75 years  

The Present

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The Present
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For the latest updates go to the International and Comparative Education website

The School of Lifelong Education and International Development has a strong research base in the areas of international and comparative education. Areas of particular staff interest include:


educational planning


Education for All


teacher education and school improvement


multigrade schooling


assessment and qualifications systems


globalisation, skills, qualifications and development


children and young peoples' participation in health promotion


education of health professionals


education and HIV/AIDS prevention


education, identity, citizenship and social cohesion


education and state formation


education and development in Muslim societies


funding of lifelong learning


higher education policy and management


International and comparative education continues to attract major funding for research. Most projects are undertaken in partnership with institutions based in the country of study.

 Recent projects include:  

Learning and Teaching in Multigrade Settings (LATIMS)  

Funded by: Department for International Development (DflD), 1998 to 2006, and European Commission, 2002 to 2004

Project Directors: Professor Angela Little and Dr Pat Pridmore  

This international programme of research involves collaboration with colleagues from an ever- growing network of partner institutes worldwide. DflD-funded research in Nepal, Peru, Sri Lanka and Vietnam focuses on the extent, Organisation and management of multigrade teaching, reconfiguration of the curriculum to meet the needs of multigrade classes, and pre- and in-service teacher education. The Multigrade School Education project (MUSE) focuses on ICT-based in-service teacher training in Greece, Finland and Spain, and is funded by the EU.

Globalisation, Education and Development: A Synthesis of Research Relevant to Less Economically Developed Regions

Funded by: DflD, August 2004 to October 2005

Project Directors: Professor Andy Green and Professor Angela Little

This research assesses the implications of globalisation for education policy in the less developed regions of South Asia, China and Sub-Saharan Africa. Through thematic review of the international literature on education and globalisation, the project examines the contribution that education can make to creating the conditions for poorer countries to engage in positive ways with the global economy, in order to promote economic growth, job creation, poverty reduction, equity and social peace.

Combating HIV/AIDS through Open and Distance Schooling in Southern Africa

Funded by: DflD, January 2003 to January 2004

Project Directors: Dr Pat Pridmore and Chris Yates

This study aims to realise the potential of open and distance schooling systems to combat HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa, by exploring policy and practice at the public health and open education interface in light of government responses to the spread of HIV and AIDS.

Transnational Methods and Models for Self-Evaluation of Non-Formal Personal Competencies

Funded by: European Commission, December 2001 to May 2005

Project Director: Professor Karen Evans

Starting from the premise that people can be enabled to discover their competencies, making them more visible to themselves and potential employers, this project aims to develop transnational methods for self-evaluation.

Involving partner institutions in six other countries (Germany, Denmark, Portugal, Greece, the Czech Republic and Romania) the study focuses on un- or under-employed adults who are participating in some form of vocational training in order to change their employment situation.


The School of Lifelong Education and International Development offers a range of advanced courses in the area of international and comparative education.

MA in Education and International Development

This longstanding and popular course analyses the role of education and learning in the development process with special reference to low and middle-income countries. Students are encouraged to explore specific interests through the interplay of policies and practices generated at the international, national and local level. Selected modules are available on-line.

 MA in Educational Planning, Economics and International Development

Drawng from the interconnections between educational planning, development and economics, this course aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to the field of educational planning, policy, management and administration, in the context of international development.

Advanced Certificate in Training for Development Education (The Global Trainer)

This one-year course is run in partnership with the Development Education Association. Aimed at development education trainers of teachers, youth and community workers, and FE and HE practitioners, The Global Trainer is taught through a mixture of interactive distance methods and face-to-face study weekends.

MA in Comparative Education

As one of the few specialist comparative courses in the UK, this MA provides a rigorous multi-disciplinary grounding in the comparative analysis of education and society. The course enhances understanding of educational issues in different professional contexts through awareness of educational systems and developments in other countries, and develops the concepts and skills for using systematic comparison to understand relationships in education.

 MA in Education, Health Promotion and International Development

This course develops the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and skills needed to plan, implement and evaluate health promotion initiatives in low- and middle-income countries, in the context of education and international development. Selected modules are available by distance methods or online.

Certificate in Primary Health Care Education and Development

Through critical reflection on a range of theoretical perspectives, policies and practices, this course increases understanding of the key concepts and ideas that inform primary healthcare and health promotion in the context of development. For those students who do not have a first degree, it can be used as a precursor to the MA in Education, Health Promotion and International Development. It is taught by distance methods.

 Doctoral study

The School has a thriving community of doctoral students undertaking MPhil, PhD and EdD research into a range of comparative and international topics, including 'AIDS-related stigma and school acceptance of children orphaned by AIDS in Thailand', 'Cultural interaction in multilateral education project management: a case study of a UNDP compulsory education project in China', 'Teacher development and institutional development in Tajikistan' and 'Education in Sierra Leone and aid by its ex-colonial state, Britain'.


The School of Lifelong Education and International Development is an academic community within the Institute of Education, University of London. The School conducts programmes of research, education, training and consultancy in the areas of higher, further and adult education; professional and work-related learning; comparative education; and education, international development and health. By critically exploring learning from early years to adulthood, in different contexts and different countries, we aim to meet with policy and practice the challenges presented by global change and the search for sustainable economic growth and social equity. Our portfolio of activities benefits from active collaboration between academics and researchers within the School and practitioners, policy makers and students from the UK and overseas.

 For further information about the research and teaching carried out within the School of Lifelong Education and International Development, please email,

 phone +44 (0)20 7947 9516, or visit

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Compiled and edited by Clare Bentall and Angela Little. First issued Spring 2005.