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Congratulations to the 2014 CGSED Cohort on Graduation!

The 2014 cohort of CGSED officially graduated on the graduation ceremony held 4 December 2015.

Leigh Dalgarno was addressing the whole congregation as a representative of all MEd students – and included on behalf of the CGSED group a reference to the Famous Cube!


Master of Education: Comparative and Global Studies in Education and Development

The University of Hong Kong is recruiting a new cohort of Master students. Apply (closing date 16 May 2016) and earn a Master of Education in Comparative and Global Studies in Education and Development from the Faculty of Education.

Comparison is a fundamental tool for all forms of enquiry. When applied to education in an international setting, it assists in identification of factors which shape education systems, processes and outcomes, and instruments for improvement. The comparisons in this specialism will be framed by theories and understandings of the forces of globalisation. These forces bring benefits for many people, but can also have negative dimensions.

This specialism will examine forces of continuity and change and the implications for educators. It will also focus on the nature of development in an international context and on the role of education in the processes of development. This will include analysis of all levels of formal education (early childhood to higher education), and various types of nonformal education. It will include particular reference to UNESCO’s Education for All (EFA) objectives in the context of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The specialist modules are:

  • Themes and approaches in the field of comparative education
  • Addressing the global-local nexus in education
  • Education for sustainable development
  • Critical issues in educational reform

In addition to four specialist modules, students will complete:

  • a research methods course “Methods of Research and Enquiry” (2 modules equivalent);
  • either an option of one elective module and a DISSERTATION (3 modules equivalent),
    or an option of three elective modules and a PROJECT by Independent Study (1 module equivalent).

For further information about this specialism, please contact Professor Mark Bray on (852) 2219 4194, by email:



Education and the State: Whatever Happened to National Education as a Public Good?


By Andy Green

Chair: Mark Bray

In an era which is rapidly losing the idea of education as a ‘public good,’ it is useful to remember the origins of our modern education systems, and the role of the state in their creation. Today we see a rapid marketising of education around the world, with increasing privatisation of educational services, the introduction of private sector management practices in public schools, and a growing perception of education as a private consumer good. The collective purposes of education, which animated the formation of national education systems, are being attenuated as providers view parents and students as customers, and the latter see education as a ‘positional’ good for which they must compete and, in many instances, pay.

However, just as we need to remember the key role of the state in the formation of education systems, we need to challenge some myths around educational globalization and markets. There is little evidence that neo-liberal models of education raise standards. Furthermore, the adoption of markets in education has been very uneven, and not all countries are converging around a single market model of education.

Andy Green is Professor of Comparative Social Science at the UCL Institute of Education, and Director of the ERSC Research Centre on Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies (LLAKES). His main field of research is the com-parative (historical and sociological) study of education and training systems. He has frequently worked as consultant to international bodies such as the European Commission, OECD and UNESCO, and to UK Government bodies. His works have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. A new and extended edition of his prize-winning 1990 book was published in 2014 as Education and State Formation: Europe, East Asia and the USA. Other books in-clude Regimes of Social Cohesion: Societies and the Crisis of Globalisation, Palgrave 2011.

Date: Wednesday 18 November

Time: 12.45 – 14.00

Venue: Room 203 Runme Shaw Building

All are welcome!



Researching Private Supplementary Tutoring: Methodological Lessons from Diverse Cultures


By Mark Bray, Ora Kwo (Editors)


Kevin Yung, Nutsa Kobakhidze

Zhang Wei (Authors)

Are you ready to believe in research findings just because they are published?

How can we cultivate a research culture for sustainable deep inquiry?

If you care about such questions, this book is for you!

Private supplementary tutoring, commonly known as shadow education, has greatly expanded worldwide. The topic is in some respects difficult to research. Contours are indistinct, and the actors may hesitate to share their experiences and perspectives. Presenting methodological lessons from diverse cultures, the book contains chapters from both high-income and low-income settings in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East.

Highlights for the book launch:

  •  the background stories leading to the critical reviews of all chapters
  •  insights into the design and conduct of research

Date: Friday 6 November 2015

Time: 14:30 – 15:45

Venue: Room 203 Runme Shaw Building

Participants are entitled to a 20% discount off the list price (HK$250)


New book in CERC-Springer Series

CERC has just published its No. 32 of CERC Studies in Comparative Education: Researching Private Supplementary TutoringCover
Methodological Lessons from Diverse Cultures. CERC members are entitled for 20% discount of the new book. Click here for the order information. The details of the book are as follows:

Private supplementary tutoring, widely known as shadow education because of the way that it mimics mainstream schooling, has greatly expanded worldwide. It consumes considerable family resources, provides employment for tutors, occupies the time of students, and has a backwash on regular schools.
Although such tutoring has become a major industry and a daily activity for students, tutors and families, the research literature has been slow to catch up with the phenomenon. The topic is in some respects difficult to research, precisely because it is shadowy. Contours are indistinct, and the actors may hesitate to share their experiences and perspectives.
Presenting methodological lessons from diverse cultures, the book contains chapters from both high-income and low-income settings in Asia, Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East. Sepa-rately and together, the chapters present valuable insights into the design and conduct of re-search. The book will assist both consumers and producers of research. Consumers will become better judges of the strengths, weaknesses and orientations of literature on the theme; and pro-ducers will gain insights for design of instruments, collection of data, and interpretation of findings.
The editors:

Mark Bray is UNESCO Chair Professor in Comparative Education at the University of Hong Kong.

Ora Kwo is an Associate Professor in the Comparative Education Research Centre at the University of Hong Kong.

Boris Jokić is a Scientific Associate in the Centre for Educational Re-search and Development at the Institute for Social Research in Zagreb, Croatia.

Chapters and authors:

Mark BRAY, Ora KWO & Boris JOKIĆ

Employing Quantitative Instruments
1 Shadow Education Research through TIMSS and PIRLS: Experiences and Lessons in the Republic of Georgia
– Magda Nutsa KOBAKHIDZE

2 Research on Private Tutoring in Malaysia: Methodological Insights from a Quantitative Study

3 Relationships between Shadow Education and Examination Scores: Methodological Lessons from a Chinese Study in
Senior Secondary Schools

Discerning Qualities
4 A Qualitative Comparison of Private Tutoring in Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia and
Georgia: Lessons from Design and Implementation
– Boris JOKIĆ

5 Ethical Dilemmas in Shadow Education Research: Lessons from a Qualitative Study of Learners’ Experiences in
Lecture-­‐‑type Tutoring in Hong Kong
– Kevin W.H. YUNG

6 Classroom Practices and Private Tuition in the Maldives: Methodological Reflections on an Ethnographic Study
– Maryam MARIYA

7 Researching Shadow Education in Iran: Methodological Experiences in an Islamic Republic

Expanding Perspectives with Mixed Approaches
8 Designing and Implementing Mixed Approaches to Shadow Education Research: Experiences and Lessons in
Hong Kong
– Mark BRAY & Ora KWO

9 Constraints and Possibilities in Small-­‐‑Scale Research: A Mixed-­‐‑Methods Study in West Bengal, India

10 A Mixed-­‐‑Methods Study of Extra Lessons in Jamaica: Methodological Experiences and Reflections

11 Researching Private Supplementary Tutoring in Cambodia: Contexts, Instruments and Approaches
– Mark BRAY, Wei ZHANG, Magda Nutsa KOBAKHIDZE & Junyan LIU

Learning and Comparing
12 How a Research Instrument Changed in Different Settings: Methodological Lessons from Adaptation and Adjustment
– Junyan LIU

13 Organisational and Cross-­‐‑Cultural Issues: Learning from Research Approaches
– Mark BRAY & Ora KWO

Do PhD students supported by public competitive grants conclude their doctorates faster? Evidence from Portugal

By Hugo Horta

Chair: Mark Bray

Time to completion of PhDs has been rising. This reflects an increased opportunity cost for those interested in doing a PhD. It has been a longtime concern for policymakers, students and universities in countries with developed scientific and higher education systems, but starts to be an issue in developing countries where doctoral education is emerging and expanding.

This seminar will focus on the extent to which public funded PhD grants, under a competitive framework, impact on time to completion of doctorates in a country where doctoral education only developed substantially since the mid-1990s. The analysis is guided by contract theory, from a signaling approach perspective, to show that credentials (signals) can have either a positive or negative effect on time to completion.

Hugo Horta is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Education of the University of Hong Kong, His research interest focuses on overlapping issues of science and higher education policy, namely academic mobility, careers and knowledge networks, internationalization of higher education, scientific productivity, and comparative studies. He is a Coordinating Editor of Higher Education, a leading journal in higher education research.

12.45 – 14.00
Tuesday 20 October
Runme Shaw 202


Data in Comparative Education

By David Turner 

Chair: Mark Bray

Over the course of a single generation – from 1960 until now – the place of data in Comparative Education has changed completely.

In the 1950s almost no data was available, and experts held meetings about how data might be collected about national education systems – what data should be collected, and how could steps be taken to ensure that it was comparable. Today international agencies such as UNESCO, OECD and the World Bank make huge amounts of data about different national systems available, and they are committed to making more available in the future.

This seminar looks at how we are using that data, and whether the availability of data has made us more or less sophisticated in our approach to data.

David A. Turner is Professor emeritus at the University of South Wales in the UK, and Visiting Professor at Beijing Normal University. He is author of several books, including Theory and Practice of Education (Continuum, 2007) and Using the Medical Model in Education: Can pills make you smarter? (Continuum, 2011). He has been a long-serving officer of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES).

Date: Wednesday 7 October 2015

Time: 12.45 – 14.00

Venue: Room 203 Runme Shaw Building


All are welcome!

Deadline extended: CESA 2016

You are cordially invited to participate in CESA 2016 – the 10th Biennial Conference of the Comparative Education Society of Asia (CESA). It will be co-hosted by the Comparative Education Society of the Philippines (CESP) at De La Salle University, Philippines, on January 28-30, 2016. Both keynote speakers are our HKU PhD alumni: Dr. Maria Manzon and Prof. Zhang Minxuan.

More information about the conference is as follows:

Theme: “Diversity in Educational Policy and Practice: Challenges and Opportunities”

Where: Henry Sy Bldg., De La Salle University, Taft Ave., Manila, Philippines 
When: January 28-30, 2016.

Important Dates

September 15, 2015  – Deadline for submission of Abstract Proposals

Abstract Proposals

1. Abstracts must not be longer than 300 words. All submissions must:
– be in Arial or Times Roman, Font Size 12
– summarize the important points of the proposed presentation and present an outline of the introduction, methodology, results and conclusions of the research undertaken
– not include tables, figures or references
– be written in paragraph form

2. Interested participants may submit up to two (2) proposals under any two of the Conference sub-themes but not two under the same sub-theme. Please submit your abstract proposal using the CESA 2016 Abstract Submission Form. If you have concerns about your submissions, please email: cesa2016manila@gmail.

3. Accepted proposals will be assigned to a presentation type based on the preferences indicated at the time of submission. Further instructions will be provided in the notification email if necessary updating/editing needs to be done on the proposal.

4. Paper presenters must confirm through email that they accept the invitation to present on or before the deadline indicated in the notification email. This also confirms that they will register for the conference by October 30, 2015. Registration fee on or before this date is Php3500 for local presenters and USD250 for foreign presenters.

5. All accepted abstracts will be included in the conference proceedings.

Full Papers Proposals
1.      Full papers submitted to CESA 2016 will be considered for publication in a peer-reviewed journal of the Comparative Education of the Philippines (CESP) to be launched in 2016.

2. The submitted full paper/s must follow the following format:
Title of paper
Complete name of author/researcher
Email address
Complete name of school /institution, and address
Abstract with keywords
Introduction (to include the research questions)
Results and Discussions

3. Full papers which are to be saved in pdf file must be limited to 8 – 10 pages including tables and references, encoded in font Arial or Times New Roman, size 12, double-spaced, and sent to with the author’s 50-word bio-sketch.

For more information, please visit

New Books!

2CERC has in June 2015 published two new books in its Monograph Series in Comparative and International Education and Development. They are both available for free download.

M12– Monograph No. 12 entitled UNESCO’s Origins, Achievements, Problems and Promises: An Inside/Outside Perspective from the US. by Raymond E. Wanner. Please download from here. List price: US$16/HK$100.

– The Chinese translation of the Monograph No. 9 Shadow Education: Private Supplementary Tutoring and Its Implications for Policy Makers in Asia by Mark Bray and Chad Lykins. Please download from here. List price: US$16/HK$100.

To order the paper copies, please contact us at:

Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China.

             Tel: (852) 3917 8541; E-mail:

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