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REAL: About the Centre

Girls in playground, Pakistan

REAL: About the Centre

Real-world impact

The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence. The priorities of the REAL Centre align with, and contribute to, the international strategy of the University.

The Faculty of Education is central to the University's mission and consistently delivers excellent results. The product of its cutting- edge teaching and research is considerable real-world impact, with its academics consulted on policy by governments throughout the world and its collaborative international projects affecting on-the-ground change.


The REAL Centre is producing new and exciting evidence that improves our understanding of how to raise learning outcomes, and ensure that no one is left behind in education. This evidence has implications for policy-making far beyond the University. Indeed, the Centre’s work has been pivotal in helping to articulate and shape one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Professor Stephen J Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.

A strong track record in education and international development

The REAL Centre is capitalising upon this strong track record, harnessing and augmenting the Faculty’s strengths and creating a critical mass of expertise in education and international development in order to drive forward its agenda. It builds on the important work undertaken previously under the Centre for Commonwealth Education and Centre for Education and International Development (CEID), notably the RECOUP programme. 

The Centre’s work is further enhanced through its links with leading researchers and centres across the University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the University more broadly.

REAL research around the world

REAL Centre active and past research projects

REAL active research projects map

1 P Acountability and Finance Accountability from the grassroots in India
2 P Access and Learning Complementary basic education in Ghana
3 E Acountability and Finance Early childhood education in Ethiopia
4 Technology Ed Tech Hub
5 Impact Initiative
6 P Improving Ethiopia's education system
7 S Teaching and Teachers Leaders in Teaching in Rwanda
8 H Mapping education research in sub-Saharan Africa
9 P Acountability and Finance People's Action for Learning (PAL) Network Assessment to Action
10 S Access and Learning Gender Reaching marginalised secondary school girls through CAMFED’s programme in Tanzania
11 P Teaching and Teachers Disability Teaching Effectively All Children (TEACh): India and Pakistan
12 E Access and Learning Early childhood education in India
13 E Access and Learning Responsive models of child development in India

REAL past research projects map

1 P Access and Learning Activity-Based Learning in India
2 P Access and Learning Improving access to education in Ethiopia
3 Acountability and Finance Leadership for Learning (LfL) in Ghana
4 P Access and Learning Gender Let girls learn in conflict settings
5 P Technology OER4Schools
6 P Access and Learning Disability Reach Forward: Making educational research count for children with disabilities in Malawi, Kenya and Uganda
7 Disability Research Consortium on Educational Outcomes and Poverty (RECOUP)
8 P Access and Learning Disability Role of inclusive schooling in enhancing the wellbeing of children with disabilities in Karnataka, India
9 S Disability Secondary education for children with disabilities in India

View/download the REAL Centre Active and Past Projects.