School of Education

Image of Qing Gu

Qing Gu

Professor of Education,


  • workRoom C1 Dearing
    Jubilee Campus
    Wollaton Road
    NG8 1BB
  • work0115 951 4538
  • fax0115 951 4416


Professor Qing Gu is a member of the Centre for Research in Educational Leadership and Management in the School of Education. She is Chair of the British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE), an Associate Editor of International Journal of Educational Development and a member of the Editorial Board of a number national and international high impact academic journals. She is also a Senior Research Fellow and a Board member of the Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change (APCLC) of the Education University of Hong Kong, and an Honorary Professor at Anhui Normal University (China). Her research interests are teacher professional development, school leadership and improvement and intercultural learning.

Since she joined the University of Nottingham on completion of her PhD (Birmingham) in 2004, Professor Qing Gu has contributed to the success of a range of international and national research projects as Director, Co-Director and lead researcher, including an ERSC-RGC project on policy enactment in secondary schools in England and Hong Kong, an ESRC project on international students' experiences in UK higher education, a British Academy project on the impact of study abroad experiences on the returnees' work and lives, a RCUK/NCCPE funded project on school-university partnerships, a HEFCE project on university-school partnerships and two government-funded large scale research projects on teachers' work and lives and school leadership. She was co-director of two ESRC seminar series, with one on teacher resilience and the other on the needs of international students. She has recently completed a DfE funded project on the evaluation of Teaching Schools in England, and is currently leading two Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) funded projects investigating whether and how the sector-led approach is a viable way of supporting schools to develop evidence-based practices at scale.

She is author of Teacher Development: Knowledge and Context (Continuum, 2007), and co-author of Teachers Matter (Open University Press, 2007), The New Lives of Teachers (Routledge, 2010), Successful School Leadership: Linking with Learning and Achievement (Open University Press, 2011), and Resilient Teachers, Resilient Schools (Routledge, 2014). Some of these books have been translated into Chinese, Japanese and Spanish. She is editor of The Work and Lives of Teachers in China (Routledge, 2014) and co-editor of The Routledge International Handbook of Education and Development (2015) and Handbook of Education in China (Edward Elgar Books, 2017).

Research Summary

  • As Principal Investigator and Director

2016-7 Evaluation of the Research Schools Network in England; Education Endowment Foundation (£114,810)

2016-8 Evaluation of the Suffolk Challenge Fund; Education Endowment Foundation (£74,159)

2014-5 Why Teachers Leave or Return to the Profession; Department for Education

2013-5 The Evaluation of Teaching Schools; Department for Education (£271,623.83)

2014 School-University Partnerships; RCUK/NCCPE (£15,000)

2012-4 Reshaping Educational Practice for Improvement in Hong Kong and England: How Schools Mediate Government Reforms; Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) project (£110,157)

2010 Prime Minister's Initiative for International Education (PMI2) Partnership Development Grants; British Council (£2,000)

2008-9 The Impact of UK Educational Experiences on Chinese Returnees' Lives and Careers; British Academy project (£7,338)

2006-8 A Comparative Study of International Students' Intercultural Experiences; Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) project (£71,679)

2008 Exploring the Impact of Involvement in NCSL Activity on School Improvement: A Qualitative Study of Secondary Schools; National College for School Leadership (NCSL) project (£10,000); Co-director: Professor Pam Sammons (University of Nottingham)

  • As Co-Investigator
  • 2014 The Effectiveness of Leadership in Secondary Schools in Rio de Janeiro State FIRJAN, Brazil (£98.630)

2013-4 Leadership for Learning: Building Capacity for Effective Teaching and Learning in Schools Serving Disadvantaged Urban Communities; Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC) Knowledge Exchange (£56,824.19)

2010-11 A Multi-Disciplinary Inquiry into the Nature and Forms of Workplace Resilience: Teacher Retention and Effectiveness in Times of Change; Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC) Seminar Series (£13,893)

2009 Partnerships for education, well-being and work: models of university service in the community; Higher Education Funding Council for England (£52,381)

2008-9 Rethinking the Needs of International Students: Critical Perspectives on the Internationalisation of UK Higher Education Institutions; Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC) Seminar Series (£14,880)

2006-8 Exploring the Impact of Involvement in NCSL Activity on School Improvement; National College for School Leadership (NCSL) project (£119,553)

Recent Publications

  • MORGAN, J., GU, Q. and LI, F., 2017. Handbook of Education in China Edward Elgar Books. (In Press.)
  • DAY, C., GU, Q., TOWNSEND, A. and HOLDICH, K., 2017. Transforming the Quality of Education in High Need Communities: Schools-University Partnerships for Change Routledge. (In Press.)
  • GU, Q., 2017. Variations in the conditions for teachers’ professional learning and development: Teacher development, retention and renewal over a career. In: MICHAEL, A. PETERS, BRONWEN COWIE and IAN MENTER, eds., A Companion to Research in Teacher Education (In Press.)
  • DAY, CHRISTOPHER, GU, Q and SAMMONS, P, 2016. The impact of leadership on student outcomes: how successful school leaders use transformational and instructional strategies to make a difference Educational Administration Quarterly. 52(2), 221-258

Qing is a member of the Centre for Research in Educational Leadership and Management. Her research supervision areas include:

  • teacher professional development
  • mixed methods educational research
  • school leadership and development
  • intercultural teaching and learning

Research proposals: please email Qing if you would like to discuss the appropriateness of your research topic.

Past Research

Professor Qing Gu joined the University of Nottingham as a research officer on the Department for Education and Skills funded national study on variations in teachers' work, lives and effectiveness in 2004. She was also also a member of the research team evaluating the London Leadership Strategy (2005-2006), a lead researcher on a Socrates funded Comenius European nine country project on successful leadership of schools in challenging urban contexts (2005-8) and a lead researcher on the Department for Education funded project on the impact of school leadership on pupil outcomes (2006-9).

School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

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