World Bank brings Nazarbayev University to Kazakhstan

On 16 December 2011, Kazakhstan state security forces opened fire on striking oil workers in the Caspian Sea company town of Zhanaozen. The massacre seemingly went unnoticed by Western faculty members and administrators working at the recently opened Nazarbayev University, located in the country’s ostentatious capital Astana, write Allen Ruff and Steve Horn for The Real News.

Opened in 2010, the multi-billion dollar showcase university came about through a joint venture involving the country’s authoritarian regime under ‘Leader of the Nation’ Nursultan Nazarbayev, the World Bank and a number of major – primarily US – ‘partnering’ universities.

As a result of deals shaped and brokered by the World Bank in 2009 and 2010, scores of academics flocked to the resource-rich, strategically located Central Asian country. They remain there despite the fact that every major international human rights monitor has cited the regime for its continuing abuse of civil liberties and basic freedoms. In the process, Kazakhstan has become a proving ground for the World Bank’s education reform efforts and a revealing case study of the deep-seated 'soft power' workings of the US.
Full report on The Real News site