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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education
Ruth Hayhoe

Ruth Hayhoe

phone: (416) 978-1213

Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Centre for the Study of Canadian and International Higher Education

Research Overview

Ruth's research has mainly related to Chinese higher education and educational relations between East Asia and the West. She has been interested in the ways in which cultural values and epistemologies from Eastern civilizations may provide a resource for new thinking in global higher education development. She is also interested in the intersection between Asian ways of knowing and women's ways of knowing, and questions of gender in cross-cultural leadership, topics stimulated by her personal experience of institutional leadership in an Asian context.

 Ruth completed a study of the lives and ideas of eleven influential Chinese educators in 2006, developing a set of Portraits which illustrate the continuing value of the Confucian educational heritage. In 2011 she completed a parallel study of China's universities in the move to mass higher education, developing portraits of 12 Chinese universities of different types in different regions of China, as they evolved over the massification process.Most recently she carried out a study of Canada-China university linkages supported by the Canadian International Development Agency and their contribution to China's dramatic transformation over recent decades. This was published by McGill Queens University Press in 2016.

Curriculum Vitae

Academic History

Ruth received a BA in Classics from the University of Toronto (1967), and MA and PhD degrees in Comparative Education from the University of London Institute of Education (1978 and 1984). She also has a Certificate in Education from the University of Hong Kong (1975) and a Diploma of Theology from the University of London (1978).

Teaching Overview

Ruth teaches the following three graduate courses, normally one in every autumn term:

1825 Comparative Education Theory and Methodology

1826 Comparative Higher Education

3810 International Academic Relations

She also developed a related studies course and textbook in Comparative and International Education for the B Ed. Program, together with Karen Mundy, Kathy Bickmore, Meggan Madden and Kathy Madjidi. She taught the course with Karen Mundy in 2006 and 2007, and since then it has been often used in teacher education courses at OISE (CIDEC). It has also been so widely used across Canada and internationally that Canadian Scholars Press requested us to prepare a revised and updated version which came out in February of 2017: K. Bickmore, R. Hayhoe, C. Manion, K. Mundy & R. Read (editors) Comparative and International Education:Issues for Teachers (Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press)

Representative Publications

R. Hayhoe, "The Gift of Indian Higher Learning Traditions to the Global University,"  The Asia Pacific Journal of Education,  Vol. 39, Issue 2, June, 2019, pp.177-189. 

Malini Sivasubramnian and Ruth Hayhoe (Eds) Religion and Education: Comparative and International Perspectives Oxford Studies in Comparative Education, (Oxford: Symposium Books, 2018), 387pp.

Ruth Hayhoe, Julia Pan and Qiang Zha, Canadian Universities in China’s Transformation: An Untold Story (Montreal: McGill Queens University Press, 2016)

Ruth Hayhoe, China Through the Lens of Comparative Education: The Selected Writings of Ruth Hayhoe, World Library of Educationalists (London: Routledge, 2015)

Ruth Hayhoe, “Hopes for a Confucian Pedagogy in China?” Journal of Curriculum Studies, Vol. 46, No. 3, 2014, pp. 313-319.

R. Hayhoe, Julia Pan, Qiang Zha, “Lessons from the Legacy of Canada-China University Linkages,” Frontiers of Education in China, Vol. 8, No. 1, March 2013, pp. 78-102.

R. Hayhoe, J. Li, J. Lin and Q. Zha, Portraits of 21st Century Chinese Universities: In the Move to Mass Higher Education (Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre, University of Hong Kong and Springer, 2011)

R. Hayhoe and F. Yan (eds.), “China’s universities in the move to mass higher education: The Search for Equality, Quality and Diversity,” Special Issue of Frontiers of Education in China, Vol. 5, No. 4, December 2010, pp. 465-577.

Ruth Hayhoe and Yongling Lu, “Christianity and Cultural Transmission,” in R.G. Tiedemann (Ed.) Handbook of Christianity in China, Volume Two: 1800 to the Present (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2010), pp. 681-691.

Ruth Hayhoe and Jian Liu, “China’s Universities, Cross-Border Education and the Dialogue among Civilizations,” in David Chapman, William Cummings and Gerard Postiglione (eds.) Crossing Borders in East Asian Higher Education (Hong Kong: Comparative Education Centre, University of Hong Kong and Springer Press, 2010), pp. 76-100.

K. Mundy, K. Bickmore, R. Hayhoe, M. Madden and K. Madjidi (eds), Comparative and International Education: Issues for Teachers (Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press Incorporated, and New York: Teachers College Press, 2008), 394pp.

Ruth Hayhoe, Portraits of Influential Chinese Educators (Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre, University of Hong Kong, and Dordecht, Netherlands: Springer, 2006), 398 pages.

Meet Ruth Hayhoe - Watch the Video 


Research Grants and Contracts

Co-Investigator, "Partners for Development or Privatizing the Public Good? The Role of Private Higher Education in the Global Knowledge Society SSHRCC Insight Grant, $261,178, 2018-2022

Co-Investigator, "Reciprocal Learning in teacher education between Canada and China," SSHRCC Partnership Grant, 3 Million dollars, 2013-2020

CoInvestigator, "China, India and the Challenge to Canada's 'Diplomacy of Knowledge': A Comparative Study of the internationalization of higher education," SSHRCC Insight development grant, $71,275.00, 2014-2016.

Principal Investigator, "Canada-China University Linkages in a New Era of Global Geo-Politics. SSHRCC project, $111,001.00, 2011-2015.

Principal Investigator, "China's Move to Mass Higher Education: Implications for Democratization and Global Cultural Dialogue: SSHRCC Standard Grant, $170, 548, 2006-2010.

Honours and Awards

Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Victoria University, 2019.

Ming Yuan Award for Outstanding Contributions to Chinese Education Research 2015

Honorary Doctor of Letters, Open University of Hong Kong, 2015

C.J. Koh Professor, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2012.

Honorary Fellow of the Comparative International Education Society, 2011.

Lifetime Contribution Award, conferred by the Higher Education Special Interest Group of the Comparative and International Education Society, USA, 2009.

Honorary Doctorate of Education, Hong Kong Institute of Education, November, 2002
Silver Bauhinia Star, Hong Kong SAR Government, June, 2002.

Commandeur dans l'ordre des Palmes acadmiques (Paris, France, April, 2002)

Silver Bauhinia Star, Hong Kong SAR Government, 2002.

Professional Activities

Ruth's professional career began as a secondary school teacher in Hong Kong (1967-1978), followed by undergraduate teaching at Fudan University in Shanghai (1980-82), lecturing at the Roehampton Institute of Higher Education in London (1983), postdoctoral work at OISE (1984-1986), and an academic career at OISE since 1986. Two extended leaves of absence enabled her to take up the post of First Secretary for Culture and Education at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing (1989-1991) and Director of the Hong Kong Institute of Education directly after Hong Kong's return to China (1997-2002). She also served as Chair of the Higher Education Group at OISE, 1993-1995, and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, 1996-1997. In 1996 she was visiting professor at Nagoya University in Japan for six months under a Japan Foundation Fellowship. Since 2002 she has been on a half-time appointment at OISE/UT.

Ruth's exposure to East Asia, and especially Hong Kong and China, has given her a lifelong fascination with Chinese cultural and philosophical traditions, and a desire to bridge the contrasting educational and philosophical worlds of East Asia and North America. She has had a particular interest in the "Dialogue among Civilizations" and has organized a number of large-scale conferences relating to this. She served as a Trustee for the historic New York-based United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia from 2000 to 2010, and Secretary from 2003 to 2010. In this role, she was actively involved in an Asianization process that resulted in all of the Board's Programs and the Vice President's office being moved from New York to Hong Kong under the leadership of the first Asian Chairman of the Board. From 2010 to 2017 Ruth served on the international advisory board of the University of Macao.