Dr Jack Lee

Lecturer in Comparative Education and Education Policy


My research interests stem largely from my exposure to education systems in different societies from an early age as an immigrant child to my professional life working in different countries. I first entered the field of education as an intercultural communication trainer/educator at the University of British Columbia (Centre for Intercultural Communication). For 10 years, I worked closely with faculty, administrative staff, students, community organisations, and corporations to facilitate intercultural collaborations and campus-wide internationalisation initiatives. My growing interest in comparative education led me to the University of Oslo as an exchange student and ultimately to the University of Toronto to pursue my doctorate. My thesis focused on the internationalisation of higher education in the case of Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong as education hubs. Prior to moving to Edinburgh in 2019, I was the Director of the doctoral program in Higher Education Management at the University of Bath, supporting 200 students from 46 countries, and Assistant Professor at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan. I am excited to work with new colleagues and students at Edinburgh and learn about Scotland as my 8th country of residence.


  • PhD, University of Toronto (Higher Education with specialisation in Comparative, International, and Development Education)
  • M.Ed., University of British Columbia (Adult Education)

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Ordinary Member (2021-24), Executive Committee, British Association for International & Comparative Edcuation (BAICE)
  • Visiting professor, International Centre for Higher Education Management, University of Bath
  • Member, Higher Education Special Interest Group, Comparative and International Education Society (US)

Postgraduate teaching

  • Education Policy and the Politics of Education (course organiser)
  • Introduction to Comparative Education (launching 2022)
  • The Sources of Knowledge (research methods)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I welcome students interested in higher education and comparative & international education to contact me to discuss potential supervision.

Current PhD students supervised

Jingbo Hua (secondary) -- Cooperation Between Non-governmental Stakeholders and Local Government in Improving China’s Rural Education

Josh Watters (primary) -- Cultural Hybridity and Global Citizenship: The Internationalisation of British International Schooling in Postcolonial Southeast Asia

Yan Liang (primary) -- Gender Inequality in Chinese Higher Education 

Zarina Muminova (secondary) -- Parental Engagement in Young Children’s Learning in Rural Tajikistan

Past PhD students supervised

  • Wael Mekdach (DBA) -- The Role of Organisational Culture in Shaping the Academic & Societal Roles of Lebanese Private Higher Education (Bath; awarded the Richard and Shirley Mawditt prize for the best DBA dissertation at Bath 2020)
  • Fahdia Khalid (DBA) --University Industry Knowledge Exchange and Continuing Professional Development of Academics (Bath)
  • Paula Sanderson (DBA) -- Ethics of Internationalisation (Bath)
  • Katalin Kovacs (DBA) -- Accreditation Process and Student Learning: Mongolia (Bath)
  • Ahmad Abed (DBA) -- Entrepreneurship Driven Organisational Culture Change: A Study of Organisational Climate in a Palestinian University (Bath)
  • Tohiera Moodien (DBA) -- Internationalisation at South African Research Universities: The Roles of Deans (Bath)
  • Dana Abdrasheva (PhD) -- Kazakh-Chinese Higher Education Partnerships: Aspirations and Challenges (EdUHK)
  • Togzhan Jumagulova (PhD) -- Student Financial Aid Policy in Kazakhstan: Issues of Equity and Efficiency (Nazarbayev)
  • Magzhan Amangazy (MSc) -- Graduate Students’ Motivations to Pursue a Master’s Degree in Teaching (Nazarbayev)
  • Nazym Suleimen (MSc) -- Attitudes Towards Technology Integration into Curriclum in Kazakhstani Higher Education (Nazarbayev)

Research summary

My research focuses on higher education from a comparative / international perspective. Specifically, my work examines globalisation, internationalisation, transnational education, cultural diplomacy, geopolitics, research capacity building, mobility, and regionalisation.  I am particularly interested in educational developments in Asia and the Global South.

Current research interests

Germany's transnational higher education; China's revival of the historical Silk Road (Belt and Road Initiative) and implications for higher education partnerships; regionalisation of higher education

Past research interests

education hubs, international faculty mobility, research capacity building

Knowledge exchange

  • Facilitated roundtable discussions for university leaders on the ethics of internationalisation at the Universities UK (UUK) international symposium in London with Paula Sanderson and Caroline Chipperfield (2019)
  • Taught research design and methods to university administrators representing South Africa's public higher education system, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa (2018)

Affiliated research centres

Past project grants

International Faculty Mobility & Research Capacity Building (2015-17), Ministry of Education & Science, Kazakhstan

View all 19 publications on Research Explorer

  • Finalist (1 of 3) for Teacher of the Year Award (2021) in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (Edinburgh University Students' Association)
  • Best Dissertation (2015), Higher Education Special Interest Group, Comparative & International Education Society https://www.cies.us/
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada Doctoral Fellowship