Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Education

Graduate School of Education

Naureen Durrani


Naureen Durrani
Full Professor
Office Phone:
School education

Professor Naureen Durrani


Specialization: School Education



I joined NUGSE as Full Professor in August 2018 from the University of Sussex where I convened the internationally regarded MA in International Education and Development. In addition, I have teaching and research experience at Northumbria University (UK), the University of Central Lancashire (UK) and the University of Peshawar (Pakistan). I have a wide range of international experience in teaching and research alongside knowledge exchange and stakeholder consultation. My research interests lie in the sociology of education and the broader outcomes of education for individuals, social groups and society. My research projects have been funded by leading funders in international education including the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) UK, Department for International Development (DFID) UK, UNICEF New York, OxfamNovib/Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid).


DPhil in Education, 2008

University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom

“Curriculum and the construction of learners’ identities: A case study of Pakistan”, Adviser: Professor Mairead Dunne

MSc Social Research Methods in Education, 2005

University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom

Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 2014

University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom


Courses taught at GSE:

  • EDUC 709 – Introduction to Scholarship in Education (Fall 2019)
  • EDSE 633 Curriculum Design and Management (Summer 2020, 2019)
  • EDUC 600 Research Methods 1 (Fall 2018)
  • EDUC 670/671 Work-based Project (Spring 2018)
  • EDUC 600 Research Methods 11 (Spring 2019)
  • EDSE 690 Thesis Seminar 1 (Summer 2019)
  • EDSE 691 Thesis Seminar 11 (Fall 2019)
  • EDSE 692 Thesis Seminar 111 (Spring 2019)
  • EDSE 693 Thesis Seminar 1V (Summer 2019)


Thematic Area:

School Education

My research interests are in the sociology of education. I am interested in the social, cultural, political and economic influences on education policy formulation and enactment and the broader outcomes of education on social and gender relations.

Research Sub-themes:

Education policy; curriculum; teacher education; gender; citizenship; citizenship education; social justice

Doctoral Supervision:

I look forward to enquiries from prospective students within my research expertise. I have supervised the following students to completion at the University of Sussex:

  • James William – “The Nature of Science in Science Education: A case study of the development of the nature of science in the national curriculum for science 1988 – 2010” (2019)
  • Gunjan Wadhwa – ““They are like that only”: Adivasi identities in an area of civil unrest in India” (2019)
  • Albert Tarmo - Secondary science school teachers’ engagement with constructivist pedagogies in Tanzania (2017)
  • Susan Delali Doe Berdie – “Facilitation of adult literacy: a case within the Ghana National Functional Literacy Programme” (2017)
  • Tsuyoshi Fukao – “Teacher Motivation and incentives in Cambodia” (2016)
  • Evelyn Oduro – “Assessment in mathematics classrooms in Ghana: a study of teachers' practices” (2015)
  • Peter Wright – “Teaching mathematics for social justice: translating theories into practice” (2015)
  • Jane Jerrad – “What does “quality” look like for post-2015 education provision in low-income countries? An exploration of stakeholders’ perspectives of school benefits in village LEAP schools, rural Sindh, Pakistan” (2014).

Geographic Areas:

My ongoing and past research has focused on South Asia (Pakistan), Sub-Saharan and West Africa (Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda and Senegal), the Middle East (Occupied Palestinian Territories and Lebanon) and Europe (United Kingdom) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan).


Funded Projects:

  • GCRF (Global Challenges Research Fund ) DevelopmentAward: The Political Economy of Education Research (PEER) Network, funded by AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) UK, £60, 000 (July 2019 – June 2020), co-Principal Investigator, with  Professor Alan Smith, University of Ulster as PI and Prof Mario Novelli (Sussex) and Prof Azeem Badroodien (Cape Town) as co-Principal investigators.
  • Gender and Schooling in Kazakhstan: A mixed-method study (2019-2021) funded by Nazarbayev University Faculty Competitive Grant (No. 110119FD4522) USD 71,708; Principal Investigator, with Dr Anna CohenMiller and Dr Zumrad Kataeva as co-PI.
  • Higher education and youth citizenship in Pakistan (Research Opportunity Fund, University of Sussex; £1494.68) – Principal Investigator (2017)
  • Language in education policy in Pakistan: developing policy recommendations and advocacy for implementation (ESRC Impact Acceleration Fund; £1350) – Principal Investigator (2017)
  • Engaging teachers in peacebuilding in postconflict contexts: evaluating education interventions in Rwanda and South Africa (funded by ESRC/DFID; £453,000.00) – Co-Principal Investigator; with Prof Yusuf Sayed as Principal Investigator (2015-2017)
  • Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding in Pakistan, Uganda, Myanmar, and South Africa (funded by UNICEF New York; $1,076,404), Co-Principal Investigator and Lead Researcher on Pakistan, with Professor Mario Novelli as Principal Investigator (2014 – 2016)
  • Operational Research 2 Study of the Female Teacher Training Scholarship Scheme in Nigeria (funded by DFID; £67,645.00) – joint- Principal Investigator with Professor Mairead Dunne (2013-2014)
  • Pedagogy, curriculum, teaching practices and teacher education in low- and middle-income countries (Funded by DFID; £59,757) – Co- Principal Investigator, with Dr Jo Westbrook as Principal Investigator (Jan -Oct 2013).
  • Youth as active citizens (YAC) for their rights to education and sexual and reproductive (funded by SIDA; £57,092) – Co- Principal investigator, with Prof Mairead Dunne as Principal Investigator (2011-2012).
  • Impacts and cost effectiveness of strategies to improve the performance of untrained and under-trained teachers in the classroom in developing countries (funded by AusAID; £53,801); Co- Principal Investigator, with Prof John Pryor as Principal Investigator and Dr Jo Westbrook as Co- Principal Investigator (2011-2012)

Reviewer for Funding Bodies:

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESCRC), UK (2019)
  • The Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies - 2019
  • Academy of Finland; Academy’s Programme in Development Research Review Panel 2018
  • Commonwealth Scholarship Committee, United Kingdom (since 2015)

Editorial contribution

  • Member, College of Reviews for Compare: A Journal of International and Comparative Education
  • Active reviewer for International Journal of Educational Development
  • Member, Permanent Reviewers Panel of “Central Asia” ISSN 1729-9802


Peer-reviewed Journal Papers


Book Chapters

Research Monographs

Peer reviewed publications in conference proceedings

Keynotes & Invited Talks

  • ‘Gender, education and development: A postcolonial analysis of global policy discourses and local policy enactments’, International Conference on Emerging Trends in International Education (ICETIE), 13-14 Nov 2018, Sukkar IBA University, Sukkur.  
  • ‘Language-in-education policy in multilingual, postcolonial contexts: International insights’, Language and Learning Conference, Society for Advancement of Education (SAHE), 19-20 May 2017, Lahore.
  • Official knowledge, citizenship identities and social cohesion in Pakistan. 4th International Conference on Research in Education (ICORE 2016), Institute of Education and Research, University of the Punjab, Lahore, November 23-25, 2016.
  • ‘Teacher agency for social cohesion in Pakistan’, 4th International Conference on ‘Education in Pakistan: Connecting Research and Practice across Context’, 24th – 26th March 2016, University of Education, Lahore.
  • "How do you love maths? It's horrible”. Exploring some of our challenges. Graduate Numeracy Tests workshop, University of Bath 16th July 2014, funded by SIGMA network for excellence in mathematics and statistics support, South West & South Wales hub.
  • Curriculum and the construction of national identities in Pakistan, Impact or Impasse: Postgraduate Research Beyond Academia, The Eighth Annual College of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Conference, University of Aberdeen, 20-21 July 2011, Aberdeen.