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New Book

Shadow Education in Africa

CERC is pleased to announce the latest volume in its Monographs series. It is written by Mark Bray  and entitled Shadow Education in Africa: Private Supplementary Tutoring and its Policy Implications. It can be downloaded free of charge here, or purchased in paper copy for HK$100 or US$16 including postage.

The book builds on a Working Paper for UNESCO’s  Global Education Monitoring Report, which for the 2021/22 edition focuses on  non-state actors in education. Shadow education is recognized as a component on non-state activity of growing scale and significance.

The book addresses both Sub-Saharan and North Africa, and draws many lessons from comparative analysis. It is the first comprehensive work on shadow education in Africa, and as such is a significant milestone in the field. Particular attention is paid to regular teachers who also provide tutoring, and to private-sector enterprises.

Other CERC books about shadow education focus on:

Shadow Education in Myanmar

CERC is pleased to announce the co-publication with UNESCO of the book entitled Shadow Education in Myanmar: Private Supplementary Tutoring and its Policy Implications.
The book, written by Mark Bray, Magda Nutsa Kobakhidze and Ora Kwo, presents the first detailed empirical study in Myanmar of a phenomenon that is of increasing visibility and significance in high-, medium- and low-income countries across the world. Private supplementary tutoring is widely called shadow education because it reflects curriculum changes in schools.
The study results from a partnership with the UNESCO office in Yangon and with colleagues from the Yangon University of Education (YUOE). Among the students sampled for this study, over 80% were receiving shadow education; and among the teachers sampled, nearly half were providers. Other tutoring was received from informal providers and through registered companies.
The study exposes the significance of this phenomenon for the lives of students, the work of teachers, and the broader society. It has far-reaching implications for the educational reforms on which the Myanmar government has embarked. The study also has much of interest for international comparative analysis.
The book is available for free download HERE(M13-Jun2020-whole), and paper copies may be acquired from the CERC office with a small charge to cover mailing costs (email

Building capacity in Latin America: Science, technology and higher education to leverage development

By Hugo Horta & Jae Park

Chair: Mark Bray

This seminar focuses a new book, co-edited by Hugo Horta, about higher education, science and technology in Latin America. It argues for the need to better integrate science technology policy and higher education policy to promote learning trajectories for inclusive development. These require strong public investments to attract and prepare human resources. They also need long-term support for technology-based industries and export capacity for emerging markets worldwide, requiring investment in international networks.

The book identifies the potential of strategic, international, knowledge-based ventures, and the importance of the internationalization of universities and research institutions at the global level. Few scholars in Asia are familiar with Latin America, and much can be learned from comparison.

Hugo Horta is an Assistant Professor in HKU’s Faculty of Education. Part of his PhD studies were in the US and The Netherlands. After a postdoctoral period of two years in Japan, he worked for the Portuguese government. He was the national delegate in the European Commission on human resources and mobility, and held the position of researcher and deputy-director at a research institute in Portugal.

Jae Park is an Assistant Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK). He is Past-President of the Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong and Head of the International Education Research Group in the Centre for Lifelong Learning Research and Development of the EdUHK. He is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Comparative Education and Development.

Date: Monday 21 November 2016

Time: 14.00 – 15.15

Venue: Room 202 Runme Shaw Building
All are welcome!
book launch,  21 Nov


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

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:

Education Rigorous Literature Review: Early Childhood Development and Cognitive Development in Developing Countries

The report of the team led by Prof. Nirmala Rao and commissioned by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) is now available online! It is entitled Early Childhood Development and Cognitive Development in Developing Countries (95 pages). The authors are Nirmala Rao, Jin Sun, Jessie M.S. Wong, Brendan Weekes, Patrick Ip, Sheldon Shaeffer, Mary Young, Mark Bray, Eva Chen and Diana Lee. Click here to download the E-copy of the book.