Are academics in Kazakhstan capable of self-regulation? A study of faculty's normative structure in the midst of higher education decentralization reforms
This paper investigates the state and structure of professional norms in the context of undergraduate teaching in a university in Kazakhstan. The purpose is to understand the belief system held by academics with regards to their professional duties in the context of teaching. Evidence of such normative structure would suggest that the Kazakhstani academic profession holds potential for effective and ethical self-regulation; its absence would raise a red flag for university administrators and policy-makers. In order to place our findings in the meaningful context, we compare the normative structure in Kazakhstan to that of the US academic profession previously studied by Braxton and Bayer. We find that academics in Kazakhstan adhere to a normative structure which is quite similar to, although somewhat more relaxed than, that of US professors. We discuss the implications of these findings and empirical evidence for academic corruption in the context of decentralization reforms, authority devolution and formation of accountability mechanisms.