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Head of Discipline in Leadership at the Center for Preparatory Studies

Nazarbayev University
Astana, Kazakhstan
Closing date
Dec 6, 2023

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Job Details

Nazarbayev University’s Center for Preparatory Studies (CPS) is currently seeking a Head of Discipline (HOD) for a Leadership/academic skills course in Nazarbayev University’s (NU) academic foundation program (NUFYP). NUFYP prepares students in academic English, mathematics, and leadership principles to prepare them for study in NU undergraduate programs. NUFYP achieved BALEAP accreditation in 2020.

NUFYP admits between 550 and 600 students annually; the minimum English language entry-level is an overall IELTS of 6.0.  Students compete for state scholarships and financial aid via the NU Entrance Test created in cooperation with Cambridge Partnership for Education (CPE).

Job Description

The HOD manages the day-to-day operations supervising six Teaching Fellows and is responsible for the delivery, evaluation, and assessment of the curriculum—primary duty is leading teachers to ensure the learning outcomes of the courses and the program are achieved.  The HOD is a member of CPS’s management team and is involved in the decision-making process of CPS and may be asked to participate in university committees.

Primary Duties Include

  • Leading an experienced group of teaching fellows;
  • Performing the annual course monitoring review;
  • Organizing and conducting teacher observations;
  • Conducting the faculty’s annual appraisal process;
  • Overseeing the alignment and refinement of the curriculum;
  • Supervising and improving teaching materials and methods;
  • Evaluating and acting on comments from students, teachers, and administrators;
  • Timetabling teachers’ duties and students’ classes;
  • Conducting team meetings;
  • Advising the Director regarding students’ and course needs.


The successful candidate will have the qualifications, experience, knowledge, talents and skills required to effectively lead a diverse faculty within a large foundation program in Kazakhstan—academic leadership, curriculum design, successful teambuilding, effective planning, and attention to details are essential.  Note this is not a research position: the position is leading the team and part-time teaching.

Essential Qualifications Include

  • Completed Master’s degree in an appropriate discipline (e.g., Education, EAP, TESOL, Leadership—however, note the course goal is building student academic skills through content, not leadership knowledge per se);
  • Excellent communicator in both oral and written English;
  • Exemplary personal character traits—integrity and courage, a strong work ethic, astute problem-solving abilities, sound judgment;
  • Evidence of solid administrative and organizational abilities with keen attention to details;
  • Ability to lead in a multicultural, educational environment—possessing excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to handle ambiguity while guiding an academic unit;
  • An effective team builder with the ability to mentor others and lead by example.

Desirable Qualifications and Experience:

  • Extensive experience teaching/leading in an international foundation program;
  • Curriculum development and assessment experience;
  • Experience in interdisciplinary education;
  • Awareness of students’ academic and affective needs;
  • Experience developing online classes, good technology skills.

Additional information

Nazarbayev University offers:

  • An internationally competitive salary;
  • 56 days of paid leave per year;
  • Rent-free housing based on family size;
  • Relocation allowance;
  • International air tickets twice a year, including dependents;
  • No-cost medical insurance with global coverage;
  • Educational allowance for dependent children.

To Apply click the link and upload (in PDF if possible):

1. Curriculum Vitae: max 4 pages (normal font and spacing) and include (in the 4 pages) your Contact Information for at least two referees and the contact information of your current/most recent supervisor.  Note: referees/employer will not be contacted unless you are shortlisted and give permission.  

2. Cover Letter (max 1 page).

3. CPS Application Information: In a third document: (1) briefly state your primary reason(s) for applying for the position (<200 words), (2) outline the qualities, talents, and/or characteristics you would bring to CPS (brief paragraph or bullet points), and (3) write a sentence of 50 words or less that describes your leadership philosophy.


Do not upload any other materials to your application at this time.  Prior to shortlisting, candidates may be asked to complete an application questionnaire.  Candidates offered a contract must provide a background check, certification of degrees, and other such documents.


Review of applications will begin immediately; applications received before February 2024 will be given priority; final interviews are planned for late March; the position starts July/August 2024.


Questions regarding the position can be addressed to the CPS General Director through Smart Recruiter. Additional information can be found at the official website of Nazarbayev University


Nazarbayev University is an EOE.



Nazarbayev University (NU) is a Western-style, English-language institution established in 2010 and developed with the support of leading universities around the world. Nazarbayev University aspires to become a world-class, research-based university and provide the highest quality education in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. The Center for Preparatory Studies is integrated into the University to provide opportunities to all qualified candidates seeking to enter NU undergraduate and master’s degree programs.

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