Doctor of Philosophy in Education Policy and Management

What is the program about?
In the increasingly dynamic and complex world of education, a crucial need exists for better knowledge about how schools and school systems, from early childhood to higher education, can be organized and led most effectively. We need to reach deeper understandings of how policies, politics, and the law can advance the twin goals of excellence and equity, how educational institutions and systems can best acquire and use resources, how leaders can support teacher development and student achievement, and how education policymakers and leaders can make best use of information from student assessments, program evaluations, and analytical research. This knowledge should be based on thoughtful reasoning and solid evidence; it should be theoretical in scope but also have clear implications for education practice.

The PhD in Education Policy and Management aims to train researchers and educational leaders who have systemic and critical understanding of the discipline. Graduates will be able to make original and significant contributions to knowledge in the field of education policy and management, and will be capable of qualitatively transforming the education system at the level of an organization, region or country.

What specific knowledge does the program equip me with?
In the program, students will consider how laws and policies impact the reform of educational systems and how they support or impede improvements in curriculum, teaching, and student achievement. Furthermore, students will analyze the political, social, economic and legal dynamics that affect policy development and implementation. Upon the successful completion the degree requirements, all graduates of the PhD in Education Policy and Management program will be able to:

  • demonstrate systemic and critical understanding of a substantial and complex body of knowledge at the frontier of a discipline
  • engage in critical reflection, synthesis and evaluation of theories, methodologies and empirical results for solving fundamental research issues in the area of specialization – educational policy and management
  • demonstrate expert, specialized cognitive, technical and research skills in the discipline to function as an independent and intellectually autonomous researcher who is able to make a substantial contribution to a discipline or area of professional practice in the sphere of education
  • become critical leaders, policymakers and scholars who are able to professionally and practically apply theories of education policy and management in professional practice
  • contribute to the development of society and the improvement of the education system through scientific and educational activities and managerial leadership
  • interpret and communicate knowledge of education that informs research, policy, and managerial practice to professional and expert community to promote quality and equity in education.
  • strictly follow academic, pedagogical and leadership ethical principles in research, teaching and managerial practice.


Admission for PhD in Ed. Policy & Mngmnt Approved

PhD in Education Policy and Management (PhD Ed)
Requirements for the PhD in Education Policy and Management are as follows:

  Category of Courses Credits ECTS
1. Educational Component 27 53
1.1. Program Foundation Requirements 18 25
1) Required Courses 12 20
2) Elective Courses 3 5
3) Teaching Internship 3 10
1.2. Program Specialization Requirements 9 18
1) Required Courses 3 5
2) Elective Courses 3 5
3) Research Internship 3 8
2. Research Component 45 115
1) Research project 1-12 36 100
2) Dissertation 1-3 9 15
3. Final Attestation 3 12
  Total Required for Graduation 75 180

Grade Point Average
A student must maintain a cumulative 3.33 GPA throughout the program. Courses in which grades below “B-” are received but are not accepted for the PhD degree. Grades received in courses transferred from another institution are not included in calculation of the grade point average. If a grade of “C+” or lower is received, the student should repeat the course. More than one retake should acquire an approval from the Council. When the GPA is calculated, the grade for the repeated course will substitute for the original grade. Grades of “I” turn to “F” if work is not completed by the 7th week of the following semester.


What specific jobs will this degree qualify me for?
Education Policy and Management is a multidisciplinary field that can qualify you to work as an administrator, an education expert in government and private agencies, a lobbyist, a curriculum designer, an advisor in legislative and legal settings, or an analyst.

Here are a few of the job titles open to those who hold a doctorate in education policy and leadership:

  • School principalAs a school principal, you’ll guide policy development and oversee student affairs at one school. You’ll manage teachers and other administrators while also acting as a student advocate and the voice of the school in the community.
  • Education policy analystAs an education policy analyst, you’ll identify challenges, research mandated education policies, analyze their effectiveness, and lobby for more effective laws related to education. In other words, you’ll be responsible for seeing problems and finding workable solutions. In this role, you will work with not only teachers and administrators, but also lobbyists, lawyers, politicians, and special interest groups.
  • Director of education policyAs a director of education policy, you’ll work for a university, state agency, or school board to develop policies and legislative agendas that make it easier to meet the needs of students in public and private educational settings.
  • University deanAs a university dean, you’ll manage a specific department at a school or work on behalf of a specific student population. You’ll serve as a liaison among faculty, administration, and students. You may also be responsible for developing new curricula, overseeing fundraising initiatives, creating or signing off on budgets, and even processing student complaints.

PhD in Education Policy and Management holders also work outside the education system, in national nonprofits concerned with education, policy think tanks, and government agencies.


Juldyz Smagulova, PhD

Associate Professor, Dean


Ph.D. in Sociolinguistics

Dr. Juldyz Smagulova received her Ph.D. in Sociolinguistics from King’s College London (2012, UK), her Candidate of Philological Sciences from al-Farabi Kazakh National University (2004, Kazakhstan), and her MA in Linguistics from the University of Minnesota (1999, USA).

Her research interests and expertise include language bilingualism, language socialization, interactional sociolinguistics, language education and teacher training, language policy and planning. She co-edited the Language Change in Central Asia (Mouton de Gruyter, 2016); and co-authored the bilingual Kazakh-Russian Dictionary of Sociolinguistics (Arman PV, Kazakhstan, 2008) and the Kazakh language textbook for Russian-medium schools (Grade 5, Atamura, 2015). She has articles published in Journal of Sociolinguistics, International Journal of Bilingualism, and International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.

Dr. Smagulova teaches graduate courses Introduction to Second Language Acquisition, Second Language Acquisition Research, Introduction to Sociolinguistics, and Introduction to Bilingualism as well undergraduate Academic English courses. She provides consulting in the areas of language planning and policy and conducts trainings for language teachers.


  • Smagulova, J. (2017). Ideologies of language revival: Kazakh as school talk. International Journal of Bilingualism. Special issue “Ideology, agency, and imagination in multilingual families” edited by K. King and E. Lanza. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/13670069166849202015
  • Smagulova, J. (2019). (adapted with Bekzhanova G., Tutbayeva Zh., Tutbayeva N. and Akisheva R.) English Sciences: Student’s Book. Grade 10. Cambridge University Press.
  • Ahn, E. & Smagulova, J. (Eds.) (2016). Language change in Central Asia. Berlin, Germany: Mouton de Gruyter. [In the Contributions to the Sociology of Language series edited by Joshua Fishman].
  • Ahn, E. & Smagulova, J. (Eds.) (2016). Examining education change in urban Kazakhstan: A short spatial story. In Silova, I. & Niyazov, S. (Eds.), Globalization on the margins: Education and post-socialist transformations in Central Asia (2nd ed.). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.
  • Ahn, E., Bahry, S., Niyozov, S. , Shamatov, D. & Smagulova, J. (2016). Bilingual education in Central Asia. In O. García et al. (Eds.), Bilingual and multilingual education, encyclopedia of language and education, (3rd ed.) New York, NY: Springer International Publishing.
  • Smagulova, J. & Yernazarova, Z. (2016). Teaching Kazakh literature in Kazakh to Russian speakers: Symbolic value or effective pedagogy? In Bakić-Mirić, N. & Gaipov, D. (Eds.), Going Forward: Recent developments in higher education (pp. 127-136). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


Dr. Timothy Barnett, Ph.D

Provost and General Deputy to the President


Provost and General Deputy to the President

Assists the President of the University and represents the President as commissioned. Acts on behalf of the President as instructed by the President. Oversees all University matters: academic and economic operations, as well as innovative and strategic operations of the University.


Heather Ann McCollum, Ed.D.

Dean of General Education


Dean of General Education

Directing the academic design, delivery of general education courses and developing long-term strategic planning and developmental initiatives within KIMEP University’s baccalaureate curriculum. The Dean maintains the sequence of general education courses attended by all undergraduate students.

Dennis Soltys (7)

Dennis Soltys, Ph. D. in Political Science

Adjunct Professor, Department of Public Administration/College of Social Sciences


Professor Dennis Soltys obtained his PhD from the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto.

He has served on many KIMEP committees, especially concerning accreditations and quality assurance, and is currently the chair of the Department of Public Administration and International Development.

In his 15 years at KIMEP Dr. Soltys has taught a wide variety of courses, including graduate courses in research methods and thesis-writing, public policy of Kazakhstan, comparative education policy, and organization theory. He has publications in top international journals such as Journal of Central Asia, Comparative Education, International Journal (Canada) and Foreign Policy (USA), complemented by numerous conference papers published in Kazakhstan.

His main research interests include the cultural foundations and systemic design of public education in developed and transitional countries, development of civil society in transitional countries, and the public policy of Kazakhstan.

Email: dsoltys@kimep.kz
Tel. (727) 270-4303

Research and Publications:

Soltys, D. (2017). Social transformation with conflict avoidance in Ukraine between the maidans of 2004  and 2014. Post-Soviet Affairs, USA, (submitted, September, 2017).

Soltys, D. (2017). The central role of humanities and social sciences education in powering economic innovation.  Vcheni zapysky (Scientific Notes), Kyiv, (forthcoming, July 2017).


Vivienne Ruth Westbrook, PhD



Dr. Vivienne Westbrook received her Ph.D. in Reformation Biblical and Cultural Translation from the University of Manchester (1998), her M.Phil. in Renaissance Paratext (1995) and her M.Ed. in Educational Psychology (2000). She received her M.A. in Screenwriting from the University of London and The London Film School (2008). She holds a range of degree-level qualifications, including Business Studies (1984), Literary Studies (1992), English Literature and Language (1994), Psychology (2000) and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (2018).

Her current research interests and expertise include Renaissance culture and its subsequent transformations and adaptations, philosophies of humour, maritime environmental humanities and screenwriting. She is the General Editor of the two Routledge series: Humour in Literature and Culture, and Oceans, Seas and Shorelines: a natural and cultural environmental history. She has three books and two more series currently in process. She is an experienced international conference presenter and book and journal editor who has also published five books, sixteen articles and twelve book chapters. Her eighteen scripts for teaching Business English have been televised in China and Taiwan repeatedly. Her most recent work is Westbrook, Vivienne and Shun-liang Chao (Eds.), Humour in the Arts: New Perspectives(London and New York: Routledge, 1 August, 2018; 2019) and Westbrook, Vivienne, Shaun Collin, Dean Crawford and Mark Nicholls, Sharks in the Arts: from Feared to Revered(London and New York: Routledge, 17 May, 2018).

Dr. Westbrook has devised and taught numerous graduate courses, and supervised theses, in the areas of Renaissance Literature and Culture, Film Adaptation, Humour and Screenwriting. She is currently teaching undergraduate courses in Academic Writing, Creative Writing and Shakespeare for Business.

Askat Tleuov

Askat Tleuov

Assistant Professor


PhD in Education

Dr Askat Tleuov received his PhD in Education from the University of Bath, UK in 2017. He has significant experience in English language teaching, working as an EFL teacher, lecturer, teacher educator and researcher in Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom.

Askat specializes in teacher cognition, teacher education, and teacher professional development. He has a particular interest in teacher knowledge, beliefs and perceptions; how these are enacted in practice; and the personal, educational and professional experiences which influence their development. Another strand of his research focuses on policy studies and politics of education. His recent research project involves the investigation of state and institution-wide research internationalization policies in Kazakhstan.

Dr Tleuov has been involved in teaching both undergraduate and graduate level courses that range from Academic English course to Introduction to Second Language Acquisition, Research Methods, and Learning Evaluation & Assessment in Language Education. He has supervised a number of Master level dissertations as well.

Konstantinos Kristofer Dimitriou (6)

Konstantinos Kristofer Dimitriou

Assistant Professor


Assistant Professor

PhD in Education (University of Bath, UK), MSc Educational Research (University of Manchester), M.A. Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (University of Birmingham), Post-graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher & Professional Education (Institute of Education, London)

Dr. Dimitriou has over twenty years of teaching experience in Academic Literacy and Applied Linguistics. His previous experience ranges from Queen Mary University of London to the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. His doctoral research investigation was on tertiary academic literacy processes. His present research is into gamification and intercultural communication. Konstantinos has previously studied and presented on the topics of bilingual language development, bilingual parenting, academic culture, feedback processes, tertiary student writing voice & critical writing, corpora in teaching, and academic plagiarism.

The range of graduate and undergraduate level courses which Dr. Dimitriou has taught include Research Methods, Thesis writing, Introduction to Second Language Acquisition Research and Writing for Law.

Maganat Shegebayev (1)

Maganat Shegebayev, MA TESOL

Assistant Professor


KIMEP University, Kazakhstan, Almaty (2012)

Dr. Shegebayev is an assistant professor of KIMEP Language Center.  One of the Kazakhstan’s first-wave Bolashak International Scholarship awardees, he received a Master of Arts degree in TESOL from Fairfield University, USA; he then received a Doctor of Business Administration degree from KIMEP University.  Dr. Shegebayev has had twenty years of teaching and administrative experience and has been distinguished with the awards for academic and service achievements.  Three times in his pedagogical practice he has been awarded with the Certificate of Teaching Excellence.

In his activities, Dr. Shegebayev has served as a task force member to develop national program Intellectual Nation-2020 for the government of Kazakhstan.  He has authored and co-authored a number of international publications; he has been involved in various educational and research projects across Kazakhstan and abroad, which include collaboration with Indiana University (Bloomington, IN), Institute Aminuddin Baki (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), George Washington University (Washington, D.C.), and Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (Oslo, Norway).  His research interests include topics related to linguistics, language policy and planning, critical thinking, business communication and educational management.

The range of graduate and undergraduate level courses which Dr. Shegebayev has taught includes Academic English, Critical Thinking, Educational Technology, Business Correspondence and Communication, General & Business English, and Foundation English.  He has also taught Business English certificate courses of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI English for Business, levels 1, 2 and 3) to corporate clients from Central Asian countries.  As a part of the international teaching mobility, Dr. Shegebayev has been invited as a visiting professor to universities in Turkey and Hungary.


Selected research publications:

Shegebayev, M. (December, 2015).  Corpus Building in Kazakhstan: An Examination of the Terminology Development in the Oil and Gas Sector.  A chapter for Language Change in Central Asia, Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter Mouton. (E. Ahn & J. Smagulova (Eds.)), http://www.degruyter.com/view/books/9781614514534/9781614514534-010/9781614514534-010.xml

Ahn, E., Shegebayev, M. (in progress). In the Absence of Research Governance: Constructing a Contextually-Informed Research Ethic.  A chapter for Reimagining utopias: Theory and method for educational research in post-socialist contexts volume (I. Silova, N. Sobe, A. Korzh, & S. Kovalchuk (Eds.)).

Shegebayev, M., Seitova, A. (in progress).  A chapter on Kazakhstan in Perceptions of Educational Leadership and Culture: a Comparative Study book project coordinated by the National Institute of Educational Management and Leadership, Malaysia.

Shegebayev, M. (in progress).  Linguistic diversity and business communication in today’s Kazakhstan.  A  chapter for Sociolinguistic transition in former Soviet and Eastern Bloc countries: Recent developments in two decades after the regime change (P. Laihonen, M. Sloboda & A. Zabrodskaja (Eds.)) for Peter Lang’s series Prague Papers on Language, Society and Interaction / Prager Arbeiten zur Sprache, Gesellschaft und Interaktion, edited by Jiří Nekvapil, Tamah Sherman and Petr Kaderka.

Burkhalter, N. & Shegebayev, M. (2012) Critical Thinking as Culture: Teaching Post-Soviet Teachers in Kazakhstan.  The International Review of Education (Vol. 58, 1), http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11159-012-9285-5

Burkhalter, N. & Shegebayev, M. (2010).  The Critical Thinking Movement in Kazakhstan: A Progress Report.  Research in Comparative and International Education (RCIE), December issue, http://rci.sagepub.com/content/5/4/434.full.pdf+html

Smagulova, A., Shegebayev, M., Garkavenko, V. & Boolaky, M., (2009). Ethical Practices & Social Responsibility of Kazakhstani Tourism Business: A Pilot Study in the Tour Operator Sector. Central Asia Business Journal, November issue, Vol. 2, http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=


Contact Information:

Phone: (7-727) 270-43-67, ext. 2137

Office: #225/Dostyk

E-mail: magas@kimep.kz

Skype: maganatkz

DBA KIMEP University, Kazakhstan, Almaty (2012)

Assel Koldassova (7)

Assel Koldassova

Senior Lecturer


KIMEP University, Kazakhstan, Almaty (2015)