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Ricardo Sabates


Professor of Education and International Development

Fellow at Hughes Hall

Member of the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre, University of Cambridge

E-mail Address


+44 (0)1223 767669


  • PhD Development (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)
  • MSc Economics (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)
  • BA Honours (ITAM, Mexico)

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • Research Fellow, Centre for International Education, University of Sussex
  • Treasurer of British Association for International and Comparative Education BAICE
  • Member of the Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies

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Development Economist with 15 years of experience working in areas of educational inequalities mostly in the context of international development. An academic since 2002, started at the Institute of Education London as a research fellow (then senior research fellow) at the Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning. In 2008 moved to the Department of Education, University of Sussex as a Senior Lecturer (later Reader) where he led the MA programme in Education and International Development (2010-2012). During 2012 to 2014 lived in Rwanda and continued to undertake research in educational inequalities for the Centre for International Education, University of Sussex.

In 2015, Dr Sabates Aysa was appointed Reader in Education at the University of Cambridge and appointed Professor of Education and International Development in 2020.  He is an active member of the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre. Ricardo has expertise in the application of quantitative methods in education, understanding and measuring educational inequalities, and contributing to current debates on access and learning for the most marginalised populations. Ricardo has collaborated with numerous international agencies including OECD, UNICEF, UNESCO UIS, DFID and the World Bank. Ricardo has published on issues of the health and social benefits of education, educational inequalities in access and learning in low income countries, as well as determinants of educational disadvantages. His current involvement in research includes projects funded by the DFID-ESRC (Accountability in India - collaboration with ASER); by the MasterCard Foundation (Teacher effectiveness in secondary schools - collaboration with Professor Rose); by the DFID RISE Programme (Understanding the Educational Reform in Ethiopia - collaboration with Professor Waldehanna and Professor Rose); and CAMFED (Equity in cost effectiveness in educational interventions - collaboration with Professor Rose).

He is currently Deputy Director of Research at the Faculty of Education

Research Group/Links

  • Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre
  • Provided analytical policy support on adult learning.

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Research Topics

  • Outcomes of education: health and social participation
  • Inequalities in access and learning
  • Quantitative methods
  • Economics of education

Prospective PhD Applications

Ricardo would welcome informal contact from prospective PhD students on areas to do with his research.

Current Research Project(s)

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  • Postgraduate
    • Doctoral (PhD/EdD) and masters (MPhil/MEd) student supervision
    • Core Research Training course for the thematic MPhil courses
    • Teaching in MPhil Education, Globalisation and International Development

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Principal and Recent Publications

Carter, E., Sabates, R., Rose, P., Akyeampong, K. (2020). Sustaining literacy from Mother Tongue Instruction in Complementary Education into Official Language of Instruction in Government Schools in Ghana International Journal of Educational Development. 76.

Carter, E., Rose, P., Sabates, R., Akyeampong, K.. (2020). Trapped in low performance? Tracking the learning trajectory of disadvantaged girls and boys in the Complementary Basic Education programme in Ghana International Journal of Educational Research.

Alcott, B., Rose, P., Sabates, R., Ellison, C. (2020) From assessment to action: lessons from the development of Theories of Change with the People’s Action for Learning Network. Global Education Review.

Sabates, R., and DiCesare, C. (2019). Can maternal education sustain or enhance the benefits of early life interventions? Evidence from the Young Lives Longitudinal Study. COMPARE: A Journal of Comparative and International Education.

Singal, N., Sabates, R., Aslam, M. and Saeed, S (2019). School enrolment and learning outcomes for children with disabilities: findings from a household survey in Pakistan. International Journal of Inclusive Education.

Salter, E., Kuemmerling, A., Bond, R and Sabates, R. (2017). Education and civic engagement: A comparative study of the benefits of post-compulsory education in England and Germany. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies International Journal. 8(2): 152-168. DOI:

Gathani, S., Gomez, M.P., Sabates, R. and Stoelinga, D. (2016). ‘The effects of monitoring: How data collection type and frequency boosts participation and the adoption of best practices in a coffee agronomy training program in Rwanda’, Evaluation Review, 39(6):555-587 doi:10.1177/0193841X16633584.

Sabates, R., DiCesare, C. and Reilly, B. (2014). Does educational exclusion explain health differentials among children? An empirical analysis of children in Ethiopia using Young Lives data. In S. McGrath and Q. Gu (Eds). Routledge Handbook on Education and Development, Chapter 14, pp 182-195. London: Routledge.

Delprato, M. and Sabates, R. (2014). Analysis of wealth dispersion driving late entry into school: An application using multilevel models. International Journal of Research and Method in Education. DOI:10.1080/1743727X.2014.903917

DiCesare, M., Sabates, R. and Lewin, K.M. (2013) ‘A double prevention: How maternal education can affect maternal mental health, child health and child cognitive development.’ Longitudinal and Life Course Studies International Journal. 4(3): 166-179.

Sabates, R., Hossein, A. and Lewin, K. (2013) ‘School Drop Out in Bangladesh: Insights Using Panel Data’ International Journal of Educational Development.

DiCesare, M. and Sabates, R. (2012) ‘Access to antenatal care and child cognitive development: A comparative analysis in Ethiopia, Peru, Vietnam, and India.’ International Journal of Public Health. 58: 459-467. DOI 10.1007/s00038-012-0418-1

Lewin, K. and Sabates, R. (2012) ‘Who gets what? Is improved access to basic education pro-poor in SSA?’ International Journal of Educational Development, doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2012.02.013

Ricardo Sabates

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