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Rob Gruijters


University Lecturer

E-mail Address


+ 44 (0)1223 76 76 47


  • Ph.D in Sociology, Humboldt University, Berlin

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • Associate Member of the Department of Sociology, University of Oxford
  • Member of the ISA Research Committee 28 on Social Stratification and Mobility (RC28)

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Rob is a University Lecturer within the Faculty's Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre. Prior to joining the Faculty in September 2018, Rob worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Oxford and Berlin. He is a sociologist by training and has worked with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in Ghana before starting his Phd. Rob's current research focuses on inequality in learning outcomes and its relation to educational policy and school characteristics, including private schooling, in Sub-Saharan Africa. He is also interested in the effect of China's market transition on educational and economic inequality. His research has been published in Sociology of Education, the European Sociological Review, the Journal of Marriage and Family, Sociology, and other major journals.

Academic Area/Links

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Research Topics

  • Family background and educational outcomes (China, Sub-Saharan Africa)
  • Long-term trends in educational inequality (China)
  • Private schools (Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia)
  • Life course trajectories and economic inequality (China, US)
  • Quantitative methods

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  • Postgraduate
    • MPhil in Education, Globalisation and International Development
    • Social Science Research Methods Centre (SSRMC)
  • Undergraduate
    • Education, Policy and International Development
    • Designing Educational Research
    • Dissertation Seminar

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Principal and Recent Publications

Gruijters, R.J. & Behrman, J. (forthcoming) "Schooling without Learning: Family Background and Educational Performance in Francophone Africa" Sociology of Education

Gruijters, R.J., (2019) "Expanding Inequality: Trends in Educational Stratification during China's Market Transition" Working Paper

Chan, T.W., Ermisch, J. & Gruijters, R.J. (2019) "The Dynamics of Income Inequality: The Case of China in a Comparative Perspective" European Sociological Review. 35 (3), pp. 431–446

Gruijters, R.J., Ermisch, J. and Chan, T. W. (2019) "Trends in Educational Mobility: How Does China Compare to Europe and the United States?" Chinese Journal of Sociology, 5 (2), pp. 214-240

Gruijters, R.J. & Ermisch, J. (2018) "Patrilocal, Matrilocal or Neolocal? Intergenerational Proximity of Married Couples in China", Journal of Marriage and Family, 81(3), pp. 549-566

Steinhilper, E. & and Gruijters, R.J. (2018) "A Contested Crisis: Policy Narratives and Empirical Evidence on Border Deaths in the Mediterranean", Sociology, 52 (3).

Gruijters, R.J. (2018) "Daughters' and Sons' Remittances in Rural China: Findings from a National Survey", Journal of Family Issues, 39(11) 

Gruijters, R.J. (2017) "Intergenerational Contact in Chinese Families: Structural and Cultural Explanations", Journal of Marriage and Family, 79 (3), pp. 758-768 

Gruijters, R.J. (2016) "Beyond Filial Piety: Intergenerational Relations and Old Age Security in Contemporary China", Doctoral dissertation, Berlin: Humboldt University, 148 pages:

Gruijters, R.J. (2015) "Family Care-giving and Living Arrangements of Physically Impaired Elders in Rural China", Ageing & Society, 37 (3), pp. 633-655

For a full overview, see Google Scholar