From the date of opening of the Nazarbayev University (NU), the management of the educational institution has stated that the most advanced practices and methods of teaching will be applied here. This applies to both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and doctoral studies. As part of this strategy, in 2010, a meeting was held between the management of Nazarbayev University (NU) and Fuqua School of Business of the Duke University on the possible cooperation in the opening of MBA programs. The result of negotiations with the American school of business, which, by the way, has been included in the top 30 educational institutions of the world for many years, was a cooperation agreement concluded in 2012.
– Initially we were attracted by the ambitious goals set by the President Nazarbayev, and the opportunity to more widely master business education in Central Asia and the world. When our cooperation was only in the stage of initiation, it became clear that our management and the management of the NU have similar goals and strategies for achieving them. We were impressed by the thoughtfulness of the management of the NU and the commitment to create a world-class institution that values research, teaching and the highest standards of academic integrity, – remembers Valeri Haussman, the associate dean of Fuqua.
Before HSB of NU, there was none educational institution in the world as a partner of the Fuqua Business School. It is especially noteworthy that since this year the partnership of the two universities has reached a new level: if before it was a question of cooperation, then according to the new cooperation, the Fuqua School of Business of the Duke University and the Higher School of Business of the Nazarbayev University (HSB of NU) became strategic partners.
– Our partners help us in everything: the organization of the educational process, the recruiting and admission of students, the hiring of faculty members. In fact, we have MBA educational process in the same way as in the US. But at the same time the education itself is much cheaper, and, what is very important, you do not have to spend money on travel, accommodation and meals abroad,” -says Assel Uvaliyeva, the Executive Director of the HSB of NU.
At the same time, the program was adapted to Kazakhstan’s realias. So, the term of the full-time MBA program has been reduced from two years to 14 months, the Executive MBA program takes place on the weekends. Assel Uvaliyeva admits that these are very complex and intense months. The training is almost without days off, holidays and vacations. But, at the same time, thanks to this, the students are more fully immersed in the program. Methods of teaching at the business school of the NU are based on a cohort model, when students start and finish studying together, passing all subjects. They are very familiar with each other, competing and learning from each other. Each cohort is divided into several teams that perform the necessary tasks on each course. This model allows you to achieve success in the team, rather than separately.
– Starting from the first introductory class in 2013, we were impressed by the quality of students at the Higher School of Business of the NU. We found that students are constantly motivated, committed to education and to improvement of the lives of people in Kazakhstan through business. The teachers of our business school in Duke, who came to Kazakhstan, constantly said that your students are some of the best they have ever taught. All of our teachers who visited the Nazarbayev University business school wanted to come back again. This would not have happened without such talented, smart and ambitious students,”-says Valeri Haussman.
However, as noted by the director for business development in Kazakhstan of Fuqua, Robert Olinger, the tangible benefits are provided by cooperation with Nazarbayev University and an American university.
– The Duke University is proud of its strategic partnership with the Nazarbayev University and is glad that these relations have been prolonged at least until 2022. Over the past five years, two business schools have worked closely on the development of infrastructure, administrative support and world-class programs at HSB of NU. In the next five years, the goal is to raise the bar even higher. We will continue to work on improving the MBA programs. However, considerable efforts will be directed to the continuation of the creation of the research environment, – shares he with his plans for the future.
At the same time, as Robert Olinger noted, the best practices in the teaching, research and support of students of the business school of NU can be adapted in general in the educational system of Kazakhstan. In general, business schools are a key driving force in the development of leaders who can transform the world around them. Bringing students to new ways of thinking and analyzing complex problems makes it possible to talk about finding answers to complex challenges, such as global security, poverty, environment and many others.
The article is available on the website forbes.kz