Education in Small States Research Group (ESSRG)

The ESSRG is part of the Centre for Comparative and International Research in Education (CIRE) at the University of Bristol, UK.

Contact us

Director: Professor Michael Crossley
Professor of Comparative and International Education

Deputy Director: Dr Terra Sprague
Research Associate, University of Bristol

School of Education
University of Bristol
35 Berkeley Square

ESSRG Coordinators and Research Associates

Dr Aminath Muna

Dr Aminath Shiyama
Maldives National University

About our website

This site is an information and networking platform run by the Education in Small States Research Group (ESSRG).

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

As an established research group since 1994, our work has focused on issues relating to the study of education policy and practice, sustainable development and research capacity in small states. Specific attention has been given to the challenges faced by small island developing states (SIDS), to their priorities and achievements and, most significantly, to what the international community can learn from their distinctive experience.

The UN identifies 58 SIDS and territories worldwide and has recognized them as a distinct group since the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2014 our UN SIDS Partnership 'Learning from the Sharp End of Environmental Uncertainty in SIDS', or, the 'Sharp End Partnership', was launched at the UN Conference on Small Island Developing States, Apia, Samoa.

Building upon long established networks, much of our work has been carried out with those SIDS and other small states that are also Commonwealth members. Thirty-two of the 54 members of the Commonwealth are classified in this way. The Commonwealth defines small states as those with 1.5 million people or less, ‘along with a number of larger states, such as Papua New Guinea in the Pacific and Jamaica in the Caribbean, that share similar characteristics’.

The ESSRG was founded in the Centre for Comparative and International Research in Education (CIRE) at the University of Bristol, but our membership is international, and we operate as a professional and academic network of researchers, practitioners and policy makers in, and engaged with, small states worldwide. In using this international terminology we acknowledge and value alternative conceptions of Oceania as a region comprised of large ocean states.

We welcome contact and collaboration with others with related interests and experience and invite new members to join the ESSRG by contacting our Group Coordinators on:

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