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Prof Qing Gu
Room 652
UCL Centre for Educational Leadership
UCL IOE, 20 Bedford Way
Tel: 020 7612 6487
Prof Qing Gu profile picture
  • Professor of Leadership in Education
  • IOE - Learning & Leadership
  • UCL Institute of Education

I jointed UCL Institute of Education as Director of the UCL Centre for Educational Leadership and Professor of Leadership in Education in October 2018. I am the Past Chair of the British Association of Comparative and International Education (BAICE), Co-Editor-in-Chief of Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, Associate Editor of International Journal of Educational Development, a member of the Research Standing Committee of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES), and a member of the Research Evidence and Impact Panel for the Leadership College for UK Government. I am a Senior Research Fellow at the Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change (APCLC) and Honorary Professor in the Department of Education Policy and Leadership at the Education University of Hong Kong. I was conferred the Award of Fellow of the Royal Society Arts (FRSA) in 2016 and the Award of Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) for her contribution to social science in2022.


Before I joined UCL, I was Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham where I started my academic career as a Postdoc Research Fellow in 2004 upon completion of my PhD at the University of Birmingham.

Research Groups
Research Summary

I research in the areas of teachers’ work, lives and effectiveness, school improvement, and educational systemic change. From 2006 until now, I have directed and co-directed many UK government, UK research council and independent charities funded projects – which have generated a total income of more than £3.4m.

Government funded projects included the evaluation of the impact of Teaching Schools on school improvement, the pilot of the research on why teachers leave and return to the profession, and Education Department of West Australia funded project which explores how to best support early career teachers’ resilience and effectiveness. I have recently directed two Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) funded projects investigating if and how Research Schools (RS) (which is a major education policy issued in 2016),especially those in new Opportunity Areas, embed their work within school improvement structures and processes at area level, and through this, effectively support schools to use evidence to improve teaching and learning. 

I am also leading a £1.9m ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) project entitled Schools as Enabling Space to Improve Learning and Health-Related Quality of Life for Primary School Children in Rural Communities in South Africa. This interdisciplinary project is in collaboration with London South Bank University and the University of Pretoria (SA).

My sustained research work and international collaboration with colleagues in China, Canada, Australia, USA and EU countries have resulted in a strong track record of publications. I have published 8 single authored, co-authored and edited books and some of these books have been translated in Chinese, Japanese and Spanish. Two of my co-authored papers won the ‘most outstanding article’ in two international journals in 2011 and 2016. The most recent one in2016 was given The William J Davis Award by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) and we were the first English authors to have won this award since 1980 when it first began. I have presented more than 100research papers at major international and national conferences and research seminars, including keynote addresses and keynote symposiums.

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