Learn about our goals, expertise and background at the Centre for International Research on Education Systems (CIRES).

The Centre for International Research on Education Systems (CIRES) is a major centre for research on education and training systems. CIRES focuses on studying how well education systems work, for whom they work, and how they might be improved to work well for all.

Our focus

CIRES researchers work with governments and education providers to improve educational opportunities and outcomes through strategically focused research that can inform strong and well-founded education and training policy.

Research conducted by CIRES has a strong theoretical base in social science research, identifying and investigating patterns or trends in participation, achievement and outcomes. It also has a focus on how education and training systems work for different populations and is policy‐focused, providing a guide to formulation and implementation of public policy.

CIRES researchers undertake large-scale survey and policy-related projects covering every state and territory in Australia and every sector of education and training.

We also undertake international comparative research examining the features and performance of education systems around the world.


CIRES is a major source of expertise on:

  • the performance of education and training across all stages of learning and development (including early childhood education and care, primary and secondary schooling, vocational education and training (VET) and higher education)
  • funding of education with a focus on needs-based approaches
  • school effects research
  • school to work transition
  • social differences in student outcomes, and
  • international comparisons of education and training systems.

Research background

CIRES offers high quality and innovative research, evaluation, data collection and analysis related to education and training systems, underpinned by:

  • extensive expertise in both the management of complex large-scale survey projects and fine-grained case studies
  • detailed knowledge of Australian school and education and training systems
  • proven ability to produce written reports of a high standard with regard to expression, accuracy and presentation
  • an extensive publication record in relevant research areas
  • international reputation and profile for quality of education research, and
  • strong links to state and national education providers and research and policy communities.

Communicating research findings

We place a strong emphasis on communicating our research findings in accessible ways, and regularly give presentations in forums including:

  • workshops for education system staff, principals and teachers
  • keynote addresses
  • invited lectures
  • academic conferences
  • seminars.