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Professor Beng See

Honorary Professor

Honorary Professor in the School of Education
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing


Affiliate of the Durham University Evidence Centre for Education

Beng Huat See joined Durham University School of Education in October 2013. Before that she was a research associate at the University of York and the University of Birmingham. Beng Huat’s career began as a secondary school teacher in Singapore where she taught geography, English and social studies for 16 years. She spent three years teaching GCSE and A-level geography at an FE college in South Wales. Her extensive experience as a secondary school teacher provided a solid foundation for her subsequent work in academia and research.

She is a nominateed fellow of a number of professional organisations, including the Academy of Social Sciences, the Royal Society of Arts and the UK Higher Education Academy in recognition for her work in education and social science. Beng Huat has a number advisory roles in government and practitioner bodies, e.g. as adviser to the Cabinet Office Trials Advice panel, DfE Open Innovation, Chartered College. She serves on a number of national and internationa grant assessment panels (e.g. ESRC Grant Assessment Panel B,  Defra/ESRC food systems grant panel, the Medical Research Council, the National Centre for Science & Technology Evaluation (NCSTE) of Kazakhstan, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Singapore Ministry of Education.

She has a wide range of research interests, ranging from teacher recruitment and retention to overcoming educational disadvantages. She currently leads a substantial ESRC project comparing teacher education policies in OECD and partner countries to identify key political, cultural, institutional and economic drivers of teacher shortage. Her recently completed ESRC-funded project aimed to clarify the important determinants of teacher shortages in England, and to identify promising approaches to attract and retain teachers. She co-leads two other ESRC-funded projects to improve the selection and recruitment of STEM teachers and looking at ways to improve the ethnic diversity of the teacher workforce in England. She has also led a number of evaluations of education programmes,

Her expertise is in the use of multiple designs: rigorous reviews and syntheses of evidence in education, evaluation via large-scale RCTs and re-analysis of secondary data and in-depth case studies. Her current interests involve teacher wellbeing, professional development of teachers and school leaders, and improving diversity of the teaching workforce. Her research draws upon the disciplines of education, economics, psychology, sociology, educational technology and music to provide insights across disciplines to address contemporary challenges faced by schools.

She is also interested in areas relating to critical thinking, parental involvement, teacher effectiveness, school leadership, teacher wellbeing and improving the learning and wider outcomes of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Her work is widely published. She has over 200 publications, including 10 books, 11 book chapters, over 70 peer-reviewed articles,  several research reports and other media contributions. Her work also appears regularly in the media.

Beng Huat is keen to develop the next generation of social scientists. She has successfully supported a number of PhD students through to completion and many are now active researchers in government or higher education institutions.


Completed Supervisions

Relationship between principals’ instructional leadership and school effectiveness. Does it make a difference? Evidence from the Maldives

Evaluating the impact of instruction in critical thinking on the critical thinking skills of English language learners in higher education

The Effectiveness and Equity of Grammar Schools in England.

How good are value-added measures of teacher performance? A review and empirical investigation using data from Turkey.

A Consideration of Cooperative Learning to Enhance Pre-service Teachers’ Achievement in Tertiary English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Classrooms in Thailand.


Information for Potential Doctoral Students

Looking for potential doctoral students interested in investigating teacher supply, teacher development, evaluation of education programmes and practices and pupil attainment.

Research interests

  • Evaluation and dissemination of education research evidence
  • Evaluation of education programmes and policies
  • Understanding teacher supply, teacher development and teacher effectiveness
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Parental involvement
  • Interventions to overcome education disadvantage
  • Attainment and participation in STEM subjects

Esteem Indicators

  • 2021: Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences:
  • 2020: Invited member of the EEF consultative advisory group on teacher professional development:
  • 2020: Invited member of the ESRC consultative group on research priority on “Education – Improving Outcomes”:
  • 2020: Cabinet Office What Works Trial Advice panel:
  • 2019: Invited guest lecture for the MA International Education programme at Leicester University (18 February 2019):
  • 2019: Presented on how to attract and retain teachers in challenging schools: What works in getting teachers to teach in hard-to-staff schools/areas in the Evidence Week held in parliament, 25 June 2019 held in parliament:
  • 2018: Invited speaker for the School of Education Teaching and Learning Conference (8 March 2018):
  • 2000: Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts:
  • 2000: Grants reviewer for the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research:
  • 2000: Panel peer reviewer of trials for the Education Endowment Foundation:
  • 2000: Editorial Board member of the British Educational Research Journal:
  • 2000: Quarterly, Studies in Higher Education and Global Education Review, Journal of Adolescence Educational Review, Educational Psych:
  • 2000: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy:
  • 2000: Member of the ESRC Grant Assessment Panel B:
  • 2000: Grants reviewer for the National Centre for Science and Technology Evaluation (NCSTE) of Kazakhstan:
  • 2000: Member of the British Education Research Association:
  • 2000: Editor of Review of Education:
  • 2000: Editorial Board member of Educational Research and Evaluation:
  • 2000: Invited to participate in a public debate at York Theatre Royal on Creativity in Schools: Should it be a requirement to teach arts and music in schools?:
  • 2000: Invited speaker for Campaign for State Education Birmingham City University, October 2013 on overcoming disadvantage in education:
  • 2000: Invited presenter to the Castle Vale Education Trust and the Sutton Trust on engagement with local community to improve the outcomes of children in the Castle Vale area:
  • 2000: Peer reviewer for: Oxford Review of Education, Educational Review, Journal of Education for Teaching, BERJ, Higher Education:
  • 2000: Routledge Author of the Month:
  • 2000: Member of the panel of evaluators for the Education Endowment Foundation:
  • 2000: Member of the panel of evaluators for the Youth Endowment Fund:


Authored book

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)


Working Paper

Supervision students