International Comparisons

We have a long and successful history of delivering large-scale international assessments and benchmarking studies, which draws on our unique, multi-disciplinary expertise in assessment, evaluation, statistics, research operations and policy mapping.

International comparisons between the policies, structures, participants and beneficiaries of different education systems, when used appropriately, can offer valuable insights for anyone seeking to better understand and improve outcomes. Our rigorous and independent approach, reliable survey infrastructure, understanding of complex survey designs and secondary analysis experience ensure our findings are internationally respected.

NFER has partnered with the IEA and OECD in the design and delivery of a wide range of ground breaking international studies such as PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS. We have also published analyses and reports using international datasets to provide insights to inform and challenge policy. NFER is a founder member of IEA and AEA Europe.

We carry out international policy and system-mapping projects that support evidence-based decision making and help to put international study findings into context. For example, from 1980 to March 2020 we provided the National Unit for England, Wales and Northern Ireland in Eurydice, an information network on lifelong learning systems and policies in Europe. We also developed and managed the INCA (International Review of Curriculum and Assessment Frameworks) website and represented the UK in the Youth Wiki, Europe's online encyclopedia of national youth policies.