Ruth E.S. Hayhoe

Hayhoe, Ruth ES

Short Biography & Significant Contribution

Ruth Hayhoe's professional career began as a secondary school teacher in Hong Kong (1967-1978), followed by undergraduate teaching at Fudan University in Shanghai (1980-82), lecturing at the Roehampton Institute of Higher Education in London (1983), postdoctoral work at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto (1984-1986), and an academic career at OISE since 1986. She took two extended leaves of absence which enabled her to accept the post of First Secretary for Culture and Education at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing (1989-1991) and Director of the Hong Kong Institute of Education directly after Hong Kong's return to China (1997-2002). She has also served as Chair of the Higher Education Group at OISE, 1993-1995, and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, 1996-1997. She was visiting professor, in 1996, at Nagoya University in Japan for six months under a Japan Foundation Fellowship. Since 2002 she has been on a half-time appointment at OISE/UT.

Hayhoe's involvement with East Asia, and more specifically with Hong Kong and China, has given her a lifelong fascination with Chinese cultural and philosophical traditions, and a desire to bridge that stark dichotomy between the educational and philosophical worlds of East Asia and the West. She has had a special interest in the "Dialogue among Civilizations" and has organized a number of large-scale conferences relating to this, including "Knowledge Across Cultures" in 1992 and "Education and Civilizational Interaction: Facing the Global Century" in 1999. Both were held at OISE/UT. Hayhoe also initiated and led two major CIDA-funded projects in joint doctoral training and educational research involving OISE/UT, UBC and seven universities in different regions of China, from 1989 to 2001. She has served as Secretary for the historic New York-based United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia since 2003, and a Board member since 2000. In this role, she has been actively involved in the creation of an Institute to manage all of the Board's programs in Hong Kong and the appointment of the first Asian Chairman.

In 1998, Hayhoe was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of London, Institute of Education, and in 2002, was given three major awards: The Silver Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong SAR Government, Commandeur dans l'ordre des Palmes académiques by the Government of France, and Honorary Doctorate of Education by the Hong Kong Institute of Education. She was also appointed Zhijiang Honorary Chair Professor in Education at the East China Normal University in Shanghai, and additionally holds an advisory professor title at ten other universities in different regions of China.

In 2004, Hayhoe wrote a fascinating biography, entitled "Full Circle a Life with Hong Kong & China", in which she chronicles the story of a life transformed by a rich exposure to the people and culture of China and East Asia.

Hayhoe's research has mainly related to Chinese higher education and educational relations between East Asia and the West. She has been interested in the ways in which cultural values and epistemologies from Eastern civilizations may provide a resource for new thinking in global higher education development. She is also interested in the intersection between Asian ways of knowing and women's ways of knowing, and questions of gender in cross-cultural leadership, topics stimulated by her personal experience of institutional leadership in an Asian context.

She completed a study of the lives and ideas of eleven influential Chinese educators, developing a set of portraits which illustrate the continuing value of the Confucian educational heritage. She is working on a new project on China's Move to Mass Higher education, where she will look at the implications for democratization of a growth in higher education student numbers from 3 million to 21 million over about 12 years, and explore the kinds of cultural leadership Chinese universities will bring to the global community. The project has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for the period from 2006-2009.

OISE Faculty Website
Personal Professional Website

Educational Background

BA in Classics, Virginia College, University of Toronto (1967)

Certificate of Education, University of Hong Kong (1975)

Diploma of Theology, University of London (1978)

MA in Comparative Education, University of London-Institute of Education (1978)

Ph.D. in Comparative Education, University of London-Institute of Education (1984)

Professional Background

Fudan University in Shanghai, Undergraduate Lecturer (1980-82)

Roehampton Institute of Higher Education in London, Lecturer (1983)

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, Post Doctorate Fellow (1984-1986)

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Faculty (1986)

Canadian Embassy in Beijing, First Secretary for Culture and Education (1989-1991)

Hong Kong Institute of Education, Director (1997-2002)

Higher Education Group at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Chair (1993-1995)

Nagoya University in Japan, Visiting Professor (1996)

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, Part-time Faculty (2002-present)

Affiliations (associations, organizations, institutions)

Comparative and International Education Society (US)

Selected Publications

Hayhoe, R. (2006). Portraits of Influential Chinese Educators. Hong Kong (Comparative Education Research Centre, University of Hong Kong) & Netherlands: Springer.

Hayhoe, R. (2006). The Use of Ideal Types in Comparative Education: A Personal Reflection. Comparative Education, 43 (2), 189-205.

Hayhoe, R., & Zha, Q. (2006). Higher Education in China. In J.F. Forest and P.G. Altbach (Eds.) International Handbook of Higher Education, Vol. 13. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Hayhoe, R. (2006). China's Universities in the Global Community: History and Perspectives. In Eckhardt Fuchs (Ed.), Bildung international: Zu Rezeptions- und Transferprozessen in historischer Perspektive. Wuerzburg: Ergon Verlag.

Hayhoe, R. (2005). Ten Lives in Mine: Creating Portraits of Influential Chinese Educators. International Journal of Educational Research, 41 (4-5), 324-338.

Hayhoe, R. (2005). Peking University and the Spirit of Chinese Scholarship. Comparative Education Review, 49 (4), 575-583.

Hayhoe, R. & Zha, Q. (2005). The Role of Public Universities in the Move to Mass Higher Education; Some Reflections on the Experience of Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. In Frank Iacobucci and Carolyn Tuohy (Eds.) Taking Public Universities Seriously . Toronto, Buffalo, London: University of Toronto Press.

Hayhoe, R. (2005). Women, Universities and the Dialogue among Civilizations. In Glen Jones, Patricia McCartney and Michael Skolnik (Eds.) Creating Knowledge,Strengthening Nations: The Changing Role of Higher Education . Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Hayhoe, R. (2005). Sino-American Educational Interaction from the Microcosm of Fudan's Early Years. In Cheng Li (Ed.)Bridging Minds Across the Pacific: U.S. China Educational Exchanges 1978-2003 . Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.

Hayhoe, R. (2004). Full Circle a Life with Hong Kong & China. Toronto: Women's Press & Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre, University of Hong Kong).


Created: 3/14/2008

Updated: 3/17/2008

Contributed By: Hakim A. Williams, Teachers College, Columbia University