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Maxwell-Kazakhstan Partnership Continues to Offer Dynamic Opportunities

May 31, 2024

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs’ ties with Kazakhstan continue to evolve and strengthen.

Maxwell-Kazakhstan Partnership
Pictured from left to right: Steven Lux, director of Executive Education, Altair Akhmetov, former rector of the Academy of Public Administration under the president of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Dean David Van Slyke, Baurzhan Bokayev, and Daniel Nelson.

Students from the Central Asian nation are taking advantage of all Executive Education and Maxwell as a whole offers, along with pursuing studies through some of the most prestigious fellowships offered.

While the Maxwell School’s ties with Central Asia were established in 1997, the last seven years have seen a significant increase in the depth and breadth of activities—particularly in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This effort, coordinated by Executive Education and the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, results in professionals enrolling in various Ph.D., master’s, certificates of advanced study and visiting executive scholar programs.

“We are grateful for this sustained opportunity to cultivate and grow meaningful partnerships, expand a base of dedicated alumni and work with engaged students and scholars seeking to make a difference in their country,” says Dan Nelson, director of accelerated learning and global engagement at the Maxwell School.

Baurzhan Bokayev, an experienced government official and academic, is a great example of what is possible, says Nelson. He has played a key role in building Maxwell’s connection with Kazakhstan.

While serving in many different leadership roles in Kazakhstan, Bokayev’s scholarship at Maxwell points to the challenges Kazakh students face studying in American universities and the strategies employed to integrate into U.S. society.

“This research significantly contributes to the literature on Kazakh students' assimilation and acculturation in the United States, offering fresh insights into the expectations of international students planning to study at American colleges,” he says.

Bokayev hopes his research paves the way for “broader strategies benefiting other groups of international students, potentially helping to address and reverse the decline in international student enrollment in tertiary education in the United States prompted by the pandemic.”

He says his study findings “could add value to both the U.S. higher education system and the country’s economy by enabling U.S. universities to create a more welcoming and supportive environment for foreign students based on the insights gathered.”

Maxwell’s programs provide Kazakhstanis with a robust academic experience that can enhance their careers back home and benefit the nation, Bokayev observes.

He has played a key role in courting the relationship between Maxwell and his fellow Kazakhstanis.

“Having resided in the USA since 2009, I actively share my insights and experiences with students and scholars,” he says. “By bridging the cultural gap between our nations, I can effectively address the strengths and weaknesses of Kazakh scholars. Each program I design is tailored to meet the specific needs of Kazakh individuals, considering their personal and professional objectives. Through workshops and guidance prior to their arrival, I help them quickly acclimate to the American academic system and environment, facilitating a smoother transition and enhancing their learning experience.”

“I am confident that Maxwell can enhance their expertise, equip them with essential tools, and empower them to make informed and impactful decisions that benefit the people of Kazakhstan,” Bokayev adds.

Maxwell’s sustained partnership with Kazakhstan will continue to impact scholars and public servants, strengthening ties and benefitting public institutions in the country.

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