This article deals with a particular 'best practice' in Mongolia (boarding schools) that neither traveled elsewhere nor was rescued from the socialist past and adopted in the post-socialist present. The boarding schools accommodating children from nomadic herder families have experienced a long decade (1991-2003) of neglect. The boarding school system of the twenty-first century has ceased to be a universal institution catering to a nomadic population, and has been transformed into a socially stratified system that mostly attracts students from poor families (nomadic and otherwise) who could not afford to entertain alternative living arrangements for their school-aged children. The authors treat nomadic education in Mongolia as an interesting case of a 'transfer vacuum.' The authors investigate the political and economic reasons for this immunity towards 'lessons from elsewhere' or 'lessons from the past,' and draw conclusions for research on educational policy borrowing and lending.