Prashant Loyalka to Become FSI’s Newest Senior Fellow

The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University is pleased to announce that Prashant Loyalka has been promoted to the position of FSI Senior Fellow. Loyalka is currently a Center Research Fellow at FSI and a faculty member of the institute’s Rural Education Action Program (REAP). His appointment as Senior Fellow is effective June 1, 2020, concurrent with his promotion to associate professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education.

“Professor Loyalka’s research has made an impact on millions of people,” said FSI Director Michael McFaul. “Few people have deeper expertise on the inequalities in the education of youth and on how to improve the quality of education received by youth in developing economies such as China, Russia, and India. We are thrilled that he will be a Senior Fellow here at FSI.”

Loyalka’s research examines the consequences of financial constraints, limited information and choices, tracking and admissions rules, as well as social and psychological factors in competitive education environments. His work on understanding educational quality is built around research that assesses and compares student learning in higher education, high school, and compulsory schooling. He also conducts large-scale evaluations of educational programs and policies that seek to improve student outcomes.

“Without doubt, Prashant Loyalka is the number one economist in the world who is working on China’s education system,” said Scott Rozelle, co-director at REAP. “I often say that one of the biggest problems that China faces in the coming years is the weakness of the human capital of its overall labor force. Prashant’s work not only shows the nature of the challenge China faces in trying to raise the levels of education of the massive number of students who are going to school in rural areas, he also has been at the forefront of those that have found effective and cost-effective solutions — solutions that have often been upscaled by policy makers and have affected the lives and learning of millions.”

Loyalka earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a Ph.D. in international comparative education from Stanford in 1997 and 2009, respectively. He is the lead author on the paper "Computer science skills across China, India, Russia, and the United States," which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Loyalka also recently co-authored “Pay by Design: Teacher Performance Pay Design and the Distribution of Student Achievement,” which was published in the Journal of Labor Economics. 

”I am extremely grateful for, and humbled by, the chance to work alongside the outstanding colleagues at FSI,” said Loyalka. “They are striving tirelessly to make the world a better place and I am honored to be among them every day.”