I can’t draw a speech bubble from the photo, but this is me, Emma Sabzalieva. Hello!
Since 2011, I’ve been blogging about education, society and politics in Central Asia. I’m particularly interested in higher education and social change, which stems from working in Central Asia for an educational charity in the early 2000s, plus subsequent freelance and voluntary work as well as a host of other ongoing connections and commitments to the region.
My blog has been named one of The Guardian’s “best social media accounts for academics” (2016) and my blog posts have attracted attention from a wider audience, including El País, Huffington Post and Yahoo Canada.
I’ve also written about Central Asia in academic journals and online magazines. My work covers subjects such as:
- Creating a world-class university in Kazakhstan for the European Journal of Higher Education (forthcoming, June 2017)
- Building international legitimacy in universities in Estonia and Kazakhstan (with Merli Tamtik) for a book on post-socialist educational transformations (forthcoming, 2017)
- Gender gaps in higher education across Central Asia for University World News (2016);
- The dominance of social sciences in English-medium instruction universities in Central Asia for Higher Education in Russia and Beyond (2015);
- Challenges in contemporary Kyrgyz higher education for Perspectives: policy and practice in higher education (2015);
- British universities in Central Asia for Eurasian Dialogue (2014).
In addition to this regional specialization, my research interests broadly cover the politics and history of higher education.
I am currently pursuing a PhD on how and why change happens in higher education, with a focus on post-Soviet higher education systems, at the Centre for the Study of Canadian and International Higher Education, based at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto in Canada.
I am the proud recipient of a prestigious Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad Studentship for 2015-2017.
Prior to starting doctoral research, I worked in higher education administration and management for 13 years in progressively senior roles in universities in Central Asia and the UK. I am co-author of Managing your career in higher education administration (with Michelle Gander and Heather Moyes, 2014), part of Palgrave Macmillan’s Universities into the 21st century series.
I’m keen to build up links with others working in and on Central Asian higher education with a view to future collaborations and knowledge exchange, so please get in touch.
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