New Leadership and New Prospects for the Development of Narxoz University

In early spring, major changes took place in one of the top universities of the country – a new rector of Narxoz University was introduced to the public during a press conference also attended by a representative of the Verny Capital investment group, which incorporates the university among other companies. 

Prior to joining Narxoz University, the new rector, Dr Andrew Wachtel, worked as the president of the American University of Central Asia. He started his academic career in 1988 at the University of California, Los Angeles, as a professor of Russian literature, and then continued at Stanford University, working there for almost 5 years. Since 1991 Dr Wachtel was a member of the teaching staff of the Northwestern University of Chicago, which is one of the oldest US universities. During his academic career, he worked as a reviewer hand in glove with influential publishing houses like Yale University Presses, the Slavic Review, the Russian Review and so on, as well as with many world’s leading universities. Dr Wachtel speaks 8 languages and he is known in academic environment for his publications and translations. Also, he chairs the Association of American International Colleges and Universities and now double-jobs as the head of both university and association.

During the meeting, Dr Wachtel presented his vision as to the development of the university. For example, he announced that future specialists will be trained on a multi-disciplinary basis and additional subjects will be integrated into programs of different faculties. This means that students studying economics will be able to take psychology or anthropology courses, and vice versa.

Also, Yerlan Ospanov, CEO of Verny Capital, informed journalists about the transformation of Narxoz University from a joint-stock company into a non-profit organization. This is part of further deep reforms in the very process of learning and the development of the university.

Verny Capital and Forte Bank, strongly associated with major Kazakhstan’s businessman, society figure and philanthropist Bulat Utemuratov, are among the main sponsors of the educational establishment. A few years ago, the businessman instituted five scholarships for talented students from his own funds, while Verny Capital and Forte Bank provided 100 more grants for students to pay their tuition.