Professor Stephen Lamb is an Emeritus Professor in the Centre for International Research on Education Systems (CIRES). He has a distinguished record of contribution to educational research and policy over the last 30 years achieved through an extensive research program and a strong publication record. His research is concerned with how well schools and education systems work, for whom and why.

Stephen has undertaken a range of high-impact policy research projects for governments, systems and schools and has extensive experience on a wide range of international and national projects on school funding, performance of schools and school systems, influences on student achievement and outcomes, quality of school programs, and school to work transition.

Stephen is the lead researcher for the International Study of City Youth (ISCY), an international longitudinal study of 10th grade students in a number of cities of the world. It aims to find out more about student journeys through school into further study, work and life more broadly beyond school. ISCY is designed to compare how well school systems in Europe, Canada, North America, Asia and Australia are preparing young people for further study and work.

Areas of expertise

  • Curriculum & student attainment
  • Education research
  • Educational impacts
  • International Education
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Quantitative methods
  • School funding
  • School-to-work transition
  • Social theory and educational policy
  • Student achievement
  • Student journey
  • Student outcomes
  • Student transition
  • Students
  • Youth

Contact details

+61 (3) 9919 9523


Research reports

Lamb, S., Huo, S., Walstab, A., Wade, A., Maire, Q., Doecke, E., Jackson, J., & Endekov, Z. (2020). Educational opportunity in Australia 2020: Who succeeds and who misses out. Centre for International Research on Education Systems, Victoria University, for the Mitchell Institute, Melbourne: Mitchell Institute.

Lamb, S., Maire, Q., Walstab, A., Newman, G., Doecke, E. and Davies, M. (2018) Improving participation and success in VET for disadvantaged learners. Adelaide: NCVER.

Lamb, S., Maire, Q. and Doecke, E. (2017) Key Skills for the 21st Century: an evidence-based review. Sydney: NSW Department of Education.

Lamb, S., Jackson, J., Walstab, A., and Huo, S. (2015)  Educational opportunity in Australia 2015: Who succeeds and who misses out. Centre for International Research on Education Systems, Victoria University, for the Mitchell Institute. Melbourne: Mitchell Institute.

Robinson, L. and Lamb, S. (2012) How Young People are Faring. Foundation for Young Australians, Melbourne.

Davies, M., Lamb, S. & Doecke, E. (2011) Strategic Review of Effective Re-Engagement Models for Disengaged Learners. Melbourne: DEECD. 


Lamb, S., Markussen, A., Teese, R., Sandberg, N. & Polesel, J. (Eds.) (2011) School dropout and completion: international comparative studies in theory and practice. Dordrecht: Springer.

Zhenyi, H. & Lamb, S. (2010) International Comparisons of China’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training System.  Dordrecht: Springer.

Teese, R., Lamb, S. & Duru-Bellat, M. (Eds.) (2007) International Studies in Educational Inequality, Theory and Policy Dordrecht: Springer.

Book chapters

Maire, Q., & Lamb, S. (2017). Inequalities in Students' Well-being Experiences and Skills in French Secondary Education: A Perspective from the International Study of City Youth (ISCY) in Bordeaux. In J. Marcionetti, L. Castelli, & A. Crescentini (Eds.), Well-being in Education Systems (pp. 94-98). Firenze: Hogrefe.

Lamb, S. and Walstab, A. (2010) Non-completion in vocational education and training: issues, patterns and possibilities. In McGaw, B. (Editor in Chief), Third International Encyclopaedia in Education (pp. 1-15). London: Elsevier.

Lamb, S. (2007) School reform and inequality in urban Australia: a case of residualising the poor. In R. Teese, S. Lamb and M. Duru-Bellat (Eds.), International Studies in Educational Inequality, Theory and Policy (pp. 1-38). Netherlands: Springer.

Refereed journal articles

Lamb, S. (2011) ‘TVET and the poor: challenges and possibilities’, International Journal of Training Research, vol. 9(1/2), pp. 80–101.

Walstab, A. and Lamb, S. (2009) ‘Participation in VET across Australia: a regional analysis’, Australian Bulletin of Labour, vol. 35(2), pp. 452-487.

Conference presentations

Doecke, E. and Lamb, S. (2017) Student well-being within Melbourne, Australia: findings from the International Study of City Youth. In Marcionetti, J., Castelli, L. and Crescentini, A. (Eds.), Well-being in Education Systems Conference Abstract Book. Locarno 2017 (pp.89-93). Florence, Italy: Hogrefe Editore.

Lamb, S., Glover, S. and Walstab, A. (2014) “Educational Disadvantage and Regional and Rural Schools”. ACER Research Conference.  Melbourne.

Davies, M. and Lamb, S. (2012) ‘Effective strategies for re-engaging low skill adult dropouts in education and training’.  Paper presented at the American Education Research Association (AERA) Conference, Vancouver BC.

Lamb, S. (2011)  ‘International Differences in Dropout and Inequality’, Paper presented at the AERA Annual Conference, New Orleans.