Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Education

Graduate School of Education

Examining Leadership and Governance Issues in the Higher Education Sector in Kazakhstan

Examining Leadership and Governance Issues in the Higher Education Sector in Kazakhstan

Examining Leadership and Governance Issues in the Higher Education Sector in Kazakhstan

Status: ongoing, 2018-2020

Project Team

Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education

Adil Ashirbekov, MA
Dr. Darkhan Bilyalov (Co-Principal Investigator)
Dr. Alima Ibrasheva
Dr. Dilrabo Jonbekova
Dr. Kairat Kurakbayev
Merey Mussabayeva, PhD student
Viktoriya Rydchenko, PhD student
Dr. Aida Sagintayeva

University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education

Dr. Matthew Hartley (Principal Investigator)
Dr. Peter Eckel

Project Introduction

Kazakhstani universities have been granted increasing levels of autonomy by MoES. In this study we recognize the four main areas of autonomy:

  • Curricular
  • HR
  • Finance
  • Operational

Increased autonomy, not an end in and of itself, but a vehicle for institutional improvement. Institutional autonomy provides opportunities for institutions and their leaders to do new things, pursue new efforts, improve performance, gain efficiencies, set new strategies, etc. It allows for institutional innovation and it asks leaders to approach their roles in different ways.

Research Focus
 

This study focuses on the following research questions: 

    • Through what process are Kazakhstan’s universities innovating as a result of increased autonomy?
      • How have they created institutional cultures and structures to support and advance innovation?
      • What is the role of leaders in advancing innovation? Which leaders are playing driving roles and what are they doing to foster innovation?
    • What obstacles have impeded autonomy-driven innovation?
      • What structural obstacles exist? What institutional cultural obstacles exist?
      • How have they been addressed?
    • To what extent and in what ways are the processes through which innovation is occurring different across types of innovation (4 areas of autonomy)?