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Aslan Sarinzhipov: Academic Freedom is a Priority of the Nazarbayev University

Chairman of the Boards of the Nazarbayev Fund and the Social Development Fund, Associate Professor at the Nazarbayev University School of Education, Aslan Sarinzhipov, made a guest appearance on the NU Way podcast. The project was implemented by the Nazarbayev University Alumni Public Union.

In an interview, the guest share  his professional journey from diplomacy to education and establishment of Nazarbayev University, its priorities and prospects.

According to Aslan Bakenovich, the University’s success has started with a global vision. Everyone understood that Kazakhstan needs new generations of scientists, businessmen, and managers for its development. Academic freedom guaranteed the legislative level as main NU priorities. This, first and foremost, set it apart from other higher educational institutions of the country. At the time, this solution was revolutionary in the CIS countries. In many ways, it enabled the set-up of innovation ecosystem within the University.

Moreover, to ensure the sustainability, it has become necessary to establish an endowment fund. That is one of the important prerequisites for the international research university. The endowment fund enables to reduce significantly a share of public funding, as the fund is expected to accumulate private funds (donations of patrons, businessmen, and then alumni). Aslan Bakenovich predicted that in the 10-years perspective a significant portion of the NU public funding will be replaced by the endowment fund’s resources.

The podcast guest emphasized a number of success criteria defined in the establishment of the University: commitment of foreign lecturers to be engaged here rather than elsewhere, students’ involvement, successful employment of graduates followed by their enrollment to the world top educational institutions. As of today, the University successfully completed the stages of set-up and establishment and approached a new milestone, namely, the development of research and industry linkages through innovation and venture funding of technology-based projects.

Speaking of the University’s educational system and future of its alumni, the Head of the Fund pointed out the following: “Nazarbayev University provides you (students) with skills to question yourselves, find and do something useful, communicate and work in a team which are needed be successful and have an opportunity of life-long learning”. According to him, Nazarbayev University has already has approached the stage when its staff and alumni have systematic impact both on education and country as a whole.To watch the full interview, please follow the link