Just a few days after my post about universities’ brands, I enjoyed reading an article in the Times Higher Education, the UK’s specialist higher education publication, about Nazarbayev University.
The article “No shame in the name” explains how a Cambridge University college has (at least temporarily) withdrawn a fellowship named after Nazarbayev. As in Nazarbayev University, not the President – but that lack of clarity was enough to embarrass Cambridge, which, it should be pointed out, has a growing partnership with Nazarbayev (Uni). Along with Pennsylvania State University (USA), Cambridge will help Nazarbayev Uni launch graduate degrees in education in 2013 and is already working on English language programmes with the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools.
As such, it’s not entirely clear why the fellowship was withdrawn. But it does highlight the critical importance of a university’s brand.
It’s also worth noting that it’s a little odd that the Times Higher has chosen now to publish this article. As far as I can see, the Fellowship was advertised some months ago with one Kazakh website suggesting it closed in January. Ah well. News doesn’t always travel fast from Central Asia to the rest of the world.