Alexei du Bois

Alexei is a Commonwealth and National Research Foundation Scholar reading for a DPhil (PhD) in Comparative & International Education at the University of Oxford, where he focuses on sustainable development policy implementation in the South African education sector.

He is also a faculty member for the Cambridge University & University of Cape Town Education for Sustainable Leadership Programme.

Alexei has worked with disadvantaged communities across Southern Africa, has written and presented on school leadership, sustainability and community development in the UK and South Africa.

Before coming to Oxford, Alexei directed the Luleka Exchange Programme – a multi-school partnership that facilitated curriculum exchange, professional development, fundraising and infrastructure development, as well as leadership capacity building in both disadvantaged and fee-paying South African public schools. His work was recognised by the Western Cape Education Department as outstanding.

In 2014, Alexei was awarded his MSc in Comparative & International Education at the University of Oxford, focusing on exceptional school leaders in urban slum areas in South Africa. As a DPhil student, his dissertation examines comparatively the understandings and practices of South African school teachers and policy makers who incorporate education for sustainable development into their teaching and curricular planning and practice, so as to better understand the realities of enacting the Sustainable Development Goals in the South African education sector.

Throughout the last four years, Alexei has served as an education consultant for the British Council, UNICEF, Matisse Technologies, and the Independent Schools’ Association of Southern Africa on issues ranging from exceptional school leadership, to educational technology development and sustainable development policy.

Alexei also holds degrees from the University of Cape Town and the University of South Africa, graduating from both with distinction. He matriculated at the University of Cape Town with an entrance scholarship and graduated with consecutive class medals in History, English and Music (BA, 2010). In 2011, he received a fellowship to the University of South Africa (PGCE, 2012), where he studied the expressive aspects of the national Mathematics curriculum that have a key role in pupils’ learning. Whilst a full-time student at the University of Cape Town, and a distance student at UNISA, Alexei worked as a teacher developing collaborative provincial primary education programs and working together with the national education department in assisting schools in low-income areas to implement the new national curriculum. He also worked as a freelance musician, performing in concerts and at venues across South Africa, and internationally in the United Kingdom, USA and Germany. At the University of Oxford (MSc, 2014), Alexei was elected cohort leader, and was awarded a scholarship to represent Oxford at international education conferences in Barcelona and Singapore.


Thesis title
An empirical analysis of the implementation of Education for Sustainable Development in South African high schools

Dr David Johnson

Research interests
Education and development, sustainable development policy, education in post-conflict societies, curriculum and reconciliation, urban disadvantaged/rural education, education in sub-Saharan Africa, Comparative & International Education, school leadership, teacher competencies


  • du Bois, Alexei. (2016). Sustainable Development in South African Schools. Presentation. Johannesburg: ISASA Symposium.
  • du Bois, Alexei. (2016). Education in South Africa: Reflections on apartheid and democracy. Presentation. Comparative International Education Seminar Series: Education in Africa. Oxford: Department of Education.
  • du Bois, Alexei. (2015). Exceptional School Leadership In Impoverished Communities. Presentation. Cape Town: ISBC Conference
  • du Bois, Alexei. (2014). Schools Matter: An Empirical Study of Factors Affecting Standardised Test Results in Primary Schools in Khayelitsha. Dissertation, MSc Comparative & International Education – Department of Education at the University of Oxford.
  • du Bois, Alexei. (2014). Schools Matter: Factors Affecting School Performance in Khayelitsha. Oxford: Pembroke Graduate Research Conference.


  • Research student

College affiliation

  • St Catherine's College

Research groups

  • Comparative and International Education