Prof Crain Soudien was educated in the fields of education and African Studies at the Universities of Cape Town and UNISA in South Africa and the State University of New York at Buffalo. His PhD dissertation from Buffalo was on South African youth identity.  He is a former deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town, where he remains an emeritus professor in Education and African Studies and the former Chief Executive Officer of the Human Sciences Research Council. He has honorary professorial appointments at the Nelson Mandela University and the Cape University of Technology.

Prof Soudien’s publications in the areas of social difference, culture, education policy, comparative education, educational change, public history and popular culture include four books, onewe co-authored book, six edited collections and over 230 articles, reviews, reports, and book chapters. He has an A-rating in the South African research system. He is involved in a number of local, national and international social and cultural organisations and is chairperson of the Independent Examinations Board, a founder and former chairperson of the District Six Museum Foundation, a former president of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies, and has served as the chair of three Ministerial Committees of Enquiry, including the Ministerial Committee on Transformation in Higher Education and the Ministerial Committee to Evaluate Textbooks for Discrimination.

He is a fellow of the International Academy of Education, the African Academy of Science, a Senior Fellow of NORRAG, Geneva Graduate Institute, a member of the Academy of Science of South African, a former fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies, the SARCHI Chair in Development Education, UNISA and the Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Research, University of Alberta. Prof Soudien serves on the boards of a number of cultural, heritage, education and civil society structures.