Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Education

Graduate School of Education

Dilrabo Jonbekova


Dilrabo Jonbekova
Associate Professor
Office Phone:
Higher education

Dr. Dilrabo Jonbekova is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Education. Most recently she

was the Director of Higher Education program. Dilrabo teaches and supervises students in the MSc in

Educational Leadership programme with specialization in higher education specialization. Her primary research interest is in

the relationship between higher education, labour market interplay, and societal development. Within

this area she focuses on: (a) transition of students from higher education into employment (b) university

industry-partnerships, (c) international higher education and development and (d) transformation and

reforms of higher education in the post-Soviet countries. Her most recent projects focus on government

scholarships for international education and development, university-industry collaborations, and

innovations in higher education. Dilrabo is an international member on the British Association for

International and Comparative Education (BAICE) committee.



  • PhD, Education, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • MPhil, Educational Research, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • MA, Management, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  • BA, Economics, Khorog State University, Tajikistan

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Society for Research into Higher Education (SHRE)
  • Consortium of Higher Education Researchers (CHER)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • British Association for International Comparative Education (BAICE) Member of Executive Committee
  • Comparative and International Education Society (CIES)
  • University-Industry Innovation Network (UIIN)

Research Areas

  • International higher education and development
  • Reforms and innovations in higher education
  • Graduate employability and transition from higher education to labour market
  • University-industry partnerships
  • Comparative education

Postgraduate Teaching and Supervision

  • EDHE 625 Fundamentals of Higher Education
  • EDHE 628 Higher Education Policy Analysis and Development
  • EDUC 600 Research Methods in Education (Qualitative and Quantitative Methods)
  • EDHE 692 Thesis Seminar, MSc Educational Leadership (Higher Education)
  • EDUC 640 Thesis Seminar, MSc Educational Leadership (School Education)
  • EDUC 608 Preparing Children for the Future: Skills and Employability
  • EDUC 670/671 Internship/Work-based Project
  • EDUC 675 Learning to work

Funded Projects

  • University-industry partnerships for innovating and improving quality of higher education in Kazakhstan – USD 168 601 Collaborative Research Programme Grant, Nazarbayev University. Principal Investigator (2020-2023)
  • Contribution of government scholarship recipients to their home country – USD 67 245 Faculty Development Grant, Nazarbayev University - Principal Investigator (2020-2023)
  • Role of higher education credentials for employability in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, 2016-2017 – USD 10 000 Social Policy Grant, Nazarbayev University. Principal Investigator (2016-2018)
  • Twenty-Five Years of Transformations of Higher Education Systems in Post-Soviet Countries – USD 5000 World Bank and Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia - Investigator for the country case of Tajikistan (2014 – 2016)


  • Jonbekova, D., Serkova Y., Mazbulova, Zh., Jumakulov, Z., Ruby., A (2022) How international higher education graduates contribute to their home country: an example from government scholarship recipients in Kazakhstan, Higher Education Research & Development, DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2021.2019200 open access
  • Jonbekova, D., Kim. T., Kerimkulova, S., Ruby. A., Sparks, J. (2021) Employment of international education graduates: Issues of economy and resistance to change. Higher Education Quarterly open access
  • Jonbekova, D., Sparks, J., Hartley, M., Kuchumova. G. (2020) Development of university–industry partnerships in Kazakhstan: Innovation under constraint. International Journal of Educational Development. 79.  open access
  • Jonbekova, D. (2018) Educational research in Central Asia: methodological and ethical dilemmas in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. DOI: 10.1080/03057925.2018.1511371
  • Jonbekova, D., and Kuchumova, G. (2020) Этические и методологические трудности проведения исследований в области образования в Центральной Азии [Ethical and methodological difficulties of conducting research in education in Central Asia]. KAZNU Journal. 4-65-2020 open access
  • Jonbekova, D. (2019): The diploma disease in Central Asia: students' views about purpose of university education in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, Studies in Higher Education. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2019.1628199 
  • Jonbekova, D. (2019) Transition from higher education to work in Central Asia: perspectives of youth from Tajikistan. In (Silova, I., and Niyozov, S) Globalization on the Margins Education and Post-socialist Transformation in Central Asia (2nd ed.). Information Age Publishing Inc
  • Namyssova, G., Tussupbekova, G., Helmer, J., Malone, K., Afzal, M., & Jonbekova. D. (2019). Challenges and benefits of blended learning in higher education. International Journal of Technology in Education (IJTE), 2(1), 22-31.
  • DeYoung, A.J., Kataeva, Z., Jonbekova, D. (2018). Higher education in Tajikistan: Institutional landscape and key policy developments. In Huisman, J., Smolentseva, A., Froumin, A. (Eds.) 25 Years of transformation of higher Education systems in post-Soviet countries. Palgrave Macmillan open access
  • Kataeva, Z. DeYoung, A.J., Jonbekova, D. (2016). The massification of higher education and diversification of the institutional landscape in the Republic of Tajikistan. Higher Education in Russia and Beyond (HERB), Issue 2 (8), pp. 11-13
  • Jonbekova, D. (2015). University graduates’ skills mismatch in post-Soviet Tajikistan: Employers’ perspectives. European Education. 47 (2), 169-184. DOI: 10.1080/10564934.2015.1033315


  • Teaching Award in the category of Integrating Research and Teaching – the Sofia An Award, Nazarbayev University, October, 2021
  • Teaching award in the category of ‘Integrating Research and Teaching’ – Graduate School of Education, Nazarbayev University 2020
  • Teaching award in the category of ‘Integrating Research and Teaching’ – Graduate School of Education, Nazarbayev University 2019
  • Best graduate paper award. Comparative and international Education Society Eurasia Special Interest Group, 2014