Education in small states research group

This research group is part of the University of Bristol's, Research Centre for Comparative and International Research in Education (CIRE).


As an established research group since 1994, our main focus to date has been closely related to the study of education and human development in small states throughout the Commonwealth, in Europe and elsewhere. Thirty-two of the 54 members of the Commonwealth are classified as small states.

Since independence, many small states have developed successful economies and there is much to learn from this experience. The socio-economic, environmental and cultural vulnerabilities of small states are, however, also well recognised and generate distinctive educational dilemmas and problems for attention.

In Europe too, small states and autonomous units have been generated through post-Soviet independence (Central/Eastern Europe) devolution (in Spain and the UK) and secession (post-Yugoslav states, Moldova). Such developments have many social, and educational, implications.

The scope of the group’s interest in small states is, nevertheless, world-wide. Our developing links with, for example, UNESCO/IIEP, thus further extend our interests and networks. Very broadly speaking we define small states as those with around three million people or less - recognising that our range of attention includes micro-states and dependent territories, in addition to the larger independent countries, such as Papua New Guinea, that play a central role within the major regional groupings of small states.

Contact us

Director: Professor Michael Crossley
Professor of Comparative and International Education

Tel: +44 (0) 117 928 7043
Fax: +44 (0) 117 925 1537

School of Education
University of Bristol
35 Berkeley Square

About our website

This site is an information and networking vehicle run by the University of Bristol Education in Small States Research Group.

It is helping us to establish a network of researchers, policymakers, civil society organisations and other stakeholders interested in the distinctive educational challenges and opportunities currently facing small states.

Possible contributions for consideration from researchers and writers living and working in small states are welcome via

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