The Center for Comparative Education and Policy Studies (CCEPS) was established in 2015 under the auspices of the College of Education and Behavioral Studies with a clear mission to study educational systems, policies, reforms, innovations and outcomes in international and comparative perspectives. The Center is currently running a PhD program in International & Comparative Education jointly with Gothenburg University in Sweden, with the special financial support from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

In addition to running a PhD program, the center is finalizing its preparations to lunch a Masters Program in International & Comparative Education to strengthen its PhD program as well as to meet the demands for trained human power at the level. The center is already involved and aims to further engage in international, regional and national collaborative interdisciplinary research projects and partnerships as well as in various community empowerment programs.

The Centre for Comparative Education and Policy Studies (CCEPS) aspires to be a regional hub in Africa in the field of international and comparative education. Given Ethiopia’s role as a seat of the African Union (AU) and other regional institutions, it was envisaged that such a program would enhance the supply of highly trained human power to international development in education.


The main objective of this project is to strengthen and continue the ongoing PhD program in International and Comparative Education at AAU, and thereby to develop research within this field. The specific objectives of the project are the following:

  • To support teaching and supervision of doctoral students in ICE with academic staff of AAU and GU, Department of Education and Special Education.
  • To develop research in order to link the doctoral students’ research to the needs of socio-economic development.
  • To initiate academic exchange programs for students who wish to do part of their research using Swedish facilities and institutional environments.
  • To organize joint seminars and an academic conferencefor students and academics.
  • To e-publish student research results or dissertations for wider circulation and utilization.

The scientific framework which provides the context for the inception and formulation of the program has to do with education and development. Like anywhere else in the world, Ethiopia’s quest for linking education with economic transformation is an important impetus for the emergence of the program. The political transition of Ethiopia from a centralized to a federal state with the need to enhance multiculturalism has been taken into consideration. Moreover, the increased pressure from globalization and the need to develop the needed competencies to deal with international forces has been considered. These needs were drawn from a national survey conducted by Addis Ababa University to determine the foundation of the PhD program in 2008.

The program is made of 4 semesters of course work followed by 4 semesters of PhD theses research. The total duration of the program is 8 semesters or 4 years. Key courses in the program include Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods, Education and Development, and Diversity and Education. Other courses include Comparative Higher Education, Comparative Curriculum and Teacher Education, Contemporary Issues and Institutions in International Development Cooperation in Education, Advanced Analysis of International Education Policies, and Principles of International and Comparative Education. In the current proposal, we envision that the main course of the program is to link education with development, diversity and global understanding, as was developed within the framework of the former partnership between AAU and SU. This work will continue, but within the framework of a new partnership with GU. GU will be able to include also more policy related issues, including themes related to international comparisons of educational outcomes and professional development.

Benefits and added values for partnership between AAU and GU

The following will be the major short and long-term benefits and added values for the partnership between Centre for Comparative Education and Policy Studies (CCEPS) at AAU and Department of Education and Special Education (GU) at Gothenburg University.

Improved quality of education: AAU would have experienced professors for teaching, supervising doctoral students and for sharing experiences from GU. AAU students and professors will have access to improved academic environment and facilities in Sweden. GU professors will learn how education functions in developing countries and their students will have access to field experience, exposure to an academic environment in a rapidly growing developing country and historically ancient nation. All these will lead to improved quality of education and research training.

Exchange of Teaching materials: This program results into the development of teaching materials in the forms of Power Points, and exchange of latest books and reports. Moreover, both universities could provide access for visiting researchers and doctoral students to a large volume of books in various libraries and centres for general understating of the research topic in which one is involved. Academics will develop the skills of designing learning materials and share experiences of how to use them.

Joint research, seminars and a conference: Academic staff and students can work in the multi-disciplinary thematic research. This arrangement involves bringing together both students and academics of the two institutions or even those beyond to do research useful for education and development. Both universities will benefit from seminars and a conference in which members of both universities present research reports, participate in presentations and build person to person relationships.

Institutional links: The link between AAU and GU in terms of this PhD program in International and Comparative Education will become a launching pad for other relationships between AAU and other institutions in Sweden. A delegationfrom AAU have already visited GU, and similarly, Swedish researchers and the Head of Department have visited AAU and developed good relations.