Prof. Louis Volante

Professorial fellow

Research group(s):
1. Economics of Knowledge and Innovation
4. Governance and institutions
7. Social Protection

Louis Volante (PhD) is a Distinguished Professor at Brock University and a Professorial Fellow at UNU-MERIT / Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG). He has held visiting professor appointments in England (University College London), the Netherlands (UNU-MERIT), and Canada (University of Toronto). Professor Volante provides consultancy to various national and international organizations such as the OECD, UNESCO, and the European Commission, recently serving as the coordinator of the Education Sector Policies course offered by the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO) in Paris, France. 

Professor Volante’s interdisciplinary scholarship focuses on the global governance of education; politics, policy, and large-scale reform; political economy of education systems; international achievement surveys and policy diffusion; and impact evaluation of policies and programmes. His research is widely cited in both academic and policy communities and has received continuous funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). His current SSHRC funded research examines the short- and long-term impact of the pandemic on student outcomes. He is fortunate to have a publication record that has included collaborations with over 150 scholars to examine 30 different national education systems.

Among his various distinctions, Professor Volante is a two-time recipient of the R.W.B. Jackson Publication Award, which is awarded annually by CSSE to recognize the most outstanding English language journal article. He has been featured as an educational change expert by research societies such as the American Educational Research Association (AERA). At UNU-MERIT Professor Volante supervises graduate students in the PhD Programme in Governance and Policy Analysis. He also teaches doctoral courses which focus on the Global Governance of Education and Policy Evaluation. Louis completed his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto with a focus on policy studies after receiving a UofT Open Scholarship from the School of Graduate Studies.

To streamline content, only select publications from 2020 onwards are listed.

Selected publications by Louis Volante

Articles (journal, professional, popular)
Volante, Louis & Paola Mattei, 2024, The politicization of PISA in evidence-based policy discourses, Policy Futures in Education, More information
Volante, Louis & Don A. Klinger, 2023, PISA, global reference societies, and policy borrowing: The promises and pitfalls of academic resilience, Policy Futures in Education, 21(7): 755-764, More information
Volante, Louis, Camila Lara, Don A. Klinger & Melissa Siegel, 2022, Academic resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic: a triarchic analysis of education policy developments across Canada, Canadian Journal of Education, More information
Hassan, Elizabeth, Wim Groot & Louis Volante, 2022, Education funding and learning outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa: A review of reviews, International Journal of Educational Research Open, 3: 1-13, More information
Volante, Louis & Don A. Klinger, 2021, PISA and education reform in Europe: Cases of policy inertia, avoidance, and refraction, European Education, 53(1): 45-56, DOI:, More information
Volante, Louis, Don A. Klinger & Melissa Siegel, 2021, Immigrant student resilience: Policy directions for a post-COVID world, Migration Policy Practice, 11(2): 39-43, More information
Volante, Louis, Don A. Klinger & Melissa Siegel, 2021, Confronting the challenge of immigrant and refugee student underachievement: A comparative analysis of education policies and programs in Canada, New Zealand, and England, Comparative and International Education, 49(2): 35-50
Volante, Louis, Don A. Klinger, Livianna Tossutti & Melissa Siegel, 2021, Student achievement depends on reducing poverty now and after COVID-19, The Conversation, April 19, More information
Volante, Louis, Camila Lara, Don A. Klinger & Melissa Siegel, 2020, The use of a multi-dimensional support model to examine policies and practices for immigrant students across Canada, Canadian Journal of Education, 43(1): 121-169
Volante, Louis & Francesca Borgonovi, 2020, Girls consistently outperform boys in reading skills – but could this be changing?, The Conversation, More information

Books (monograph or edited volume)
Schnepf, Sylke, Louis Volante, Don A. Klinger, Orazio Giancola & Luca Salmieri, 2024, The pandemic, socioeconomic disadvantage, and learning outcomes: cross-national impact analyses of education policy reforms, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 208 pp, DOI: 10.2760/800165, More information
Volante, Louis, Sylke Schnepf & Don A. Klinger (eds.), 2022, Cross-National Achievement Surveys for Monitoring Educational Outcomes: Policies, Practices, and Political Reforms within the European Union, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 242 pp, DOI: 10.2760/406165, More information

UNU-MERIT Working Papers
Celbis, Oksana, Mindel van de Laar & Louis Volante, 2023, Resilience in higher education settings during the COVID-19 pandemic: A scoping literature review with implications for policy and practice, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2023-043
Visentin, Andrea & Louis Volante, 2023, Are social inequalities being transmitted through higher education? A propensity-score matching analysis of private versus public university graduates using machine learning models, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2023-039

Borgonovi, Francesca & Louis Volante, 2020, PISA 2018 indicates gender reading gaps are closing: Is it time to celebrate?, The blog International-Education is an outcome of the project OCCAM. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 76500, More information