Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Education

Graduate School of Education

Kairat Kurakbayev


Kairat Kurakbayev
Director of Research Institute
Office Phone:
+7 (7172) 70 65 76
Higher education


PhD in Education, Eurasian National University, Kazakhstan. PhD Scholarship in Pedagogical Sciences. Academic grant from the Ministry of Education and Science, Kazakhstan, 2010.

Master of Education, University of Exeter, UK, British Council grant, 2006.

Bachelor’s degree in English as a Foreign Language, Pavlodar State University, Kazakhstan, 2001.


Thematic areas of research specialization

School education

Higher education

Other cross-sectional issues in education


Research sub-themes:

Educational change

Comparative education


Policy implementation

Teacher education policies


Professional Biography

Dr. Kairat Kurakbayev is the Director of the Research Institute at Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining the Graduate School of Education in 2011, Dr. Kurakbayev served as an Acting Director of the Department for Strategic Planning and Deputy Head of the Department for International Cooperation at Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Astana. His professional experience includes working as an English school teacher and a teacher educator on the initial teacher education programmes. Dr. Kurakbayev has been awarded the British Council and American Councils academic scholarships. He is a graduate of the University of Exeter and holds a master’s degree in education (2004-2005). In 2010 he obtained a PhD degree in education from Eurasian National University, Astana. Apart from his work at the Graduate School of Education, Kairat serves as a member of the Institutional Research Ethics Committee at Nazarbayev University. He is also involved in developing Kazakhstan Education Research Association and represents the Association at the Executive Council of the European Educational Research Association (EERA).


Research Interests and Current Projects

 Dr. Kurakbayev’s research interests include comparative education, globalization, policy implementation and school reforms. He is currently examining how Kazakhstan’s schooling system is upgrading its primary and secondary education curricula in the context of sustainability of educational innovations as translated and adopted from the centre to the periphery. Working closely with Professor David Bridges, Professor Colleen McLaughlin and Liz Winter from the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, he has been a co-principal investigator of the international research projects on school reforms in Kazakhstan.


Membership of Professional Associations

American Educational Research Association, AERA

Comparative International Education Society, CIES

Kazakhstan Educational Research Association, KERA


Recent Publications

      • Kurakbayev, K., Ibrasheva, A., Gungor, D. (2018). Отношение учителей к трехъязычному образованию как фактор эффективной имплементации школьных реформ [Teachers’ Attitudes towards Trilingual Education as the Factor of Effective Implementation of School Reforms]. Conference Proceedings of the 48th Research Conference “Role of Higher Education Institutions in Modernizing Public Consciousness: transition to the model of ‘University 4:0’ ”. Almaty: Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, pp. 40-56.
      • Fimyar, O., & Kurakbayev, K. (2016). ‘Soviet’ in teachers’ memories and professional beliefs in Kazakhstan: points for reflection for reformers, international consultants and practitioners. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 29 (1), 86-103.
      • Sagintayeva, A., & Kurakbayev, K. (2015). Understanding the transition of public universities to institutional autonomy in Kazakhstan. European Journal of Higher Education, 5(2), 197-210.
      • Kazzhanova, А., & Kurakbayev, К (2015). Развитие инноваций в системе среднего образования Казахстана: на примере новых подходов к организации учебного процесса в Назарбаев интеллектуальных школах. [Development of Innovations in the System of Secondary Education in Kazakhstan: new approaches to the teaching-and-learning process at Nazarbayev Intellectual School]. Научно-методический журнал Методист, (9), 11-15. “Methodologist”, 9, pp. 11-15.
      • Bridges, D, Kurakbayev, K., & Kambatyrova, A. (2015). Interpreting the International and Intranational “Translation” of Educational Policy and Practice: A Case of Opportunism, Serendipity, and Bricolage. In International Handbook of Interpretation in Educational Research (pp. 1499-1512). Springer Netherlands.
      • Bridges, D., Kurakbayev, K., & Kambatyrova, A. (2014). Lost-and-Found in Translation? Interpreting the Processes of the International and Intranational Translation of Educational Policy and Practice in Kazakhstan. In Bridges, D. (ed) (2014) Educational Reform and Internationalisation: The case of school reform in Kazakhstan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 263-286.
      • Sagintayeva, A. & Kurakbayev, K. (2013) Internationalisation of Higher Education in Central Asia: the Case of Kazakhstan. In Stiasny, M. and Gore, M. (2013) (eds) Going Global: Identifying Trends and Drivers of International Education. Emerald: Bingley, UK. pp. 17-27.
      • Kurakbayev, К. (2013). “Action Research” как подход к исследовательской деятельности педагога-практика. [“Action Research” as an approach to teacher practitioner’s research activity] Открытая школа, (7), 14-21.


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