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 and 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 organizations, and corporations to facilitate intercultural understanding and collaborations. 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 internationalization 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 explore Scotland as my 8th country of residence.


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

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • 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)
  • 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

Josh Watters -- Internationalisation and Cultural Hegemonisation: the International Dimensions of British Schools in Postcolonial South East Asia

Yan Liang -- Gendered Student Experience in Higher Education: Cases from Universities in China

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

Past PhD students supervised

  • Wael Mekdach (DBA) -- The Role of Organizational Culture in Shaping the Academic & Societal Roles of Lebanese Private Higher Education (Bath; awarded the Richard and Shirley Mawditt prize for excellence in a DBA dissertation)
  • Fahdia Khalid (DBA) --University Industry Knowledge Exchange and Continuing Professional Development of Academics (Bath)
  • Paula Sanderson (DBA) -- Ethics of Internationalization (Bath)
  • Katalin Kovacs (DBA) -- Accreditation Process and Student Learning: Mongolia (Bath)
  • Ahmad Abed (DBA) -- Entrepreneurship Driven Organizational Culture Change: A Study of Organizational Climate in a Palestinian University (Bath)
  • Tohiera Moodien (DBA) -- Internationalization at South African Research Universities: The Roles of Deans (Bath)
  • Dana Abdrasheva (PhD) -- National Aspirations in Higher Education Institutional Partnership: Kazakhstan and China (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 globalization, internationalization, transnational education, cultural diplomacy, geopolitics, research capacity building, mobility, and regionalization.  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; regionalization 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 internationalization 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 18 publications on Research Explorer

  • 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