Student-Led Journal Releases First Issue, Fosters Research in Education

ASTANA – The first issue of the student-led, peer-reviewed research journal NUGSE Research in Education (NUGSERIE) was released at Nazarbayev University this June.

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Instructor of the Graduate School of Education Philip Montgomery gathered students and alumni to create a publication focused on research in education. Articles submitted by the NUGSE students are peer-reviewed by an editorial board consisting of alumni and faculty of the Graduate School of Education. The journal is designed for researchers, educational leaders, policymakers and students wishing to share their analysis. The journal is released twice a year, every six months in the English language and it is available free to everyone.

“Our team is proud of publishing original and high quality articles that serve to advance research in education. This journal will open new avenues for novice researchers to unveil their ideas, share experience and their research results. It is a great achievement of the NUGSE staff and students,” NUGSE alumnus Aisara Yessenova said in an interview for this story.

The first issue of the journal comprises three articles. Lyudmila Kovaleva, graduate student in higher education, presented an article where the author focuses on the quality of education, elaborating on current challenges of quality assurance and the need for changing attitudes of higher educational institutions towards the procedure of external accreditation.  Ph.D. student Zhanna Zhumabayeva addresses academic mobility and the labour market, highlighting existent trends in students’ attitude towards their participation in international programmes, scholarship and situation in the employment market. Finally, the third article, written by Rizagul Syzdykbayeva, is devoted to the role of language policies in developing plurilingual identities in Kazakhstan.

NUGSE alumnus Aisulu Sanat, 24, is a member of the journal’s editorial board. She graduated from the NU in 2014 and now works for Bolashak Engineering in Atyrau.

“We consider not only empirical research but analytical materials in education, also focusing on certain issues. Our journal aims to share experience and promote understanding of the unique educational context in Kazakhstan,” said Sanat.

The idea first appeared in June 2015. Group of ambitious students led by Professor Montgomery started thinking of ways to assist and promote novice researchers to unveil results of their studies and analysis to the world.

Editors are aspiring to develop the understanding of academic integrity offering NU students and alumni the experience and knowledge of the publication process, peer-revision boards and critical analysis of quality scholarly work.

Yessenova pointed to an intention to publish research articles written not only by NU students, but also by students studying at other Kazakhstan’s universities.

She is confident their strong team commitment, studiousness, openness and expertise will lead NUGSERIE to greater success.

In addition to this new research journal, NU has a long-established magazine, first released in 2011. Published quarterly, NU magazine captures the spirit of the university’s everyday life filled with scientific workshops, sports competitions and conferences with eminent personalities.

Being an independent source for NU news, this magazine is for NU alumni and academic staff, students and their parents as well as for the university administrative unit and foreign partners.

“In fact, each issue of our magazine is a kind of joint work of the NU representatives who have something to share with others. It’s a mere crowdsourcing product. For example, the participation of our students at various Olympiads is a valuable article for our publication.  We interview them, take photos. Further, we also report on important agreements concluded between the university administration and new partners. The task of our division – Department of Communication and Marketing – is to collect and process primary information and thereafter release the final product that shall be interesting for anyone who wants to know about the life of the university,” said Daniel Dushmanov, staff member of the NU Communication and Marketing Department.

Articles are published in electronic version in Kazakh, Russian and English languages. Thus, every employee and student could become familiar with the presented materials on any of the three languages. Each new issue of the magazine is promoted on social media.

NU magazine staff admitted to having interesting ideas about new design and concept of the magazine, the introduction of new headings, feedback, etc. The university expands its activity and staff and welcomes more students every year.

“We are happy to collect, consider and try to implement all the suggestions and comments received from our readers. For example, in some editions one can find recommendations for reading books, practical advice on personal development, sports achievements of students and so on,” Dushmanov added.

At the moment, the NU press office team is collecting information for the new release. From the beginning of the new academic year, university witnesses important events and activities on a daily basis that will be engaging for magazine readers.

“Unlike traditional print and electronic publications, we try to equally describe significant events that occurred over longer periods of time and present a complete picture of the activities of the NU. We want our readers to be aware of the diverse and interesting life of the university, achievements of our staff, academicians and students, completed and new plans, programmes and promising areas of work of the university,” said Dushmanov.

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