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Professor Michael Crossley

Biographical details

Michael Crossley is Emeritus Professor of Comparative and International Education, Founding Director of the Centre for International and Comparative Research in Education and Director of the Education in Small States Research Group ( in the School of Education. In 2017 he was elected as President for the British Association for Interantional and Comparative Education (BAICE). Professor Crossley is a former Editor of the journal Comparative Education and former Vice-Chair and Chair of BAICE. He is the Founding Series Editor for the Bristol Papers in Education: Comparative and International Studies (Symposium Books), and is a member of the Editorial Boards for Comparative Education, the International Journal of Educational Development and Research in Post-compulsory Education, a Corresponding Editor for the International Review of Education, and a former Chair of the Editorial Board for Compare. Between 1985 and 1990 he was Editor for the Papua New Guinea Journal of Education. Professor Crossley has published widely and undertaken teaching, research and consultancy work in countries that include England, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Tanzania, Pakistan, China/Hong Kong, Belize, Botswana, Saint Lucia, the Turks and Caicos Islands, The Bahamas, Fiji, Malaysia, Sarawak, Malta and Maldives. Consultancies have been carried out for bodies that include The World Bank, UNESCO/IIEP, the Commonwealth Secretariat, DFID, and various national governments, and he is a former Trustee for the United Kingdom Forum for International Education and Training (UKFIET).

Major research interests relate to: theoretical and methodological scholarship on the future of comparative and international education; the dilemmas of international education policy transfer; research and evaluation capacity and international development co-operation; and educational development in small states.

Professor Crossley has published over 200 articles and books in the field of Comparative and International Education. This work has developed a strong critique of the uncritical international transfer of educational policy, practice and research modalities. In doing so, it is argued that "context matters" more than many policy makers and researchers recognise. Secondly, this trajectory of research points to the potential to be gained from a "bridging of cultures and traditions" within and beyond the Social Sciences if Comparative and International Education is to enhance its contribution to both policy development and the advancement of theory. He was elected as an Academician, now Fellow, (FAcSS) by the UK Academy for the Social Sciences in 2005.

Professor Crossley is a former Director of the Doctor of Education Programme (EdD) in Bristol and Hong Kong, and has long taught popular Masters and Doctoral courses on research methodology and Comparative and International Education. He has supervised more than 40 doctoral students in the field of Comparative and International Education, coming from many countries worldwide.

Research Project

Research keywords

theoretical scholarship, methodological scholarship, comparative education, international education, international development co-operation, educational development, specialist education in small states

Learned societies &
professional bodies

  • *Former Chair: British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE)(2002-2004). *Trustee for the UK Forum on International Education & Training (UKFIET). *Member
  • Comparative and International Education Society (CIES)(USA). *British Educational Research Association (BERA). *Council for Education for the Commonwealth
  • Royal Commonwealth Society. *Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). *Elected as an Academician (AcSS) by the UK Academy of the Social Sciences.