Published July 30, 2021 | Version 1
Report Open

Teaching Comparative and International Education in the UK: a national survey of undergraduate programmes

  • 1. University of Bristol
  • 2. University of Wolverhampton


This BAICE-funded study reports on the status of comparative and international education (CIE) in undergraduate programmes in the UK based on analysis of curriculum documents and interviews with teachers on CIE units. While there are have been numerous efforts to map CIE research over the years (Davidson et al., 2020; Pizmony-Levy, 2021), the nature of CIE teaching has received considerably less attention. To our knowledge this is the first systematic effort to map CIE teaching in UK universities since the 1990s (Schweisfurth 1999).

The overarching question guiding this study is the nature of CIE as taught at undergraduate level in the UK, as well as the value and the challenges of such courses from the perspectives of teachers. We explore these issues through the analysis of curriculum documents and interviews with teachers. Evidence for this study was collected as follows. In September 2020 we issued a call via the BAICE mailing list, social media and professional networks for UK-based colleagues to share the handbooks for undergraduate courses which address comparative education, international education and/or globalisation. Materials for 40 units (Appendix 1) were received from colleagues at 24 institutions (9 pre-1992, 15 post-1992). Following this, in Spring 2021 interviews were conducted with seven teachers of CIE (4 pre-1992, 3 post-1992).

In this report we share findings on the geographical and thematic coverage of CIE at undergraduate level, and teachers’ perspectives on the purposes as well as the challenges of teaching these courses. We hope that findings from this study can inform future teaching, curriculum development and debate in this area.


Teaching Comparative and International Education in the UK - a national survey of undergraduate programmes.pdf