The World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) was formally established in 1970 during the first World Congress held in Ottawa, Canada as the World Council of Comparative Education, and a year later the name was changed to its present status.

The WCCES serves as an umbrella organization comprised of comparative education societies and UNESCO. Beginning with only five comparative education society members in 1970, the Council has grown to 36 constituent member societies in 2007 and 41 in 2016. Most members are national comparative education societies, but some are organized around global regions (e.g., Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society) and languages (e.g., Association Francophone d'éducation Comparée).

The Council has retained its original organizational structure and overall purpose since it was first organized in 1970. The WCCES leadership is comprised of five officers, namely the President, Secretary-General, Treasurer, and two Vice Presidents. Member societies have single representation within WCCES on the Executive Committee. UNESCO has also traditionally had representation on the Executive Committee. Additional leadership roles have been formed over the years, including the organization of standing committees around various themes related to specific Council-sponsored projects and activities (e.g.,publications, finances, and special projects). The Historian role was added in the 1990s and WCCES historical archive was established and originally housed by Kent State University until 2014, when the WCCES Archive was transferred to the University of Pittsburgh.

World Congresses are generally held once every three years, and rotate locations. Sixteen congresses have been held since the original meeting in Ottawa. In May 2019, the 17th World Congress will be held at Riviera Maya in Mexico.

11970Ottawa, CanadaEducation and the Formation of the Teaching Profession; Educational Aid to Developing Countries
21974Geneva, SwitzerlandEfficiencies and Inefficiencies in Secondary Schools
31977London, United KingdomUnity and Diversity in Education
41980Tokyo, JapanTradition and Innovation in Education
51984Paris, FranceDependence and Interdependence in Education: The Role of Comparative Education
61987Rio de Janeiro, BrazilEducation, Crisis and Change
71989Montreal, CanadaDevelopment, Communication and Language
81992Prague, CzechoslovakiaEducation and Democracy
91996Sydney, AustraliaTradition, Modernity and Postmodernity
101998Cape Town, South AfricaEducation, Equity and Transformation
112001Chungbuk, Republic of KoreaNew Challenges, New Paradigms: Moving Education into the 21st Century
122004Havana, CubaEducation and Social Justice
132007Sarajevo, Bosnia and HerzegovinaLiving Together: Education and Intercultural Dialogue
142010Istanbul, TurkeyBordering, Re-Bordering and New Possibilities in Education and Society
152013Buenos Aires, ArgentinaNew Times, New Voices
162016Beijing, ChinaDialectics of Education: Comparative Perspectives.
172017Cancún, MéxicoThe Future of Education

WCCES Past Presidents and President

Joseph Katz1970-1974
Brian Holmes1974-1977
Masunori Hiratsuka1977-1980
Erwin H. Epstein1980-1983
Michel Debeauvais1983-1987
Vandera Masemann1987-1991
Wolfgang Mitter1991-1996
David N. Wilson1996-2001
Anne Hickling- Hudson2001-2004
Mark Bray2004-2007
Crain Soudien2007-2010
Wing On Lee2010-2013
Carlos Alberto Torres2013-2016
N´Dri T. Assie-Lumumba2016-2019