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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge
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    Dr Rob Gruijters

    Faculty of Education
    184 Hills Road
    CB2 8PQ

    Fellow in Education




    Phd in Sociology (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
    Research Interests

    • Educational inequality in the global South
    • School segregation
    • Private schools
    • Life course research
    • School-to-work transitions and returns to education
    • Quantitative methods


    Rob is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education, where he is affiliated with the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre. Prior to joining the Faculty in September 2018, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Oxford and Berlin. He is a quantitative 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 in relation to school segregation and the growth of private schooling in the global South. Much of this work is based on international learning assessment data, such as PISA, TIMSS, PASEC, and the Peoples Action for Learning (PAL) Network, as well as administrative data. Rob is also interested in the effect of China's market transition on educational and economic inequality; and has written extensively on China’s ‘Great Transformation’.


    • Gruijters, R.J., Alcott, B. & Rose, P. (2021) “Do Private Schools Improve Learning Outcomes? Evidence from Within-Household Comparisons in East Africa and South Asia”. Comparative Education Review. Online first: Link
    • Gruijters, R.J. (2021) “Trends in Educational Stratification during China's Great Transformation”. Oxford Review of Education. Online first: Link
    • Allier-Gagneur, Z. & Gruijters, R.J. (2021) “Beyond Heyneman & Loxley: The Relative Importance of Families and Schools for Learning Outcomes in Francophone Africa”. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, Online first: Link
    • Gruijters, R.J. & Behrman, J. (2020) “Learning Inequality in Francophone Africa: School Quality and the Educational Achievement of Rich and Poor Children” Sociology of Education. 93(3), pp. 256–276, Link
    • 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, Link
    • 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, Link
    • 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. Link
    • Steinhilper, E. & and Gruijters, R.J. (2018) “A Contested Crisis: Policy Narratives and Empirical Evidence on Border Deaths in the Mediterranean”, Sociology, 52 (3). Link
    • Gruijters, R.J. (2018) “Daughters' and Sons' Remittances in Rural China: Findings from a National Survey”, Journal of Family Issues, 39(11). Link  
    • Gruijters, R.J. (2017) “Intergenerational Contact in Chinese Families: Structural and Cultural Explanations”, Journal of Marriage and Family, 79 (3), pp. 758-768. Link
    • Gruijters, R.J. (2015) “Family Care-giving and Living Arrangements of Physically Impaired Elders in Rural China”, Ageing & Society, 37 (3), pp. 633-655, Link