Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Education

Graduate School of Education




Office Phone: 


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) United Kingdom, Department for International Development (DFID) United Kingdom, 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 600 Research Methods 1

EDUC 670/671 Work-based Project

EDUC 600 Research Methods 11

EDSE 690 Thesis Seminar 1


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:

  • 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). I am developing my research plan for Kazakhstan and Central Asia.


Funded Projects:


  • 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:

  • Academy of Finland; Academy’s Programme in Development Research Review Panel 2018


  • Commonwealth Scholarship Committee, United Kingdom (since 2015)