The Institute has close relations with a number of important interdisciplinary research platforms at ZJNU, such as the Education Aid Center, the Institute of African Studies, the College of Teacher Education, the Tin Ka Ping Institute of Educational Sciences, and outside of ZJNU, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' China-Africa Joint Research and Exchange Program, the Ministry of Education's China-Africa University Cooperation Program 20+20, and the China Scholarship Council's Senior Personnel Training Plan for International and Regional Issues (Africa) Study. All of these alliances provide theoretical as well as logistical support.
African education study is becoming the focus of research in the discipline of comparative education. In 2007, the discipline took on a key research project from Ministry of Education entitled “Higher education study of African countries” and carried out a long-term research in these countries. Over 30 researchers and their graduate students spent, for this project alone, one to six months in 15 African countries. This research group has published over 130 academic papers related to African education in more than 10 journals at home and abroad.
The Institute has established stable academic exchange and cooperation with nearly 20 prestigious universities in America, Europe, and Africa. Professor Peter McLaren, a American critical pedagogy educator, and Professor M. A. Geo-JaJa, an Nigerian-American scholar in the field of African education development, have been visiting professors of the Institute. Both of them give lectures at the Institute for one week to three months on a regular basis. Under the sustained support of professor Kenneth King, the world's leading researcher in African education and the former director of the African Studies Centre of University of Edinburgh, the Institute has established a friendly and cooperative ties with the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies of Switzerland. Moreover, as of 2014, the Institute offers PhD programs in Comparative Education.
The recent development target for the Institute has been to establish three research branches, namely, Comparative Educational Strategies and Policies, African Education, and International Education, with the long-term target to build it into a high level interdisciplinary research platform with both strong academic and political consulting capacities.
The discipline of Comparative Education in ZJNU, led and coordinated mainly by the Institute, has a staff of 21 researchers, including 10 professors and 7 associate professors, 20 of whom have doctoral degrees. In addition to four full-time researchers, the Institute has an honorary dean and three visiting professors. Professor Xu Hui, the honorary dean, also the founding dean of the Institute and the former president of ZJNU, is currently the Central Vice Chairman of the National League for Democracy, the deputy secretary-general of the CPPCC, the member of National Education Advisory Committee, and the Vice Chairman of the Chinese Society of Educational Development Strategy. Professor Wan Xiulan, the vice dean, takes charge of the routine work of the Institute.
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