Dean of Graduate School of Education
Nazarbayev University

Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan 
Graduate School of Education 
Appointment of Dean of Education 
Nazarbayev University 

Nazarbayev University, created on the initiative of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, aims to become the first world-class university in Kazakhstan. The activities of the University are associated with the implementation of the main priorities of the country, including the development of advanced research capacity, innovation in technology and industry, and the transition to a system of education that meets the demands of a changing and globally integrated economy. The academic process at the University is based on international educational standards, which contributes to the advancement of the education system of the Republic of Kazakhstan and takes it to the international level. This is the first university in Kazakhstan that is committed to working according to international academic standards and guided by the principles of autonomy and academic freedom. 

The University is being developed in close collaboration with eminent international partners, which include the University of Cambridge, University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin-Madison, iCarnegie (powered by Carnegie Mellon), University of Warwick, Duke University, University of Pittsburg, Colorado School of Mines and the National University of Singapore. We are using their standards to establish curricula and build a research active faculty with excellence in teaching. Our relationship with our partners also includes opportunities for career development for Kazakhstani faculty, research collaborations and the establishment of a research culture, student and faculty exchange programs, joint curriculum development, and a host of other activities to assist Nazarbayev University in becoming a leader in higher education. 

The Graduate School of Education: Background 
The GSE was established in 2012 and received its first master's and doctoral students in August 2013. It is dedicated to becoming a world-class center for teaching and research on education, with a focus on educational reform in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, while retaining a broad international approach. We promote and assist in the implementation of cutting-edge research on educational challenges and issues from preschool through university levels. 

An M.Sc. Educational Leadership with specializations in School Leadership (2-year), Higher Education (2 -year), Inclusive Education (2 year) are currently offered in GSE. Furthermore, an M.A. in Multilingual Education is also offered in GSE at the moment. This 2-year full-time program covers theories, policies and practices of multilingual education, and is closely linked to the trilingual education strategy that is being implemented in Kazakhstan. Additionally, GSE offers a Ph.D. in Education. This full-time, intensive 3-year program is designed for individuals who are committed to taking a leadership role in educational research, reform and management in Kazakhstan. 

The GSE seeks to:
  • develop highly qualified researchers committed to the continuous improvement of education and society;
  • offer an opportunity for continuing professional development to those involved in education;
  • modernize educational theory and practice though the integration of scholarship and instruction;
  • prepare future generations of educational researchers and policy analysts to the highest academic standards;
  • improve the scientific basis for conducting educational research in the region;
  • disseminate knowledge and research findings, and promote good practice in teaching and learning, to foster higher educational standards of educational performance in schools and universities;
  • create opportunities for conducting joint, collaborative research with partner universities;
  • serve the local community and engage in debate and discussion to improve educational institutions and policies, while engaging in service and public engagement; and
  • function as an international institution, aligned to the Bologna Process and the European Credit Transfer System.
The University is seeking to appoint a Dean of the Graduate School of Education, to lead the School in this exciting and innovative venture. The Dean will be an inspirational leader, with an international reputation in research, and the ability to develop the capacity of the Graduate School quickly to become a key focus within Central Asia and beyond for world-class teaching and research. The Dean, who will take up appointment at the earliest opportunity, will work in close collaboration with senior partners from the University of Cambridge and the University of Pennsylvania and with senior colleagues at Nazarbayev University. The Dean will lead the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) in developing strategies which enable academic staff to develop their research capacity and their professional identities as scholars. 

The Dean will lead initiatives which will develop doctoral and masters study links with Cambridge / the University of Pennsylvania (and other institutions where appropriate), and which will mentor and develop local students towards good qualifications that will enable them to take leading academic positions at regional universities. The Dean will have a responsibility, within the Graduate School, to consolidate and develop collaborative research links which are already emerging between the Graduate School at Nazarbayev University and the partner faculties in the University of Pennsylvania and University of Cambridge. 

The Dean will be expected to lead the fully functional School in this collaborative enterprise, embracing the principles and mode of working agreed by the partners. The tripartite partnership is built on four overarching principles: to build capacity within the Graduate School; to create mutual benefit in all three institutions as the partnership evolves; to develop collaborative scholarly activities across the institutions; and to operate the partnership in an environment where information and decision-making areshared openly and in a timely manner. 

NUGSE has 20 faculty members and is seeking to appoint more in the coming future. In addition there are 7 researchers and 8 administrative staff. There are also 117 masters students and 27 doctoral students at NUGSE. 

The Dean of the Graduate School of Education 
Under the direction of the President and the Provost of the University, the Dean is the chief academic, business, and fiscal officer of the Graduate School and works regularly both with the Provost, the deans of the other Schools and senior representatives of the international partners. The Dean will lead the Senior Leadership Team of the Graduate School in formulating and implementing administrative and educational policies, will establish and oversee the organizational structures, develop and allocate resources, and represent the School to its constituents. The Dean has the ultimate responsibility for all activities within the Graduate School and has commensurate authority for performing the duties of the office. While appropriate duties and proportionate authority may be delegated to others, the Dean may neither delegate nor relinquish responsibility for results. 

Lead Responsibilities 
The Dean will
  • Provide visionary, ethical, and collaborative leadership;
  • Maintain regular, effective, and open two-way communication with other Schools and administrative components of the University, and with international partners;
  • Develop, in collaboration with the Graduate School's SLT and with the emerging faculty, long- and short-range plans and objectives for the Graduate School, and develop the necessary policies and programs for achieving those objectives;
  • Establish, with the Graduate School's SLT, the faculty and staff required for the instructional, research, and outreach programs, and oversees faculty and staff development programs for the Graduate School;
  • Work actively and collaboratively to stimulate, promote, facilitate and support a dynamic culture of research and scholarship by seeking and providing appropriate resources and opportunities for faculty and students within the Graduate School;
  • Encourage and support an on-going program of professional development and mentorship activities for faculty and teaching assistants to enhance the quality of instruction throughout the School;
  • Working closely with the Provost, recommend faculty and staff employment, promotion, salary adjustment, and termination actions, subject to final approval by the Rector and the Provost;
  • Assure that accurate fiscal records are maintained relative to all grants and contracts and to the apportionment and expenditure of such funds. Ensure that these funds are administered according to university policy.
Selection Criteria 

Candidates will be considered for the post of Dean on the basis of the following selection criteria, which they are asked to address in their application:
  • The ability to lead the academic planning and strategic development of the Graduate School and to facilitate its development within the central Asian / Eurasian regions and ultimately on the world stage;
  • The capacity to work collaboratively with international partners (specifically in the first instance with University of Cambridge, UK and the University of Pennsylvania,USA and to develop appropriate inter-disciplinary links with other Schools within Nazarbayev University;
  • The ability to foster appropriate research collaboration, student and faculty exchange programs, and joint curriculum development plans, with international partners, to assist Nazarbayev University in becoming a leader in education and schooling and in higher education;
  • An outstanding research record of international stature in their specialist area, and established international recognition and reputation as a leading Education scholar and teacher;
  • The vision, leadership, experience and enthusiasm to build on current strengths in maintaining and developing a leading research presence, and an established record in attracting research grant support to further this development;
  • The ability to manage and interact with staff and students at all levels, and to lead the SLT of the Graduate School in supporting staff development and evaluation, and in establishing quality assurance procedures across the School;
  • An awareness of the importance of, and willingness to be involved in, the teaching and training of the next generation of researchers, and the ability to attract and develop talented teachers and researchers to the Graduate School;
  • The ability and willingness to contribute to the senior management and strategic evolution of the University;
  • The possession of strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, and the ability and willingness to develop collaborative working relationships with all colleagues within the Graduate School.
  • An earned doctorate in education, public policy, psychology, economics, social sciences, or a related discipline, with a distinguished academic record appropriate for appointment at the rank of Professor of Education within NU;
  • A solid record of research and scholarship in the field of education, with the ability to foster an active research culture in the school and develop and guide junior faculty in the execution of research agenda;
  • A record of successful higher education leadership in complex environments;
  • A commitment to excellence in graduate education;
  • A deep understanding of the value of shared faculty governance and student voice in developing a robust academic culture;
  • The capacity and willingness to work with public officials, school and university leaders, as well as faculty, students, and staff to advance NU's research, teaching, and service missions.
Further details 
Some of the benefits offered by Nazarbayev University include a competitive salary with in-country allowance; free basic medical insurance; free housing (allocated by rank, family size); personal shipment allowance for relocation; education benefits for dependent children; two free home trips each year; research funding. Faculty will also be provided free training in Kazakh or Russian languages. 
Equal Opportunities Information 

Nazarbayev University appoints solely on merit. No applicant for an appointment in the University, or member of staff once appointed, will be treated less favourably than another on the grounds of gender, marital or parental status, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or socio-economic factors. 

Applicants should send a c.v., cover letter, three names of references, transcripts, and supporting materials to a Hiring Committee at

For additional information about the university or the position, please visit our website ( Potential candidates are welcome to contact Alan Ruby (, at the University of Pennsylvania, or Colleen McLaughlin (, at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, for an informal discussion about the post. 

Ideally, the Dean will take up appointment on 1 May 2016 (or as soon as possible thereafter), with the post to be based primarily in Astana, with periodic visits to both Cambridge and the United States.


Aisulu Sanat
Human Resource Management
Nazarbayev University
Email Address:

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