In the autumn of 2010, Nazarbayev University (NU) opened its doors to its first class of students. Named after Kazakhstan’s only president since 1991, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the university is just one nation-building project among many in the development of the country’s new capital city, Astana. Using interviews and focus group data, this chapter traces the establishment of the NU and its relationship to the Nazarbayev regime’s other major education programme, the Bolashak international scholarship programme. This study considers the subject-forming effect of the material and rhetorical practices surrounding these two programmes, illustrating how they underpin the paternalist state–society relations that have characterised post-Soviet Kazakhstan.