top of page




The Education Committee has the objective of facilitating communication and networking for members and interested parties in the post-secondary school education system in Kazakhstan and the UK. As the Education Committee develops, its networks may be used to partner UK university expertise with that in Kazakhstan.


The Committee is composed of individuals representing: UK and Kazakh science, research and education; UK and Kazakh government and policy areas; UK and Kazakh business.

Links will be maintained with: the Kazakhstan PhD Association in the United Kingdom, British Council Kazakhstan, First President’s Foundation, Bolashak, Nazarbayev University, the Academy of Public Administration plus other important and interested parties.


The Committee plans to have a number of events during each year including guest speakers. The focus will be on what Society members want. Various specialist strands will be considered from policy through capacity building to subject-specific activities. If there is a demand these may lead to the development of special interest groups and academic networks.


David Hardy photo.JPG

David Hardy – Chairman - has worked for over 40 years in education as a lecturer, senior manager, senior civil servant, chief executive of a higher education institution and President of the rectors of Europe’s open universities. In these posts and, since 2002, as a successful international consultant, he has been responsible for major reforms to post-school education aimed at meeting the needs of employers in a modern economy. Work in Kazakhstan between 2003 and 2010 included in 2003-4 research and drafting of the Education Sector Development Strategy approved by the President. The work was included in the National Programme of Education Development 2005-2010 with recommendations for reforms within the Ministry of Education and guidance on related funding requirements. Advisor on education reform to the governments of Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russian Federation, Turkey and Romania, 2002–2015.

Maia Photo.jpg

Dr Maia Chankseliani (EdM Harvard, PhD Cambridge) - is an Associate Professor of Comparative and International Education at the University of Oxford. She leads a flagship master’s course at the Department of Education - MSc in Comparative and International Education. Maia Chankseliani’s research on tertiary education – higher education, university-based research, technical and vocational education /apprenticeships – focuses on the societal, institutional, and policy processes that shape tertiary education and the potential of tertiary education and research for transforming societies. Maia Chankseliani has worked on a number of externally funded research projects and consultancies involving the UK Government agencies responsible for education and skills, UKRI/ESRC, World Bank, British Council, Qatar Foundation, USAID, UNICEF, the European Commission. Maia Chankseliani is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Educational Research. She serves on the editorial board of Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education.


Dr Chokan Laumulin - Vice Chairman of the UNECE Committee on Sustainable Energy. He is also an Associate Professor, at the New School of Economics, Satbayev University, Almaty, Kazakhstan and Research Affiliate (Darwin College), Cambridge Central Asia Forum, Jesus College, University of Cambridge. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge (2019), an MSc degree from the London School of Economics (2001) in European Political Economy, and a BSc degree (distinction) in Journalism from the Kazakh National University (1996). Originally from Almaty, Kazakhstan, he has more than 25 years of global professional experience in academia, education, media and some entrepreneurial activities. In 2009 Global Oriental published his book Kazakhs: Children of the Steppes co-written with Murat Laumulins.

Miljana Photo.jpg

Dr Miljana Radivojević – Lecturer in Archaeomaterials at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, Trustee of the Institute of Archaeo-Metallurgical Studies and Honorary Fellow of the Cambridge Central Asian Forum and GCRF COMPASS Project, Centre for Development Studies, University of Cambridge. Leading archaeometallurgical research from the Balkans via Caucasus and Urals and into Inner Asian Frontiers with Kazakhstan, China and Uzbekistan, with the support of the mining and metallurgical industry. Work in Kazakhstan includes reconstructing the beginnings of the Silk Roads through production and trade with metals from 5000 years ago, together with the training of the local colleagues and students.

Fergus Robertson.jpg

Fergus Robertson - has over 35 years of international experience in oil & gas senior management.  In 1998 he formed Strategic Partners International introducing global oil & gas contractors to Kazakh partners, government and major operators creating successful joint ventures. During nearly 20 years in the Caspian region, mainly Kazakhstan, he won substantial contracts for the UK oil & gas sector.  He was the First Honorary Consul for the Republic of Kazakhstan in Scotland, was a Member Advisory Board of the Kazakh & British Technical University and founding director of The British Kazakh Society.


Dr Siddharth (Montu) Saxena - Principal Research Associate at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge and Director of the Cambridge Central Asia Forum. Director of the Cambridge Kazakhstan Centre. Since 2002 he has been working in Almaty and Nur-Sultan and was awarded the Medal for Service to Education in Kazakhstan by the Kazakh Minister of Education in 2009 and was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate and Professorship. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honour in Kazakhstan in 2011 and in 2012 was made Honorary Professor of the Astana Economic Forum.


Assel Zhanassova - CEO of JSC Kazpost. Previously she was Vice-Minister of Trade and Integration of the Republic of Kazakhstan. She won a 2006 Bolashak Presidential scholarship graduating with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from Cambridge University. She also graduated from Lomonosov. Moscow State University’s Executive Management programme. Her career began in 2010 at the Eurasian Natural Resources Group in London. From 2013 as head of cybersecurity she was responsible for group-wide IT-risk management and cybersecurity policy implementation. In 2014 she returned to Kazakhstan becoming Head of IT at the National Bank of Kazakhstan. In 2016 Assel became CEO of the country’s largest IT company – Zerde – working across the government sector and implementing the first IT public-private partnerships. In 2017 she was appointed Chief Digital Officer at the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) – covering Central Asia, the Caucasus, EAEU, the Middle East, West China, Mongolia and Europe. In 2020 Assel was appointed as a Vice-Minister responsible for the internal digitalization strategy and the development of the e-commerce sector in Kazakhstan. She is a member of the Education Group in a personal capacity.

bottom of page