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CERC MCM on September 27th

CERC Management Committee recently convened to address various important matters. Director Nutsa Kobakhidze shared updates on recent events, including CERC’s successful participation as a co-sponsor in the CESHK conference. The committee unanimously approved the minutes of the previous meeting. Discussions centered around the response to CERC’s five-year review and negotiation for cooperation with a new publisher. The committee approved an extension of the contract for the secretary. The meeting concluded with no further business discussed.

CERC Hosts Successful Book Sale at CESHK 2023 Conference

CERC organized a highly successful book sale during the Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong (CESHK) 2023 conference held on July 22nd and 23rd. The initiative, spearheaded by CERC and coordinated by Claudia Chen, an EdD candidate at the faculty, along with three master students, offered conference attendees a valuable opportunity to explore and purchase a wide range of CERC publications.

The book sale featured a diverse collection of books covering various topics within the field of comparative education published by CERC. From groundbreaking research to insightful analyses, the selection catered to the interests and needs of scholars, researchers, and education professionals. Attendees had the chance to engage with the latest publications and gain valuable insights into current educational trends and practices.

CERC extends its gratitude to Claudia Chen and the master students for their dedication and efforts in organizing the book sale. Their hard work ensured a seamless experience for conference attendees and contributed to the overall success of the CESHK 2023 conference.

CERC 2023 Annual General Meeting

On June 23rd, the Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) convened its Annual General Meeting (AGM), an event that brought together members from various categories, including students, staff, and associates. The meeting commenced with Nutsa Kobakhidze, the Honorary Director, extending warm greetings to all participants and introducing the CERC Management Committee (MC). She expressed gratitude to the MC members for their supportive and collegial collaboration over the past year.

During the AGM, Nutsa provided a comprehensive report on CERC’s operations during the previous academic year. Notably, she highlighted the center’s significant accomplishment of completing its fifth five-year review, marking a milestone in CERC’s ongoing commitment to excellence and advancement in comparative education.

Following the updates on CERC’s activities, elected members Dr. Jisun Jung and Dr. Yang gave their remarks, focusing on the vibrant and impactful Special Interest Group (SIG) activities carried out by CERC throughout the year. Their insights into the SIG initiatives showcased the center’s concerted efforts to foster academic engagement and collaboration within the comparative and international education community.

After the AGM proceedings, the attendees were treated to an engaging presentation by renowned scholar Keita Takayama, Professor and Director for the Global Education Office at Kyoto University, Japan. Professor Takayama’s thought-provoking lecture, titled “Engaging with the Critiques of Decolonial Scholarship in Comparative and International Education,” captivated the audience. His insightful analysis and exploration of decolonial perspectives stimulated meaningful discussions and inspired further exploration within the field of comparative education.


CERC Management Committee Meeting

On May 16, 2023 the CERC Management Committee met to discuss the 2022-2023 annual report, feedback of CERC five year review, and plans for next academic year. The meeting took place in RMS 403 meeting room. In the picture below, from left to right, are Prof. Mark Bray, co-opted member and UNESCO chair; Dr. Yang Lili, elected member; Mr. Tian Renxiang, secretary; Dr. Nutsa Kobakhidze, the Hornary Director and Dr. Jisun Jung, elected member.

The meeting discussed various important matters for the next academic year including the examination of membership lists, aligning management committee elections, new book proposals, and CERC’s publication. The committee also discussed its film project in Georgia and set the date and agenda for the upcoming Annual General Meeting.

2023 CERC Book Sale

CERC is excited to announce the launch of its 2023 Book Sale, featuring a huge discount of up to 75%. For years, CERC has been renowned for its high-quality publications. Our book series covers a wide range of themes, from practical research methodologies to the theoretical books in the field of Comparative Education and beyond.
If you’re looking to delve into in-depth analysis and scholarly discourse written by our most seasoned academic researchers, then this Book Sale is a must-attend event! Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, researcher, professor, or scholar, these books will provide valuable knowledge to help you navigate the complex world of Comparative Education.

These books are an invaluable resource for pursuing knowledge, facilitating critical thinking and scientific inquiry. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enhance your understanding and enrich your academic journey.

Books now available in Arabic

CERC is delighted to extend its linguistic reach through partnership with the UNESCO Regional Center for Educational Planning (RCEP) in the United Arab Emirates.

CERC’s Monograph series includes a book by Mark Bray entitled Shadow Education in Africa. This book is already available for free download in English,  French, and Portuguese. It is now joined by Arabic.

Alongside is the book by Mark Bray and Anas Hajar entitled Shadow Education in the Middle East. The English version of this book, published by Routledge, is available here for free download from the CERC website. The  Arabic version is available here.

Shadow Education in the Middle East

CERC is glad to announce the publication of Shadow Education in the Middle East: Private Supplementary Tutoring and its Policy Implications. It is a path-breaking study of a region that has received little attention in the shadow education literature, and can be downloaded here.


The book has been written by Mark Bray, who holds the UNESCO Chair in Comparative Education at HKU, and Anas Hajar who is an Associate Professor at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan. Both Mark Bray and Anas Hajar, who is a Syrian national, have undertaken empirical and policy-oriented work on shadow education in the Middle East as well as elsewhere.


The book focuses on 12 Arabic-speaking countries of the region. Six of these countries are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), i.e. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. The other six are Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Yemen. The GCC members are known for the prosperity brought by oil resources, and can usefully be compared as a group with the other six. At the same time, much diversity exists within each group.


CERC has a long history of research on shadow education. This book is an explicit sequel to Shadow Education in Africa, written by Mark Bray and published by CERC in 2021. Other books focus on Myanmar (Bray, Kobakhidze & Kwo, 2020),  Georgia (Kobakhidze, 2018), and Asia (Bray & Lykins, 2012). More information on the Shadow Education Special Interest Group (SIG) can be obtained here.

CERC Management Committee meeting and Annual General meeting

On June 28, 2022 the CERC Management Committee met to discuss the 2021-2022 annual report and prospects of international projects and collaborations in the next academic year.

(In the picture above, [second-row, left to right], Mark Bray, UNESCO Chair and a former CERC Director, Yang Lili, HKU faculty and invitee to the meeting, and Yang Rui, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Education; [top-row, left to right] Anatoly Oleksiyenko, the previous CERC Director and HESIG Chair, Nutsa Kobakhidze, CERC Director and convener of Shadow Education SIG, and Liu Jie, Secretary; and front, Peter Cobb, MC member.)

On June 30, 2022, CERC held its Annual General Meeting. The meeting started at 19.00 (HKT) with the annual report from the Management Committee. Dr Nutsa Kobakhidze and Dr Anatoly Oleksiyenko co-chaired the meeting. Dr Oleksiyenko presented the annual report and invited members to share information about CERC’s activities. Dr Nutsa Kobakhidze spoke about the Shadow Education SIG activities and Dr Anatoly Oleksiyenko spoke about the Higher Education SIG activities in 2021/22 respectively. In addition, Dr Yang Lili and Dr Peter Cobb proposed ideas for new SIGs. As the new Director, Dr Nutsa Kobakhidze introduced CERC activities in 2022/23.

The meeting was followed by a guest speaker presentation “Memory in the Mekong: Regional Identity, Schools, and Politics in Southeast Asia” delivered by Will Brehm, Associate Professor of University College London and CERC alumnus as well as insightful discussions.

CERC’s Annual General Meeting and Guest Speaker Presentation by Will Brehm

On June 30, 2022 (19:00 HKT), CERC will hold the Annual General Meeting and we invite you to attend it by registering at the following link:

The meeting will start with highlights from our 2021-2022 Annual Report presented by Anatoly Oleksiyenko (Honorary Director), Nutsa Kobakhidze (Honorary Director Elect) and Mark Bray (UNESCO Chair). The Annual Report copy can be read on our web-site.

Our traditional Guest Speaker presentation (19:20-20:15) will feature a book presentation by our colleague and alumnus Will Brehm, Associate Professor of Education and International Development at the Institute of Education, University College London, and a member of the Centre for Education and International Development.

Will Brehm will share insights from his most recent book “Memory in the Mekong: Regional Identity, Schools, and Politics in Southeast Asia”. The book pulls together over three years of research conducted in Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. The study was set to answer the following question: How exactly does education underpin a regional identity across Southeast Asia? Is it even possible or desirable to establish a common identity across the diverse peoples of Southeast Asia? And how might a regional identity exist alongside national identities, which are also deeply contested within countries? Will Brehm’s presentation is focused mostly on the history of UNESCO’s shared histories project, some of its paradoxes, and the politics of its implementation in Cambodia.

We look forward to seeing you at the CERC’s Annual General Meeting on June 30.


Anatoly Oleksiyenko

Nutsa Kobakhidze