08ASTANA2123, KAZAKHSTAN: KAZAKH-AMERICAN FREE UNIVERSITY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA2123 2008-10-28 08:29 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO6377
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW
RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK
RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #2123/01 3020829
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 280829Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3664
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0734
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0134
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0844
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 0061
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0292
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0212
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 2018
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1967
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2303
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002123 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SOCI SCUL KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  KAZAKH-AMERICAN FREE UNIVERSITY 
PROMOTES AMERICAN VALUES IN UST-KAMENOGORSK 
 
1.  SUMMARY.  Poloff met in Ust-Kamenogorsk on September 10 
with administrators, faculty, and students from the 
Kazakh-American Free University (KAFU).  KAFU President 
Yerezhep Mambetkaziyev gave thanks for the U.S. government's 
support for his university.  KAFU students expressed 
satisfaction with the high quality of education at KAFU and 
the opportunities the university provides for internships and 
study in the United States.  KAFU promotes civic leadership 
and volunteerism through required community projects.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
KAZAKH-AMERICAN FREE UNIVERSITY THANKFUL FOR U.S. SUPPORT 
 
2.  Poloff met on September 10 in Ust-Kamenogorsk with 
administrators, faculty, and students from the 
Kazakh-American Free University (KAFU).  KAFU is fully 
privately-funded, and offers degrees in business, law, and 
information systems.  The university, which has approximately 
3000 students, is located in a new building.  KAFU President 
Yerezhep Mambetkaziyev is a former Minister of Education and 
reportedly a close friend of President Nazarabyev. 
Nazarbayev is an honorary professor at KAFU and presented 
diplomas to its first graduating class.  Mambetkaziyev 
enthusiastically described to poloff the history of the 
school and his dream of providing an educational bridge for 
Kazakhstani students to study in America.   He thanked former 
U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan John Ordway, the U.S. Embassy 
in Astana, and the American Corner in Ust-Kamenogorsk for 
their assistance to KAFU and expressed a wish that the 
Ambassador visit the university on his first trip to 
Ust-Kamenogorsk. 
 
STUDENTS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT JOB MARKET 
 
3.  Poloff met with four KAFU students who had been selected 
by the university to attend Mambetkaziyev's briefing, 
interacting informally with them without university officials 
present.  The students all spoke excellent English, and had 
resided in the United States on short exchanges programs 
arranged by the school and its primary American partner 
institutions, the Marshall Christensen Foundation and 
Northwest Nazarene College of Idaho.  One student received a 
scholarship to KAFU, while the others are funded by their 
families.  One is studying business and had done a U.S. 
internship at Intel, another is studying law and had done a 
U.S. internship at a center for juvenile law, and the 
remaining two are studying business, and have done 
internships in U.S. banks.  All the students told poloff that 
they were confident that their KAFU education would enable 
them to find good jobs.   The students said that through the 
university they have met KAFU alumni who had found good 
positions.  (NOTE: In his briefing, Mambetkaziyev emphasized 
that KAFU alumni work in many leading private companies and 
in various Kazakhstani government agencies, as well as in 
foreign embassies in Astana as locally-employed staff.  He 
particularly noted that one alumna had worked at the U.S. 
Embassy in Astana.  END NOTE.) 
 
STUDENTS PRAISE UNIVERSITY FOR ITS STRONG PROGRAMS 
 
4.  The KAFU students highlighted the university's intensive 
English-language education, exchange opportunities, and the 
KAFU leadership program as the fundamentals of KAFU's 
high-quality education.  KAFU students that choose to 
participate in its rigorous "American program" typically 
spend one year in English preparatory classes and 
subsequently take most of their required classes in English. 
The school employs several foreign faculty members to teach 
year-round, including four American teachers that poloff met 
during Mambetkaziyev's briefing.  As many as 40 foreign 
 
ASTANA 00002123  002 OF 002 
 
 
faculty members also teach at the school every year on 
rotational exchanges from partner institutions abroad, though 
many stay only for brief periods of just one month.   The 
KAFU students also praised the fact that the intensive 
English-language coursework is typically followed by 
opportunities to participate in academic exchanges and 
internships in the United States.  Scholarships are available 
for students who do not have access to sufficient independent 
funding. 
 
5.  KAFU claims to represent the best of American values, 
particularly the concepts of civic leadership and 
volunteerism that contribute to a strong civil society.  Each 
student is required to design his own community project -- 
for example, engaging fellow students to help build houses 
for the poor or organizi
ng fellow students to teach English 
in rural villages.  One of the four American teachers, who 
had been a Peace Corps volunteer in rural East Kazakhstan 
oblast before becoming a KAFU faculty member, talked about 
the positive impression KAFU students had made by coming to a 
village to help teach.  Similarly, all of the KAFU students 
said that the project requirement was one of the most 
empowering experiences of their education. 
 
ENCOURAGEMENT TO ADOPT AMERICAN-STYLE PROGRAMS 
 
6.  Mambetkaziyev told poloff that KAFU's Vice President for 
International Programs, U.S. citizen Daniel Ballast, has been 
a key to KAFU's success.  Ballast explained to poloff that 
international partners contribute approximately $300,000 to 
KAFU programs every year.  He noted that Kazakhstan's 
Ministry of Education is encouraging institutions of higher 
education to adopt American-style educational programs and 
establish partnerships with foreign universities.   KAFU, of 
course, has been doing just that. 
HOAGLAND

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