Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Education

Graduate School of Education

Dr. Nazipa Ayubayeva  


Dr. Nazipa Ayubayeva  
Senior Researcher
Office Phone:
+ 7 (7172) 709185 (directly)
School education


PhD University of Cambridge (UK), 2017

MPhil, University of Cambridge (UK), 2012

MBA in Marketing and Systems, Bangalore University (India), 2003

BA in Linguistics, Higher College ‘Kygyz Jer’ (Kyrgyzstan), 1997


Thematic areas of research specialisation:

School Education policy and reform,

Teacher education and teacher professional development, 

Collaborative action research and lesson study


Professional biography

Dr. Nazipa Ayubayeva is a senior researcher at the Research Institute of Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining the Graduate School of Education, Nazipa has served as a deputy chair for ‘Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools’ Autonomous Educational Organisation (NIS). She has lead on designing, developing and implementing of the ‘Development Strategy of 20 Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools’, coordination and cooperation with international partners in designing and supporting delivery of the NIS curriculum, piloting and implementing teacher selection, teacher professional development and teacher appraisal system, and designing and implementing of NIS research strategy. Nazipa has taken active part in coordinating of OECD ‘Education -2030’ project on behalf of Kazakhstan (2017-2018). She continues to serve as a member of the Research Advisory Board of NIS and engaged in organizing Annual NIS International Research-to-Practice Conference ( She is a member of the NIS Social Fund Board of Trustees, NU Social Development Fund Board of Trustees and NIS Alumni Advisory Council.

Nazipa has worked as a project manager for the ‘National Analytical Center under the Government and the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan’ Join Stock Company (2008-2009). She was a Human Resource Development Trainer with the TACIS project ‘Support of the Eurasian Center for Kazakhstan Civil Servants Training’ led by the British Council, and has experience of working for Central Asian regional projects of the European Commission, the American Agency for International Development and the World Trade Institute (2003-2008). She was a teacher of English in comprehensive school in Taraz city, English language instructor for students in the higher education institutions, ‘Institute for Oriental Studies and Cultures’, Manas International University in Bishkek, (1997-2000).


Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Ayubayeva research interests include secondary school education policy and reform, teacher education and teacher professional development, collaborative action research and lesson study, socio-cultural perspective in research methodology.  In her recent project, she has focused on issues of school reform and implementation of renewed content of education in comprehensive schools in Kazakhstan


Selected publications:  

  • McLaughlin, C., Yakavets, N. & Ayubayeva, N. (2017) ‘Initial Teacher Education in Pedagogical Institutes in Kazakhstan: Debates and Issues’. In Hartley, M. & Ruby, A. (eds.), Higher Education Reform and Development: The Case of Kazakhstan. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press;
  • McLaughlin, C. & Ayubayeva, N. (2015). ‘It is the research of self experience’: Feeling the value in action research. International Journal of Educational Action Research. 23:1, 51-67;
  • Shamshidinova, K., Ayubayeva, N., & Bridges, D. (2014). Implementing Radical Change: Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools as Agents of Change. In D. Bridges (ed), Educational Reform and Internationalisation: The Case of School Reform in Kazakhstan (pp. 71-82). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press;


Co-authorship policy papers and strategic documents:


  • Bridges D., McLaughlin C., Mehisto P., Drummond M.J., Ayubayeva N., Kishkentayeva M.,Kulakhmetova A., Sadvakassova M., Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education (2014). ‘Development of Strategic Directions for Education Reforms in Kazakhstan for 2015-2020’, Diagnostic report. Astana: Indigo print - sAllowed=y;
  • Kulakhmetova, A., McLaughlin, C. and Ayubayeva, N. (2014). 'Preparing Teachers: An International Review of the Evidence on Initial Teacher Education'. Astana, Kazakhstan -;
  • Reports on the research collaboration between University of Cambridge Faculty of Education; Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education (October 2014; October 2015).'The improvement of the secondary education curriculum of Kazakhstan in the context of modern reforms'- 0version.pdf
  •  Ayubayeva, N. (2012). ‘Researching AEO Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools’ strategic priorities‘, NU GSE, Astana, Kazakhstan.


Research works:


  • PhD thesis: Ayubayeva, N. 2017. ‘Teacher collaboration for professional learning: Case studies of three schools in Kazakhstan’. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge Faculty of Education -;
  • MPhil thesis (with distinction): Ayubayeva, N. 2012. ‘Teacher Engagement with Reflective Practice and Its Implications for Teacher Learning: A Case Study’. Unpublished MPhil Thesis, University of Cambridge Faculty of Education;