Mark Bray (1952 - )

Mark Bray

Short Biography & Significant Contribution

Mark Bray is the Director of the Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) and UNESCO Chair Professor in Comparative Education at the University of Hong Kong. Between 2006 and 2010, he was the Director of UNESCO's International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) in Paris. Born in the United Kingdom in 1952, he was educated at the Universities of Newcastle upon Tyne and Edinburgh. Prior to taking the IIEP post in March 2006, he held various posts at the University of Hong Kong. He was Dean of the Faculty of Education from 2002-06, and has held a personal Chair of Comparative Education since 1999. He joined the university in 1986. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, he taught in secondary schools in Kenya and Nigeria, and at the Universities of Edinburgh, Papua New Guinea and London.

Bray's career has bridged the theoretical thrust of comparative education and the applied nature of international education. This is evidenced by his publications, consultancies, journal editorships, honorary professorships, leadership in professional associations, and major international addresses. He is author/editor of over 40 books and 200 articles and chapters, one of which was designated Outstanding International Study of the Year (1996) by the American Educational Research Association (see Bray & Thomas 1995 below). During the period since 1997 he has developed the book series 'CERC Studies in Comparative Education', published by the Comparative Education Research Centre at the University of Hong Kong. Major figures whose books are in the series include Philip Altbach, Harold Noah, Max Eckstein, Neville Postlethwaite, Gu Mingyuan, William Cummings, and Ruth Hayhoe. In 2000 Bray was given an Outstanding Researcher award by the University of Hong Kong.

Bray's journal editorships include:
International Journal of Educational Development (Pergamon): Corresponding Editor (1983-1990); Asia-Pacific Regional Editor (1990-2005); International Editorial Board (2005-);
International Review of Education (Springer): Corresponding Editor (1992-2010); Editorial Board (2010-)
Papua New Guinea Journal of Education: Editor (1983-84).

He has also been Advisory Editor or member of the Editorial Board of many other journals, including: 
Asia Pacific Education Review
Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 
Current Issues in Comparative Education, 
Comparative and International Education Review [Athens], and 
Prospects: Quarterly Journal of Comparative Education.

Mark Bray has conducted nearly 100 international consultancy and research projects for international agencies in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, North America and the South Pacific for the World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Asian Development Bank, and national governments and other bodies. A major focus has been on the financing and planning of education.

Bray's contributions to the field have been multifaceted. Themes include methodology in comparative education, education in small states, community financing of education, political transition, and 'shadow' education in the form of private supplementary tutoring. His writings demonstrate a collaboration between comparative academic research and policy advice, thus making the field's contribution to society and to intellectual scholarship both relevant and substantial. Bray has also contributed service and leadership to the professional associations of comparative and international education. He has effectively advocated and supported incipient and/or small communities of comparative education scholars worldwide. During his period (2000-07) as Secretary General and then President of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES), he sought to widen the Council's outreach to the less-developed regions of the world. He is President-Elect of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) (2015-16).


Professional Website at the University of Hong Kong 

Educational Background

Ph.D. Education (1980), University of Edinburgh

M.Sc. African Studies (1976), University of Edinburgh

B.A. (Hons) Economic Studies (1973), University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Professional Background

April 2010 to date: University of Hong Kong: Chair Professor: Personal Chair in Comparative Education. Designated UNESCO Chair Professor in Comparative Education, 2012.

2006 to March 2010: UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), Paris: Director.

1986 - 2006: University of Hong Kong
- 2002 - 2006: Dean, Faculty of Education
- 1999 - 2006: Chair Professor: Personal Chair in Comparative Education
- 1996 - 2002: Director, Comparative Education Research Centre
- 1991 - 1995: Head, Department of Education
- 1987 - 1999: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader; Department of Education
- 1986 - 2006: Research Associate, Fellow; Centre of Asian Studies

1995: The World Bank, Washington DC: Visiting Research Fellow

1984 - 1985: University of London Institute of Education: Lecturer in Educational Planning and Management, Department of International and Comparative Education.

1981 - 1984: University of Papua New Guinea: 1984 Senior Lecturer/Lecturer in Educational Planning.

1978 - 1981: University of Edinburgh, UK: Lecturer, Department of Education/Centre of African Studies.

Affiliations (associations, organizations, institutions)

World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES)
- Assistant Secretary General (1994-2000)
- Secretary General (2000-05)
- President (2004-07)
- Co-opted Member of Executive Committee (2007-12)

- UNESCO Liaison Representative (2012-)

Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong (CESHK), President (1998-2000)

Comparative Education Society of Asia (CESA), Director (1995-2001; 2010-)

Comparative & International Education Society (CIES), Board Member (1996-1999); President-Elect (2015-16)

Selected Publications

Bray, Mark with Lillis, Kevin (eds.) (1988): Community Financing of Education: Issues and Policy Implications in Less Developed Countries. Pergamon Press, Oxford, 234 pp.

Bray, Mark & Packer, Steve (1993): Education in Small States: Concepts, Challenges and Strategies, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 295 pp.  Abbreviated version translated into Japanese by Nagoya University 1996.

Bray, Mark & Thomas, R. Murray (1995): 'Levels of Comparison in Educational Studies: Different Insights from Different Literatures and the Value of Multilevel Analyses', Harvard Educational Review, Vol.65, No.3, pp.472-90. 

Bray, Mark (1996): Counting the Full Cost: Parental and Community Financing of Education in East Asia, The World Bank, Washington DC (in collaboration with UNICEF), 84 pp.  Revised version published in Chinese (2000) by Beijing Normal University Press, 115 pp.

Bray, Mark & Lee, W.O. (eds.) (1997): Education and Political Transition: Implications of Hong Kong's Change of Sovereignty, special issue of Comparative Education, Vol.33, No.2.  Republished in book form as CERC Studies in Comparative Education 2, Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong, 169 pp.

Bray, Mark (1999): The Shadow Education System: Private Tutoring and its Implications for Planners.  Fundamentals in Educational Planning, UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), Paris, 97 pp. Second edition 2007. French edition 1999; Azeri edition 2006; Chinese edition 2007; Japanese edition 2014.

Bray, Mark (1999): 'Control of Education: Issues and Tensions in Centralization and Decentralization', in Robert F. Arnove & Carlos A. Torres (eds.), Comparative Education: The Dialectic of the Global and the Local, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland, pp.207-232. Second edition, 2003; third edition, 2007; fourth edition 2013.

Bray, Mark (2000): Double-Shift Schooling: Design and Operation for School Effectiveness. [Second edition of 1989 book published by Commonwealth Secretariat and UNESCO/UNICEF in English and French, and by UNICEF in Khmer] The Commonwealth Secretariat, London and UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), Paris, 93 pp.

Bray, Mark & Gui Qin (2001): 'Comparative Education in Greater China: Contexts, Characteristics, Contrasts, and Contributions', Comparative Education, Vol.37, No.4, pp.451-473.

Bray, Mark (ed.) (2003): Comparative Education: Continuing Traditions, New Challenges, and New Paradigms. Special double issue of International Review of Education, Vol.49, Nos. 1 & 2. Republished in book form by Kluwer, Dordrecht, 262 pp. Bulgarian translation published by Bureau of Educational Services, Sophia, 2005; Farsi translation published by Jungle Publishing House, Tehran, 2005; Japanese translation published by Toshindo Press, Tokyo, 2005; Hungarian translation published by Hungarian Pedagogic Society, Budapest, 2006; Italian translation published by Cooperativa Universitaria Editrice Catanese di Magisterio, 2006; Chinese translation published by East China Normal University Press, Shanghai, 2007. Bosnian translation published 2007 by University of Sarajevo.

Bray, Mark & Koo, Ramsey (eds.) (2004): Education and Society in Hong Kong and Macao: Comparative Perspectives on Continuity and Change. second edition  Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong, 323 pp.. Parallel English-language version published by Springer, Dordrecht, 2005. Chinese translation in traditional characters published by National Taiwan Normal University Press, Taipei, 2005. Chinese translation in simplified characters published by People's Education Press, Beijing, 2006.

Masemann, Vandra; Bray, Mark & Manzon, Maria (eds.) (2007): Common Interests, Uncommon Goals: Histories of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies and its Members, Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong, and Dordrecht: Springer, 384 pp.

Bray, Mark & Lykins, Chad (2012): Shadow Education: Private Supplementary Tutoring and its Implications for Policy Makers in Asia. Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong, and Manila: Asian Development Bank.   

Bray, Mark, Adamson, Bob & Mason, Mark (eds.) (2014): Comparative Education Research: Approaches and Methods, 2nd ed. Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong, and Dordrecht: Springer, 453 pp.


Created: 6/4/2007

Updated: 4/23/2015

Contributed By: Maria Manzon, National Institute of Education, Singapore