Comparative and International Education

Comparative and International Education is a vast, rich, and growing field of inquiry that is concerned with the academic study of a wide range of key educational issues and themes across a range of cultures, countries and regions. Comparativists come from a range of disciplinary backgrounds and therefore come to the field with different subject expertise and ideas about how best to conduct research in the field. There has been much debate over the theoretical, epistemological and methodological frameworks and tools that should be used when carrying out research in comparative and international education as well as discussions over the future directions of the field. The SIG welcomes interest and contributions on these important debates.

Examples of issues that have been researched by our SIG members include (but are not at all limited to): EU education policy; citizenship and human rights education; global education policy; students’ and teachers’ identities; learning and teaching; assessment and achievement; effects of gender, race and social class on learning and achievement; textbook research; parental choice; international schools and intercultural education; education in developing countries.

Evidently, much of our research fits in comfortably with other SIGs, but what we are all essentially concerned with as Comparativists is exploring similarities and differences between the structures, processes, dynamics, policies and practices of different education systems. Much of the work we do is also international in nature. We strongly encourage BERA members whose work fits in to this field to join the SIG and contribute to knowledge exchange, especially through submitting abstracts to BERA conferences. We stress the importance of learning from comparing and remind members of the important words stated by Robert Edward Hughes (1901: 52) in his seminal text ‘Schools at Home and Abroad’ that ‘the basis of all knowledge is comparison’.


  • to provide a forum within BERA for academics, practitioners and students from a range of disciplines who are involved in research in comparative and international education to engage in dialogue and debate, share theoretical and empirical research, and exchange knowledge and ideas
  • to raise the profile of comparative and international education through the annual conference and by hosting seminars
  • to encourage the publication of high quality research papers within BERJ and other journals


Latest SIG Content

From here to home: A small note on PhDscapes

27 July 2018 | Blog

In 2014, when I started my PhD at the University of Huddersfield about globalisation and higher education in Vietnam, I found myself thinking, ‘Why do I need to go halfway around the world to do research on my country’s higher education? Why... [...]

Internationalisation Webinar Series

2 July 2018 | Event

The internationalisation webinar series has been running since 2007 as part of an initiative organised by Dr Joanna Al-Youssef (University of Nottingham). It is an open event during which participants and speakers address a particular aspect... [...]

Revisiting the concept of wellbeing in schools

22 June 2018 | Blog

Wellbeing discourses related to children and young people are on the rise not only in research, but also in policy and practice. Often the construct of wellbeing is used as a measure of quality of life, referring to a wide range of phenomena,... [...]

Physical Education External Provision in Irish primary schools

13 June 2018 | Blog

External provision is developing as a trend in schools worldwide, and physical education is no exception to this trend – see for instance New Zealand (Dyson et al 2016), the UK (Griggs 2010, 2012), and Australia (Williams et al 2011; Sperka and... [...]

BERA Forum


Comparative and International Education

Lastest activity: