The University is seeking to appoint a Dean of the Graduate School of Education

Feb 6, 2012

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

Nazarbayev University is an exciting new English-language institution in a fascinating and dynamic part of the world. Located in the capital of Kazakhstan, it is one of the first Western-style universities created with the support of other leading universities around the world. Astana, Kazakhstan is a new city with an unsurpassed growth rate in the world and offering its residents all of the amenities found in any capital city in the world. The goal of Nazarbayev University is nothing less than to create a leading higher educational institution not only in Central Asia but across Eurasia.

Nazarbayev University has been established to become an international research University, for the country and the region, in Astana, Kazakhstan, giving talented Kazakhstani students a chance to study world class courses taught by world class faculty without travelling abroad. Its research focus will stimulate industry, commerce and national development. Its academic program and fields of research are being built up in a most unusual manner, through the close support of leading universities around the world.

The University is being developed in close collaboration with eminent international partners, which include the University of Cambridge, UWisconsin-Madison, iCarnegie (powered by Carnegie Mellon), University College London, Duke University 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 will also include 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.

A Foundation Programme, designed to bridge the transition from the eleven years of schooling to higher education courses taught in English, was opened in 2010. Run by University College London, as a mirror programme to that established by UCL in London, it admits students on the basis of UCL’s own competitive examinations and IELTS / TOEFL scores. Three Undergraduate Schools (Science and Technology, Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences), created in collaboration with our strategic international partners, opened in 2011 with 500 of the best students from across Kazakhstan, graduated from the UCL Foundation Program and taught in English. A further 500 undergraduate students will be admitted in 2012, and it is planned to expand the student body, to include direct admissions and foreign students over time. Three Graduate Schools – of Education, Business and Public Policy – are currently being developed – and it is anticipated that the first intake of Masters students will be admitted in 2012 (to Business and Public Policy) and in 2013 (Education). A Graduate School of Medicine will open in 2014. Nazarbayev University’s undergraduate and graduate student body will eventually reach 8000, and its faculty will grow accordingly.


The Graduate School of Education: Background

The Graduate School of Education at Nazarbayev University is being developed in an ongoing partnership with the Education Faculties of the University of Cambridge, UK and a leading Graduate School of Education in the United States. The intention is to create an internationally renowned, high quality Graduate School with a close synergy between the development of a research agenda and the evolution of teaching. It is envisaged that two Masters programmes, one in Education and Schooling and the other in Higher Education, will be established so as to accept their first cohort of students in September 2013, to be followed rapidly by the development of a doctoral programme in Astana to meet demand from Kazakhstani academics and schoolteachers. The creation of these programmes within the new Graduate School of Education will offer the School opportunities to develop teaching and research synergies with newly established schools in Business and Public Policy, also being established in collaboration with international partners.

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 American Graduate School and with senior colleagues at Nazarbayev University, to develop detailed programmes for the two Masters courses and to shape the proposals for doctoral provision. The Dean will, in consultation with all partners, devise a senior staffing structure for the unified School, with these senior appointments to take up post in Astana in September 2012, or as soon as possible, and will determine the number and nature of further academic appointments necessary in the period leading to the first student intake within the Graduate School in September 2013. 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 links with Cambridge / the American Graduate School (and other institutions where appropriate), and which will mentor and develop local people with good qualifications to take leading academic positions at regional universities. The Dean will have 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 United States and Cambridge.
The partnership will be a crucially important aspect of the first few years of the evolution of the Graduate School, and the Dean will be expected to lead the emerging 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 is shared openly and in a timely manner.

The Dean of the Graduate School of Education

Under the direction of the Rector 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 Rector, the deans of the other Schools and senior representatives of the international partners. The Dean will lead the SLT 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 American Graduate School, 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.

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 sex, 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., three names of references, transcripts, and supporting materials to Provost Anne Lonsdale (

For additional information about the university or the position, please visit our website ( Potential candidates are welcome to contact Mike Younger ( 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 2012 (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.

Interviews will be held in Cambridge on March 28, 2012.