Educating the next generation of public sector leaders in Central Asia

13 Jun 2016

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Photo Credit: AkordaPress

To establish the Graduate School of Public Policy (GSPP) at Nazarbayev University (NU), the LKY School signed a long-term partnership agreement on August 2012. LKY School helped GSPP develop their strategy, Master program curriculum, and student recruitment, marketing, HR, and finance policies, as well as advised on faculty recruitment, development and research publication. In addition LKY School assisted in setting up a database of public policy related publications and in designing a physical infrastructure with modern classrooms and facilities that was opened in 2015. As a result of LKY School’s faculty and staff members’ efforts, working on the project, and commitment of the Kazakh Government to make this ambitious initiative successful, the first Master in Public Policy (MPP) programme at GSPP was launched in September 2013 with 20 scholarships provided by the Kazakh Government. In 2015 the first Master of Public Administration (MPA) programme was launched with a cohort of 14 students. The public policy programme is designed to international standards with components of both MPP and MPA programmes delivered in Singapore to expose the students to Singapore’s public policy environment and strategic public-sector development. The first graduates of the GSPP are working in various public agencies and NGO’s in Kazakhstan that contribute to “Kazakhstan Strategy 2050”, Kazakhstan’s ambitious development plan.

On 12 June 2016, the second MPP class with 18 students graduated in Astana. LKY School’s delegation at the graduation ceremony was led by Prof. Eduardo Araral, Vice Dean, Mr. Donald Low, Associate Dean, Ms. Aika Bolat and Ms. Jansulu Abdikyerim. The Head of the State of Kazakhstan, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev attended the ceremony and gave an inspiring commencement speech. In his speech the President said that he expected the graduates to contribute to Kazakhstan’s socio-economic development and make Kazakhstan globally competitive encouraging the students to become creative and innovative engineers, scientists, medical doctors, and leaders in business and public sectors. He said the Kazakh Government is committed to developing NU as an internationally competitive research-focused university.

LKY School hosted a graduation dinner for the graduating MPP Class of 2016 and awarded a Graduation Letter signed by the Dean of LKY School to each student. The strategic partnership between LKY School and GSPP is now ready to move to the next level of their partnership that will foster joint research publications among faculty, student and faculty exchanges, and the provision of more academic and executive education programs in 2017 and beyond.