Our Graduates

2016 Graduates

Alibek Akhmetov came to NU with a BA in English and French (2011) from the Eurasian National University in Astana. He was also a participant in the one-year professional development program at Nazarbayev University, and worked as a teacher of project writing at a Nazarbayev Intellectual School before he enrolled on the MA programme. He currently teaches Global Perspectives and Project Work at the Nazarbayev Intellectual School, Astana.

Research Interests: Social capital and social networks, social identity, social mobility, and elite formation.

Thesis Title: ‘The development of social capital among Bolashak graduates and the Alumni of other international programs in Astana

Laura Berdikhojaeva came to NU with a BA in English and Chinese languages (2009) from the Kazakh State Women’s Pedagogical University, Almaty, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the School of English language and literatures (2014) from the Central University of Rajasthan, India. She is currently working as a researcher on a project on environmental change in West Kazakhstan directed by the University of Ghent.

Research interests: Postcolonial studies and postcolonial literatures, Kazakh- Soviet Literature , Contemporary Kazakh Literature, Creative Writing.

Thesis Title: ‘Postcolonial readings of Oralkhan Bȯkei’s works‘.

Inzhuna Karazhanova came to NU with an MA in Politics (2011) from the University of Edinburgh, where she studied on a Bolashak Scholarship. After graduation she worked for the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan as a Senior Expert in the International cooperation department. She is currently a Senior Expert at the Department for International Cooperation at the International Centre of Cultures and Religions in Astana.

Research Interests: Folklore and mythology, feminist critique and gender studies, popular culture criticism, queer studies and issues of social justice.

Thesis Title: ‘Monstrous femininity in kazakh folklore: delineating normative and transgressive womanhood

Yuan Gao came to NU with a BA in Russian language and literature (2012) from Fudan University, Shanghai, China and a Master’s diploma (with distinction) in Political Journalism (2014) from Moscow Pedagogical State University. She twice received a Chinese Government Scholarship for her study in Moscow. Before she came to Astana, she worked as an editor and journalist for several Chinese information centers, websites and think tanks. She is currently an affiliated student at the European University in St Petersburg, and in the Summer of 2017 will be taking up a fully-funded place on the Ph.D. programme in History at Georgetown University.

Research interests: Travelogues about Central Asia.  The history of non-Russian subjects within the Russian Empire.

Thesis Title: ‘Captivity and empire: Russian captivity narratives in fact and fiction

Nursultan Nurmukhanov came to NU with a BA in English and Turkish (2014) from Suleyman Demirel University, Almaty. He is currently working as a research project manager at the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation in Almaty.

Research interests: Environmental Studies, Anthropocene, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Environmental history, Social Psychology

Thesis Title: ‘Burabay National Park. Experiments in Tourism, Nation-Building Project, and Informal Economy

Xeniya Prilutskaya came to NU with a BA in German and English (1999) from Karaganda State University. After graduation she worked at Karaganda State University and at the Lingua Insitute for Language and Translation  as teacher of German and lecturer of the Theoretical Phonetics of German language. Having worked as a researcher on projects run from the CNRS (Paris) and the University of Tübingen (Germany), she began a Ph.D. in Anthropology at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen in September 2017 with a full scholarship.

Research interests: Social and Cultural Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Environmental History, Central Asian Studies and Post-Soviet Capitalism.

Thesis Topic: ‘Juggling risk: Lay Perceptions of Environmental and Health Risk in post-Soviet mono-industrial Temirtau

2017 Graduates

Gulnar Akanova came to NU with a BA in Education (2013) from the Eurasian National University. In 2012 she was an exchange student at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Republic of Korea). She has work experience in Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan as a coordinator of Budget program 003.

Research interests: political sociology and social anthropology, particularly ethnicity, interethnic relations, gender relations, and state policy.

Thesis Topic:Language Ideologies of Kazakhstani Youth: The Value of Kazakh in the Context of a Changing Linguistic Marketplace

Meiirzhan Baitas graduated  from Nazarbayev University with a BA in Economics and Sociology in 2015.

Research Interests: formation of social classes, social mobility, class markers, and informal work practices.

Thesis Topic: ‘Traders of the Central Bazaar in Astana: A Perspective on Motives and Social Networks

Saltanat Boteu came to NU with a bachelor’s degree in Finance (2013) from the Financial Academy, Astana.

Research interests: volunteering, civil society and non-governmental/non-profit organizations – how these interact with each other, their relations to historical events, the role of NGOs in solving social problems, and how the cultural peculiarities of Kazakhstan may affect social activity/volunteering.

Thesis Topic:Perceptions of Volunteering Experiences of Young Volunteers in Kazakhstan

Dmitriy Melnikov came to NU with an MA in Philosophy (2013) from the Eurasian National University, Astana. Since 2015 he has been a Senior Research Fellow in the project “Current Memory Practices: the Conceptualization of the Past and the Construction of Identity in Contemporary Culture of Kazakhstan”. He is also a member of the Institute for the Academic Study of Eastern Christianity (INaSEC).

Research interests: interdisciplinary study of time, trauma and memory studies.

Thesis Topic: ‘Towards Russophone Super-Literature: Making Subjectivities, Spaces and Temporalities in Post-Soviet Kazakhstani Russophone Writing’

Darina Sadvakassova came to NU with a BA in Regional Studies from the Eurasian National University, Astana (2015), where her area of specialization was Western Europe and the USA.

Research Interests: Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Cultural Stereotypes, Nation Branding

Thesis Topic: ‘Branding Kazakhstan: Relationships between State and non-State Actors

Aliya Tazhibayeva came to NU with an MA in Philology (2012), from Kostanay State University, after which she worked on international projects at the Head Department of the Nazarbayev Intellectual schools.

Research Interests: Education Management and International Cooperation. Internationalisation of Higher Education in Kazakhstan; Kazakhstan state initiatives in response to globalisation; Kazakhstan’s place in the international arena.

Thesis Topic: ‘Internationalization of Higher Education in Kazakhstan: State Policies and Institutional Practices’.