An inevitable phenomenon: A bibliometric analysis of shadow education research (1982–2022)

Anas Hajar, Mehmet Karakus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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This study systematically maps the research trends in the domain of “shadow education” over the last 40 years using metadata extracted from the SCOPUS database. The results reveal that the outputs of shadow education research have grown exponentially within the last decade. Bray and his colleagues from the University of Hong Kong, East China Normal University, and the Education University of Hong Kong have been the most prolific and influential research team. They are followed by Park and Byun from the USA, who have mostly worked on East Asian contexts. The USA, Hong Kong, South Korea, and the People’s Republic of China, have been the main sources of contributions and the University of Hong Kong has been the leading university in this field. Educational studies, economics, psychology, linguistics, and sociology have been the main disciplines researched within shadow education. Shadow education studies have revealed how shadow education can be a major instrument for maintaining and exacerbating social inequalities. They have also largely focused on the tangible (quantifiable) benefits related to improving students’ examination results. This study’s results stress the importance of regulating the private tutoring market, suggesting areas for ongoing research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnual Review of Comparative and International Education 2022
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-83753-738-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-83753-739-6
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2023

Publication series

NameInternational Perspectives on Education and Society
ISSN (Print)1479-3679

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education [grant number 20122022FD4117].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by Anas Hajar and Mehmet Karakus.


  • Shadow education
  • private tutoring
  • private tuition
  • bibliometric analysis
  • literature review
  • science mapping
  • comparative education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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