Publish Date: 18-SEP-2014 03:42 PM

NUGSE research findings presented at ECER

The European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) 2014 “The Past, Present and Future of Educational Research in Europe” took place in Porto, Portugal on 1-5 September. As part of the conference, Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education research and teaching staff presented findings of their research projects on the development of secondary and higher education in the Republic of Kazakhstan implemented in collaboration with Cambridge University (United Kingdom) and University of Pennsylvania (USA). 

This conference is one of the major events in the European educational research and educational policy world. Diverse sessions on a wide spectrum of themes took place as part of the main theme of the conference – The Past, Present and Future of Educational Research in Europe. The themes included issues of philosophy of education, pedagogy, inclusive education, and educational leadership amongst many others. 

Conference participants from the United Kingdom, Australia, Greece, USA and other countries discussed our presenters’ papers on the implementation of the Bologna principles and internationalisation in higher education as well as citizenship education in schools of Kazakhstan. According to the NUGSE representatives, participation in such research events provides an opportunity of independent external evaluation of the domestic research findings. At the same time, presenting research findings to a wider overseas audience promotes Kazakhstan in the international research community and allows attracting international researchers for joint research.   

The NUGSE presented the following individual papers:

Matthew Hartley, Bryan Gopaul (University of Pennsylvania) and Aida Sagintayeva. Higher education reform in Kazakhstan: The role of boards of trustees.

Zakir Jumakulov and Adil Ashirbekov. Challenges of being new Bologna signatory: Perspectives from Kazakhstan.

Aida Sagintayeva, Jason Sparks and Adil Ashirbekov. Internationalising Higher Education Institutions in Kazakhstan: Perspectives from a National Survey.

Lynne Parmenter and Zakir Jumakulov. Europeanising Internationalisation: An analysis of policy makers’ views in Kazakhstan.

Aizhan Omarbekova. Students’ and teachers’ perspectives of citizenship and citizenship education in Kazakhstan.

Lynne Parmenter and Aizhan Omarbekova. Teacher education for citizenship: Professional knowledge and competences in education policies in England, Australia and Kazakhstan.

Kairat Kurakbayev and Lynne Parmenter. Teachers constructing local meanings from international educational transfer.

Olena Fimyar, Michael Fordham (University of Cambridge); Aizhan Omarbekova (NUGSE) and Nazira Tuleuova (Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools). Pedagogies and methodologies of organisational learning in Kazakhstan: The case of NIS partner schools. 

Timothy Reagan. Evolving language-in-education policy in Kazakhstan: Attitudes and perceptions of Russians in Kazakhstan.


The presentation of a book entitled “Educational Reform and Internationalisation: The Case of School Reform in Kazakhstan” was an important part of the conference this year. The book is an outcome of cooperation between the NUGSE, NIS, and Cambridge University. The presentation was made in collaboration with the NUGSE strategic partners: Cambridge University and University of Pennsylvania. The book, edited by professor David Bridges, Cambridge University, includes essays by leading figures from inside and outside Kazakhstan who are directly involved in the reform process as well as researchers currently engaged in investigating these processes. 

The central themes include: 

History of Kazakhstan in education: thought and practice;

The internationalisation of educational policy and practice and “policy borrowing”;
Change processes in national educational systems and obstacles to such change; 

The leadership of change at school level;

Professional culture and its development.


The NUGSE staff also actively participated in the Educational leadership symposium, entitled Institutional autonomy and educational reform in Central Asia.

The following are the NUGSE presentation themes at this event:

David Bridges (University of Cambridge), Kairat Kurakbayev and Aizhan Omarbekova (NUGSE). Constructs of school autonomy in the discourses of school reform in Kazakhstan.

David Frost, Natallia Yakavets (University of Cambridge); Kairat Kurakbayev and 

Aidar Khoroshash (NUGSE). Leading schools during a time of change in Kazakhstan: The rhetoric and the reality. 

Matthew Hartley (University of Pennsylvania) and Aida Sagintayeva (NUGSE). Learning autonomy: Implementing new governance models in Higher Education. 

The conference organiser, the European Educational Research Association (EERA), has united national educational research associations for twenty years. Recently, the very first national association was established in Kazakhstan following the NUGSE initiative. At the conference, the accession of the Kazakhstani Educational Research Association to EERA was officially announced. 

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