ECIS Contemporary Issues Research

We know that much of the research to be done around the practice and impact of international education has a degree of timeliness that may not be best served by waiting for formal academic research to undertake it. ECIS is interested, therefore, in identifying and pursuing formal research partnerships that tackle critical issues of current relevance in international education and beyond.

Our aim is to contribute to the understanding of critical issues that impact education, using a wide range of research methods including but not limited to statistical analysis, analytical work, case studies, field research and historical analysis.

Our outputs, whether written documentation or video, provide a platform for debate about research and evidence around critical issues, as well as debate about the role of international schools as a sector.

2016 to 2019 | ECIS-RSA Research Partnership  CLICK HERE FOR BROCHURE

ECIS and the RSA have co-designed a programme based on our collective knowledge of global education trends, and where we believe our combined power can make the greatest impact. The programme of work is being built around an annual investigation on a key global education issue which we believe will have traction with international schools – both informing and being informed by their approaches.

Following the open methodology of RSA’s Investigate-ED series, the investigation will mobilise an expert group of stakeholders to enable deep analysis and cutting edge thought leadership. Our proposed first theme, for the academic year of 2016-17, is how education systems might collaborate to support and integrate highly transient populations, including refugees. Each investigation results in at least one research output, linked to a public event.

Civic Purpose and Social Impact

Fostering a sense of civic purpose is central to the RSA’s model of change, and is implicit in ECIS’s commitment to social impact. In this partnership the RSA will mobilise its Fellowship, in particular, to act as ambassadors for the findings and innovators of ideas about how to apply the findings in practice. 

ECIS will equally seek to influence and provide insight to its membership to ensure that findings have practical impact, including through top-quality professional learning.


We will disseminate the research findings in an accessible way – raising awareness through the RSA’s award-winning public events platform and global online presence. The aim is to bring change makers together and to foster a sense of civic purpose among the wider public through the following:

  • Annual public lecture: we propose to host an annual event showcasing the year’s research findings, as well as creating a platform for discussion about the implications for global education systems. These will be live streamed and promoted online.
  • Media coverage: we will seek coverage on mainstream media to publicise findings.
  • Blogs, newsletters, RSA Journal, ECIS Global Insights, and ECIS InFocus: there will be regular contributions to debate about developing creativity in education through the RSA website by the researchers, ECIS staff and other thought-leaders. RSA CEO Matthew Taylor will write blogs and articles to be featured in the award-winning RSA Journal, whilst ECIS CEO Kevin J Ruth will write blogs and articles to be featured in ECIS publications and occasional white papers.

This approach of research, engagement and dissemination over a three year period will allow a body of expertise to be built; reducing transaction costs, safeguarding tacit knowledge and enabling greater impact. 

With core research costs covered, this partnership will free up other resources to secure further funding and/or partnerships for deep engagement and dissemination of the research programme by leveraging the RSA’s Fellowship network, highly reputable public events platform and global online presence as well as leveraging ECIS’s diverse global membership and presence at events and forums, and in myriad publications.​

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