Duke University's Fuqua School of Business has announced it is assisting Nazarbayev University (NU) in Kazakhstan in creating a business school. NU will gain access to Fuqua leadership, faculty and staff expertise as it builds a business school from the ground up in Kazakhstan's capital city of Astana.
The agreement between the two schools can be best described as a consulting arrangement. While some Fuqua faculty will teach in the program in the first couple of years, NU will grant its own degrees, not Duke/joint degrees. The target date for the launch of an MBA program at Nazarbayev University is September 2012.
"As a business school, we want to be both embedded and connected," said William Boulding, dean of the Fuqua School of Business. "Embedded entails understanding the key needs of a region and serving it to make a positive difference. Connected means that as we bring the appropriate intellectual resources to serve the needs of a region, we consequently better understand how the world works.
"Our collaboration with Nazarbayev University personifies these two principles. This is an ideal opportunity to further the exchange of ideas via civil discourse, promote stability within the region, build appropriate economic infrastructure and create a base for sustainable economic development in Kazakhstan and Central Asia for years to come."
“Today in Kazakhstan there is a demand for high quality business education to prepare well-qualified business professionals,” said Bek Zhainazarov, executive director and interim dean at the Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Business. “At the moment there is no internationally recognized business school in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. To set up the Graduate School of Business, Nazarbayev University looked for a partner among top world-class business schools. Fuqua was chosen as it is one of the leading business schools in the world with talented faculty, renowned research centers and global network all over the world.”
Valerie Hausman, assistant dean for global executive education at Fuqua, added, "Nazarbayev University has set up collaborations with a number of leading universities for their respective schools. It is quite a distinction that they have chosen us as a trusted guide in launching a business school."
The agreement further builds upon the Fuqua School of Business' global commitment and intent to become the world's first legitimately global business school, Boulding said. Fuqua currently has a presence in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; London, England; New Delhi, India; Shanghai/Kunshan, China; and St. Petersburg, Russia.
The relationship with NU is an outgrowth of Fuqua's involvement in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), first announced in 2008. During the course of an admissions/recruiting visit to Kazakhstan, Fuqua staff met with the Ministry of Education and were asked to bid on a market study on the potential need for a business school. Ultimately, Fuqua's proposal was accepted, and following an initial assessment report in early 2010 that recommended an MBA program structure, both schools signed a mid-term agreement that became effective in July 2011. This agreement will take both parties through the next year of program start-up activities.
"Kazakhstan is rich in natural resources and has the potential to be a long-term leading player in the world market," said Hausman. "Developing strong relationships here now will provide our faculty and students the opportunity to better understand and successfully engage with this dynamic and important economy.
"In addition, Kazakhstan as a nation is actively working to promote education and innovation. Philosophically, Fuqua believes that in order to effect change in the world, it is important to actively engage in key economic regions of the world. We will be involved to the extent that we can help promote innovation and critical thinking around global business issues. This is consistent with our global strategy."
As the relationship between the two schools evolves, secondary benefits could consist of possible student exchange opportunities, GATE (Global Academic Travel Experiences) trips, guest speaker visits and project work.
"It is not often that a faculty member has a chance to be part of such an ambitious academic undertaking, in a way that will impact generations of global business leaders to come," said Jennifer Francis, Fuqua's senior associate dean for programs. "For those faculty interested in this part of the world and the industries operating in the CIS, it is a chance to gain access to data and organizations that can have a significant impact on faculty research activities, and ultimately, the classroom experience -- both at NU and Fuqua."