CERC’s New Elected Member

On February 15, 2023, CERC announced the addition of a new member to its leadership team. Dr. Jisun Jung has been elected as the new elected member, replacing Dr. Peter Cobb, who has moved to the Faculty of Arts. The management committee members expressed their appreciation towards Dr. Cobb for his support and dedication to CERC over the past few years. They also conveyed their good wishes to Dr. Jisun Jung for her tenure as the new elected member. Her expertise and commitment are expected to benefit the CERC community in the years to come.

The current full list of the Management Committee Members can be seen here.

Meet the Editors: Studies in Continuing Education

Studies in Continuing Education, published by Taylor & Francis, is a scholarly journal concerned with all aspects of continuing, professional and lifelong learning. CERC is going to jointly host a webinar with SCAPE and CHERA by the journal editors who will introduce the aims, scope, and review criteria of Studies in Continuing Education. The speakers will share their experiences in peer review as an editor, reviewer, and author and advise early career researchers on best publishing practices in the international peer-reviewed journal.

Date: February 24, 2023 (Friday) (Hong Kong Time)

Time: 14:00-15:15

Format: Zoom

Chair: Dr Jisun Jung, The University of Hong Kong


David Boud is Alfred Deakin Professor and Foundation Director of the Centre for Research on Assessment and Digital Learning at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. As one of the highest cited researchers in Education (Google Scholar h-index 101), his research focuses on adult, higher and professional education.

Nick Hopwood is a Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. He is co-convenor of the Life-wide Learning & Education Research Group. His research focuses on workplace learning, teacher learning, inter-professional health practice, and health professional education.

Joke Vandenabeele is an associate professor of social and cultural pedagogy at the Laboratory for Education and Society, KU Leuven, Belbium. Her research focuses on how educational practices are being constituted within the domains of non-formal education, community education and public pedagogy.

Please find the detailed information of the journal here:

Studies in Continuing Education

Advice from Studies in Continuing Education journal editors


Nothing but publishing: the overriding goal of PhD students in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau

CERC will jointly host a webinar with CHERA by Hugo Horta, Associate Professor and Director of the Consortium for Higher Education Research in Asia (CHERA) at the Faculty of Education of the University of Hong Kong, in collaboration with Mr. Li Huan, PhD candidate at the Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong. The talk is based on the authors’ recent article “Nothing but publishing: the overriding goal of PhD students in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau”. This webinar will take place on February 16, 2023, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. HKT and will be moderated by Nutsa Kobakhidze, Assistant Professor and Director of the Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC). You are welcome to register via the link https://bit.ly/3HWAp7p.

Below is the abstract and poster for your information.



Publication pressure is perceived to be filtering down into doctoral education worldwide. We explore the causes and effects of the perceived centrality of publishing among doctoral students. We find that the credentialisation of publications in the increasingly competitive and publication-dominant academic labour market results in publishing-centred doctoral journeys. We emphasise the need for a more comprehensive evaluation of candidates’ abilities and honours in academic recruitment and call for policies to curtail the overemphasis on research output in academic evaluations.


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.

CERC Management Committee Meeting

On October 28, 2022, the CERC Management Committee met to discuss the plan for the year 2022-2023.


Nutsa Kobakhidze (Elected Honorary Director),

Peter Cobb (Elected Member),

Lili Yang (Elected Member),

Nancy Law (Ex-officio member, Associate Dean – Research),

Mark Bray (Co-opted Member),

Anatoly Oleksiyenko (Co-opted Member),

Stefan Auer (Co-opted Member).

Renxiang Tian (Acting Secretary).

The meeting discussed the new secretary of CERC, CERC membership management, the new SIG proposal, and CERC 5-year review which will be scheduled in April 2023.

What Happened to the Soviet University? A Book Presentation

CERC will hold the next webinar on November 24 (Thu), 2022, 04:00-05:30 pm. HKT. Maia Chankseliani, Associate Professor of Comparative and International Education and Fellow at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, will present the seminar on her new book entitled “What Happened to the Soviet University?”

What Happened to the Soviet University?

A Book Presentation

By Maia Chankseliani

Chair: Nutsa Kobakhidze


This talk explores how one of the largest geopolitical changes of the twentieth century triggered and inspired the reconfiguration of the Soviet university. These universities have survived chaotic processes of post-Soviet transformation and have self-stabilised with time. Most of them remain flagship institutions with large numbers of students and relatively high research productivity. Yet, as the talk illustrates, the majority of these universities operate in a top-down, one-man management environment with limited institutional autonomy and academic freedom.

Maia Chankseliani is an Associate Professor of Comparative and International Education and Fellow at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford.

Nutsa Kobakhidze is the director of the Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) & Assistant Professor in Comparative and International Education at the University of Hong Kong  


Date: Thursday, 24th November 2022  

Time: 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm HKT   

Venue: Online via Zoom

Register: https://bit.ly/3tiViS7

You can also see the poster below for more information:

Shadow Education SIG Meetings

In October 2022, CERC held two Shadow Education SIG meetings on the 14th and 21st. Four former MEd students presented their capstone projects on shadow education-related research. 

Presentation Titles

October 14th

·         Identity Construction of Shadow Education Teachers in the Context of the “Double Reduction” Policy 

·         Reflections of “Critical Hope”: Examining Hong Kong community organizations and grassroots families’ experiences with fee-free tutoring during the pandemic

October 21st

·         Voice of Parents: Reactions and Plights after the Crackdown on Shadow Education — A Case Study of Twelve Lanzhou Households

·         Leaps of Imagination & Excitement of Possibilities: Reflections on capstone project “Parents’ perspectives to private tutoring crackdown in Shanghai, mainland China: A multiple case study in understanding parental agency”

For more information, please see the poster below:

Both events were joined by CERC members and members of Shadow Education SIG.

Imagining and configuring social-emotional learning alternatively: What Confucianism and Daoism may inspire us?

A webinar was held by CERC on 28 October, 2022 entitled “Imagining and configuring social-emotional learning alternatively: What Confucianism and Daoism might inspire us to do?” This seminar was presented by Yun You, Associate Professor of Education at East China Normal University, and chaired by Yanping Fang, Associate Professor of Nanyang Technological University’s National Institute of Education.

Below is the abstract and poster for your information.


Taking the recently-popularising social-emotional learning as an illustrative example, this talk attempts to move beyond the ‘universal applicability’ of Western theories to non-Western societies, while not falling into the stereotypical ‘East-West’ dichotomy. As an alternative, classic Confucianism and Daoism, echoing many other indigenous worldviews, may inspire us to reconceptualise emotional learning with the focus on ‘interrelatedness-cum-uniqueness’ (‘关联-独特性’) in achieving social-ecological harmonisation and wellbeing. The discussion builds on the speaker’s related publication in the Educational Philosophy and Theory.


The seminar was joined by CERC members, scholars and research students based in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore and Japan.


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.