Peculiarities and Paradoxes of Neoliberal Higher Education in Kazakhstan


  • Douglas Robertson Florida International University
  • Nazgul Bayetova Florida International University



higher education, Kazakhstan, neoliberalism, paradox, policy analysis


This article discusses the expression of neoliberalism in Kazakhstan’s emerging higher education system. The central tenets of neoliberalism are briefly articulated. Noted is the phenomenon that the general political-economic paradigm of neoliberalism differs in its specific implementation depending on the particular countries and cultures in which it is manifesting. In Kazakhstan, neoliberalism’s expression in the former Soviet Republic’s emerging higher education system presents five paradoxes: (a) nationalistic globalism, (b) regulated non-regulation, (c) giving as a means to getting, (d) communal individualism, and (e) developmental demise. This article explores each of these five paradoxes.


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Author Biographies

Douglas Robertson, Florida International University

Ph.D., Professor of Higher Education, Department of Educational Policy Studies, Florida International University.

Nazgul Bayetova, Florida International University

Ph.D. student in Higher Education

Teaching Assistant

Ms. Ed in Higher Education

Recipient of Prestigious International Scholarship "Bolashak" 


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How to Cite

Robertson, D., & Bayetova, N. (2021). Peculiarities and Paradoxes of Neoliberal Higher Education in Kazakhstan. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 13(Summer), 226–241.