James Tooley, Ph.D.

James Tooley, Ph.D.

University of Buckingham


Professor James Tooley, PhD, is Vice-Chancellor at the University of Buckingham, where he is also professor of educational entrepreneurship and policy.

Before this, for two decades he was professor of education policy at Newcastle University. During those two decades, he also took five years’ unpaid leave, to enable him to foster entrepreneurial projects in education in the developing world, tied to his research. He was previously an academic at the Universities of Oxford and Manchester and a researcher at the National Foundation for Educational Research.

His groundbreaking research on low – cost private education has won numerous awards; including gold prize in the first International Finance Corporation/Financial Times Private Sector Development Competition, a Templeton Prize for Free Market Solutions to Poverty, and the National Free Enterprise Award from the Institute of Economic Affairs, London.

His book based on this research, The Beautiful Tree: A personal journey into how the world’s poorest are educating themselves”, (Penguin), was a best – seller in India and won the Sir Antony Fisher Memorial Prize.

Tooley’s work has featured in documentaries on American PBS television and the BBC. He has been described in the pages of Philanthropy magazine as “a 21st century Indiana Jones” travelling to “the remotest regions on Earth researching something that many regard as mythical: private, parent-funded schools serving the Third World poor.

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