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Ricardo Sabates


Reader in Education

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

Coordinator MPhil in Education, Globalisation and International Development

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
  • Member of British Association for International and Comparative Education BAICE
  • Member of the Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies

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Dr Ricardo Sabates Aysa is Reader in Education at the University of Cambridge. He has published widely on the social benefits of education in the UK and internationally, access to education in less developed nations, and educational inequalities over the life course. His research interests include issues of education in the context of development, in particular the role of parents, schools and other institutions in narrowing educational inequalities over time. Ricardo is a Research Fellow at the Centre for International Education, University of Sussex, and previously a Reader in International Education and Development also at the University of Sussex.

Ricardo has produced important evidence in the field of education using large scale datasets, applying quantitative methods to policy relevant questions.  His paper ‘Who gets what? Is improved access to basic education pro-poor in SSA?’ (with Professor Keith Lewin) published in the International Journal of Educational Development, was awarded the Joyce Caine award in 2012 for outstanding scholar article exploring themes related to Africa.

Ricardo lived and worked in Rwanda between 2012 and 2014 where he was engaged in supporting national and international NGOs with the design of project evaluations. He reviewed proposals for the Innovation for Education Fund Rwanda, and assisted DfID and the Government of Rwanda with the selection of relevant innovative projects.

Research Group/Links

  • Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre

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Research Topics

  • Outcomes of education: health and social participation
  • Educational inequality over the life course
  • 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)

  • Improving Understanding of Complementary Basic Education in Ghana (led by IMC Worldwide and funded by DFID)
  • What works to promote girls' secondary education (led by Professor Pauline Rose and funded by Camfed)
  • Measurement of equity in education (Professor Pauline Rose & Dr Ben Alcott and funded by UNESCO UIS)
  • Long-term effects of Accelerated Learning in Ethiopia (led by the University of Sussex and funded by Geneva Global)
  • Improving Ethiopia's Education System (led by Professor Tassew Woldehanna funded by RISE Programme)
  • Accountability from the grassroots in India (led by Ricardo Sabates in collaboration with Pratham India, funded by ESRC)
  • Theories of Change and Pathways for Action in Citizen Led Assessments (funded by Hewlett Foundation)

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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 Educational Leadership and School Improvement & Education, Globalisation and International Development

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Principal and Recent Publications

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.

Delprato, M., Sabates, R., Akyeampong, K. and Hernandez-Fernandez, J. (2015) ‘On the Impact of Early Marriage on Schooling Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa and South West Asia’ International Journal of Educational Development, 44:42-51.

Simoes, A. A. and Sabates, R. (2014). The contribution of Bolsa Família to the educational achievement of economically disadvantaged children in Brazil. International Journal of Educational Development,

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

Dunne, M., Sabates, R., Bosumtwi-Sam, C., Owusu, A. (2012) ‘School violence and school attendance: Analyses of bullying in Senior Secondary Schools in Ghana’ Journal of Development Studies. DOI:10.1080/00220388.2012.671472

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

Sabates, R., Westbrook, J. and Hernandez-Fernandez, J. (2012). ‘The 1977 Universal Primary Education Reform in Tanzania: A historical base for quantitative enquiry’. International Journal of Research and Method in Education. DOI:10.1080/1743727X.2011.609551

Sabates, R., Harris, A. and Staff, J. (2011) ‘Ambition Gone Awry: The Long-Term Socioeconomic Consequences of Misaligned and Uncertain Ambitions During Adolescence’ Social Science Quarterly, 92(4): 959-977.