In both MRes and PhD projects, Yiran continues to focus on basic education in rural China, evaluating educational governance, quality and inequity.
Yiran's PhD project aims to evaluate China's emerging model of provision of basic education in rural areas. Responding to the nation's New Urbanisation Plan (2014-2020), grass-root governments are experimenting public-private partnerships (PPPs) with businesses that are specilised in educational core services, such as school management, course development and teacher training. This educational PPP model has been officially praised as a revolutionary solution which manage to duplicate quality education from urban elite schools to less developed rural areas. Being one of the first studies on this topic, the project uses qualitative methods to analyse the economic and social effects of such organisation of basic schooling in the urbnisation process of rural China.