Professor Beng Huat See

School of Education
Professor of Education Research

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Passionate about improving schools, children and young people’s education and their wider outcomes based on robust research evidence, and evidence-led policies and programmes. A key focus is the supply, development, well-being and retention of teachers.


  • Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences
  • Fellow of Royal Society of Arts
  • Fellow of the Wolfson Institute for Health and Wellbeing
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • PhD in Education 2004
  • Dip in Social Science Research Methods 2001
  • MEd in Education Management and TEFL
  • Further Professional Diploma in Education
  • RSA Dip in TESOL
  • Dip in Education
  • BA (Geography and Economics)


Beng Huat See joined the University of Birmingham, School of Education as Professor Teacher Education on 1 May 2024. Prior to that she was Professor of Education Research at Durham University where she was the Deputy Director of the Durham University Evidence Centre for Education (DECCE). She was trained as a social scientist (specialising in education as a field) and has worked in a range of social science areas including health promotion, character education, developing critical thinking skills. Perhaps her unique (or at least rare) research skill lies in the conduct of systematic reviews and the natural synthesis of evidence of all types and qualities. She is also proficient in the re-use of existing large-scale datasets, the conduct of trials and other robust evaluations, and the full range of in-depth field work. 

Beng Huat’s career began as a secondary school teacher in Singapore where she taught geography and English for 16 years. For seven years she headed the humanities department. In 1994 she completed her Masters in Education at Cardiff University specialising in education management and TEFL, having had an RSA diploma in TESOL from the British Council. She spent 3 years teaching GCSE and A-level geography in an FE college in South Wales. In 2000 she was awarded an ESRC doctoral training scholarship in the open competition era, investigating the determinants of teacher supply and demand. 

Prof See is a nominated fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the Royal Society of Arts and the UK Higher Education Academy. She serves on a number of UKRI grant assessment panels and regularly reviews grant proposals for international research organisations. And she regularly provides consultative advice to the DfE, ESRC and the Cabinet Office. 

Her research interests are wide and varied, but stems mainly from her desire to help children of all ages, gender, abilities and ethnicity to enjoy school and to achieve their full potential. Her current research is focused on teacher supply, teacher wellbeing, professional development of teachers and school leaders, and improving the diversity of the teaching workforce. She is also interested in areas relating to critical thinking, parental involvement and education programmes to improve the learning and wider outcomes of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

She currently leads a substantial ESRC project examining teacher education policies in OECD and partner countries to identify key political, cultural, institutional and economic drivers of teacher supply. She also co-leads two other ESRC-funded projects. One of these is to improve the selection and recruitment of STEM teachers, and the other is looking at ways to improve the ethnic diversity in the teacher workforce. Her previous ESRC-funded project looked at the key determinants of teacher shortages in England. 

Prof See is keen to develop the next generation of social scientists and would welcome interested people to work with her on exciting projects

Postgraduate supervision

Completed supervisions

  • Relationship between principals’ instructional leadership and school effectiveness: Does it make a difference: Evidence from the Maldives
  • Evaluating the impact of explicit instruction in critical thinking on the critical thinking skills of English language learners in higher education
  • The effectiveness and equity of grammar schools in England
  • How good are value-added measures of teacher performance? A review and empirical investigation using data from Turkey
  • A consideration of co-operative learning to enhance pre-service teachers’ achievement in tertiary English as a foreign language (EFL) classrooms in Thailand
  • An analysis of the influencing factors motivating would-be teachers into teaching 

Current supervisions

  • An investigation of the impact of Accelerated Reader on Chinese primary school students’ reading performance and reading attitude
  • A study of English language learners’ motivation to learn English and the impact of motivation on language proficiency.
  • Improving teacher wellbeing – a systematic review of promising approaches and an RCT of the LADDER approach to teacher development
  • Evaluating the impact of the use of classroom dialogue to promote higher order thinking skills in China from an exam-oriented education system perspective
  • Assessing the impact of self-regulation/metacognition training on Chinese secondary school students’ learning and non-cognitive outcomes
  • An investigation into the impact of the infusion approach to critical thinking skills among Chinese students in higher education
  • A Study of the Correlation Between the Qualifications of Secondary School Math Teachers and Student Academic Achievement


Research interests

  • Teacher supply, teacher development, teacher effectiveness
  • School leadership practices
  • Improving teacher working conditions
  • Improving education and wider outcomes for disadvantaged children
  • Parental involvement in children’s education
  • Critical thinking skills

Other activities

  • 2023 to current: Guest editor of Education Sciences
  • 2023: ESRC proposal reviewer for Creating Opportunities Evaluation Development Fund
  • 2023: UKRI policy fellowship assessment panel
  • 2023: Nuffield Foundation proposal evaluator
  • 2022: ESRC Food Systems trial assessment panel
  • 2022: Time critical Covid-19 research assessment panel
  • 2021 to current: Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences search for fellows 2024 committee
  • 2000 to 2024: Member of the ESRC grants review assessment panel B
  • 2000: Grants reviewer for the National Centre for Science and Technology Evaluation (NCSTE)
  • 2000:  Grants reviewer for the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
  • 2021, 2023: Grants reviewer for the Singapore Ministry of Education
  • 2000: Member of the British Education Research Association
  • 2000: Editorial Board member of Educational Research and Evaluation, BERJ and Nordic Journal of Systematic Reviews (2022)
  • Member of the panel of evaluators for the Education Endowment Foundation
  • Panel reviewer for the Education Endowment Foundation
  • Peer reviewer for over 20 journals