University of Hong Kong
Network Member

Nirmala Rao is Professor, Faculty of Education and Director of Graduate Studies & Associate Dean, Graduate School, The University of Hong Kong. She is a Developmental and Chartered (Educational) Psychologist who is internationally recognized for her research on early child development and education in Asian cultural contexts. This research has focused on the development, evaluation, and dissemination of evidence-based programmes directed at children in the early childhood stage of development with the objective of finding out why they have the effects that they do. Her work is underpinned by the belief that empirical research should inform educational and social policy relevant to children and their families, and by a commitment to equity, particularly in relation to access to education for children who are disadvantaged. She has conducted program evaluation research in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong and India and studied parenting practices and preschool quality in Asia. She is currently leading the development of a pan-Asian measure of early child development. Recognition of her research is reflected in her publications, requests to provide technical expertise and consultancy for the UN and its associated agencies, and to serve on committees concerned with child development in the developing world.