Professor Caroline Dyer

Professor Caroline Dyer


I began my career as a modern linguist and have a first degree in German with Dutch from the University of Liverpool. After graduating I worked as an English language teacher and then as an education journalist in Hong Kong. I returned to the UK to complete a doctoral thesis, funded by the ESRC, on educational policy implementation in India.

I held academic posts at the University of Edinburgh, as PI of the ESRC-funded project Literacy for Nomads, and at the University of Manchester as Senior Research Fellow in International Education before joining the University of Leeds as Senior Lecturer in Development Practice in 2004.

I now co-direct the University of Leeds Centre for Global Development, and am Chair of the Worldwide University Network's Challenge of Global Higher Education and Research (GHEAR). I served two terms as Chair of the British Association for International and Comparative Education.


Livelihoods and Learning, by Caroline Dyer.

Operation Blackboard: policy implementation in Indian elementary education


  • Co-Director, Centre for Global Development
  • Chair, WUN Challenge of Global Higher Education and Research

Research interests

I work on education in international development, focusing particularly on social inclusion, social justice and accountability. A key research focus has been on forms of education among communities who engage in livelihood-related mobility, and how these link to social inequalities. Many members of these communities are those considered 'left behind' in SDG parlance. Learning and livelihoods among mobile pastoralists is a theme that I have explored in applied work in South Asia, Afghanistan, Kenya, and Ethiopia, on ESRC and Nuffield Foundation funded work, and as a consultant. I am now beginning work on seasonal labour migration and education inclusion, with a new ESRC/IAA Knowledge Exchange (outgoing Fellowship) with World Vision in India investigating distress migration. I am also PI for a new ESRC/IAA Knowledge Exchange with the international People's Action for Learning (PAL) NGO network which is investigating data related to the SDG's Leave No-One Behind commitment.

I have also worked on primary school teachers and their professional development, and was PI for DFID-funded research on District Insitutes of Education and Training in India, with more recent consultancy work with teacher educators in Bangladesh. I am Co-PI of the British Academy-funded Reading to Learn network, coming to an end this year, which has partners in the UK, South Africa, Uganda and Ethiopia, drawing on my background as a modern linguist to investigate home and classroom language and reading practices.

I have continuing interests in education policy formulation, implementation and socially disadvanted learners, which began with my doctoral research on Operation Blackboard in India. I am Principal Investigator for a DFID-ESRC funded research project (RAISE), which is a cross-scalar comparative study of accountability relations in elementary education in India, focusing on provision for highly disadvantaged learners. The project began in 2017 and the team has members in the Unversity of Cambridge and two NGOs, Vidya Bhawan and CSE in India.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD
  • BA Hons
  • TEFL preparatory certificate

Professional memberships

  • BAICE - British Association for International and Comparative Education
  • CELEP - the Coalition of European Lobbies for Eastern African Pastoralis

Student education

I lead our teaching of education in development and contribute to our teaching of social justice and global inequalities in the MA Global Development programme. My teaching is research-led, delivered through interactive approaches designed to maximise student opportunities to reflect on and share critical insights.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Global Development

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>