Beng Huat is a professor of education research at Durham University, School of Education. 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. 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.
Beng Huat’s career began as a secondary school teacher in Singapore where she taught geography, English and religious studies 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. She was awarded an ESRC doctoral training scholarship in the open competition era in 2000, investigating the determinants of teacher supply and demand, the findings of which have led to two submissions to the House of Commons Select Committee.