan may not have many similarities in terms of climate, food and culture, especially in the middle of December, when it is minus 20 degree Celsius in the Kazakh capital of Astana. However this did not stop LKY School’s faculty from actively training and educating the young leaders and policy makers of the Kazakh Government throughout 2011, which ended on a high note in late November.
LKY School’s Executive Vice-Dean Mr. Stavros Yiannouka visited Astana last week to meet with the growing number of alumni from Kazakhstan, which now stands at 200. The gathering took place at the Radisson hotel in Astana where 45 alumni attended the event despite their busy year-end reporting period at various ministries and state agencies. Adding to their schedules are the vast preparations underway to celebrate the 20th anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union on December 16 as well as parliament elections poised to take place on January 16, 2012. At the opening ceremony of the alumni gathering Mr. Yiannouka stated that the LKY School was proud of the achievements of its alumni in Kazakhstan. Moreover, the presence of so many alumni at the gathering was testament both to the heartening goodwill that the Kazakh alumni feel towards the LKY School and the bonds forged among themselves.
Some of the alumni of LKY School from Kazakhstan hold senior positions in government, starting from the top with the Prime Minister and several in his cabinet. They had attended a special two-day Public Policy and Management executive program, specifically designed to meet the needs of senior officials in March 2011 and held at the new international Nazarbayev University in Astana.
The School had helped to set up a world-class Graduate School of Public Policy under the Nazarbayev University, which was established in 2010. This long-term commitment between the two universities is the fruit of the past five years’ cooperation in education between the two countries.
At a meeting with the international partners of the Nazarbayev University on December 12, 2011, Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov said that it is not just a partnership between the world leading universities but a friendship and strategic collaboration that is important in connecting minds and developing relations between the countries. The international partners of Nazarbayev University are some of the top educational institutes from Asia, USA, Europe and the UK. Besides LKY School the partners include Harvard Medical International Inc., Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, University College London, Carnegie Mellon and iCarnegie, University of Wisconsin-Madison and UPenn (University of Pennsylvania).
Mr. Yiannouka said that the LKY School looked forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership with Nazarbayev University and appealed to the alumni for their support for the new Graduate School of Public Policy at the university’s banner.
Starting in February 2012, LKY School will once again be providing a full set of executive programmes to Vice Ministers and Executive Secretaries of the Kazakh Government at the Nazarbayev University.