2009 Chair’s Report, Lore Arthur

September 2009

Dear BAICE member,

This has been a good and very busy year for the Society, despite a slight decrease in membership, possibly due to the current economic climate. However, BAICE has a very strong and highly committed Executive Committee – as you can see from the number of increased activities undertaken this year. Furthermore, the journal COMPARE is continuing to enhance its international reputation which is reflected in the sheer number of articles submitted for refereeing from many countries across the globe. This has meant that we have been able to increase the number of journal issues to six per year – without having to increase our membership fee! For the time being we remain financially in a sound position. We have continued to be a constituent member of the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS), the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) and The United Kingdom Forum for International Education and Training (UKFIET).

Student prize

As announced at last year’s AGM we have offered a student prize of £500 for what was in our view the best paper presented at the BAICE biennial conference in Glasgow last year. The prize went to Arathi Sriprakash, University of Cambridge, for her paper “Joyful Learning in rural Indian Primary Schools” (see BAICE website for further details). We intend to do the same for the 2010 BAICE conference.

Sponsored events

Last October the Executive Committee decided – and this is a new development for BAICE – to choose a particular theme for the coming year under which seminars or day conferences would be sponsored, for up to £1000. A further aim was to strengthen regional collaboration between universities with shared academic interests. The theme chosen for 2008-2009 was “Internationalisation of Educational Research, Learning and Teaching”. Following the announcement on the BAICE website we received three applications and we decided to sponsor all three. These were:

  • University of Brighton for “Cultural Relationships in PhD supervision: a symposium to explore the experiences of international doctoral students and supervisors in UK universities”, a one-day workshop which was held in May 2009.  Eight supervisors and eleven students from many different countries attended, representing seven universities in the Southeast region: Brighton, Chichester, Kent at Canterbury, Portsmouth, Southampton, Surrey and Sussex. Separate symposia were held for students in the morning and supervisors in the afternoon.
  • University of Cambridge and the University of East Anglia with two linked workshops in May and June this year entitled “Internationalising Educational Research Cultures and Graduate Training”. These two workshops provided an opportunity to reflect on the ‘internationalisation of higher education’ in terms of educational research in a cross-cultural context, as well as exploring issues around pedagogy and practice in education faculties. The workshops were attended by 34 participants on each occasion.
  • University of Bristol for “Intercultural Competencies in International Higher Education Communities: Initiating European Conversations” which will take place September 22nd, following the UKFIET conference. The one day seminar, to be held in collaboration with ESCalate, with over 50 participants is already oversubscribed.

The success of these three conferences is an indication that such one-day events are popular and that the theme chosen for this year is, indeed, topical and of considerable interest to many in the comparative, international field. It is anticipated that all three projects will be presented at the 2010 BAICE Conference.   Interim reports have been posted on the BAICE website.

The Executive Committee will choose another theme for the coming academic year. Suggestions are welcome, by October 15 (contact Sheila Trahar at s.trahar@bristol.ac.uk). Further details will be announced on the BAICE website in due course.

Additional activities

In addition, the Committee supported again the very successful Compare/BAICE Writers’ Development Programme which took place in London following the BAICE Conference in Glasgow. This event was set up and developed by Dr Anna Robinson-Pant, co-editor of Compare, together with Dr Theresa Lillies and Dr Anna Magyar, with writers submitting for peer reviewing their articles for publication after online mentoring support lasting five months. The event will again be hosted at the UKFIET conference, Oxford with 22 participants from a wide range of countries.

The second Dissertation Writing Workshop, aimed at Masters students researching in international and comparative education, also took place in May this year. This is a joint venture between the University of Birmingham and the University of Bristol. The event was hosted by the Centre for International Education and Research at the School of Education (CIER), University of Birmingham where approximately 50 delegates met throughout the day.  A poster display profiling a sample of dissertations was also presented in the room where a BAICE display and BAICE membership table were also located.

Please note: further details of these events can be found on the BAICE website.

Outgoing President 2008-2009

I would like to thank Professor Robin Alexander for having been our President this year. As you will know Prof. Alexander has had an exceptionally busy year completing the Cambridge Primary Review. Despite a heavy workload, pressures and responsibilities he found time to prepare his Presidential Address for this year’s Oxford Conference and to support all our committee activities in the past year. His presidency follows the distinguished tradition of past BAICE presidents.

Incoming President 2009-2010

I am very pleased to be able to announce that Prof. Anne Hickling-Hudson, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, has agreed to be our President for the coming year. Anne Hickling Hudson is well known in the international comparative field. Some of you may remember her inspiring key note address at the WCCES conference in Havana. She is an Associate Professor in the School of Cultural and Language Studies in Education. Widely published, she is a pioneer in using postcolonial theory as a technique of comparative education.

Compare co-editors

You may know that, after five years, Prof. Karen Evans’s term of office has come to an end this September. She has been an outstanding co-editor of Compare for the past five years and a strong supporter of BAICE and all its activities. We are sorry to see her go.

However, we have now appointed two new co-editors: Prof. Paul Morris (Institute of Education) and Dr Yusuf Sayeed (University of Sussex) with the help of two external advisors: Dr Rosemary Preston and Prof. Madeleine Arnot. The co-editors will share the increasing responsibilities with Dr Anna Robinson-Pant whose term of office will be for another year. All three are distinguished academics in their own right, each with their own particular expertise, which should benefit the journal Compare and BAICE enormously.

Reviews Editor

We have also appointed a new Compare Reviews editor, Dr Frances Hunt (University of Sussex) who took over from Dr Pauline Rose in April in April this year. After five years, Pauline’s term of office had finally come to an end. She has now moved to a senior position with UNESCO in Paris.

Treasurer

I am particularly sad to see the departure of Dr Ulrike Niens, BAICE’s longstanding treasurer who has now joined the editorial board of Compare. The role of the treasurer has been expanded greatly in recent years due to different financial arrangements with the publisher Taylor and Francis and Ulrike implemented these changes with great skill.

I am pleased, however, that Dr Malcolm Mercer has volunteered to take on this demanding task.

Publicity material

You may have already noticed that with the help of a professional designer, Jennifer Osborne, we now have a range of new publicity materials including leaflets, letterheads, PowerPoint presentation logos, and other related publicity materials. The new design allows us to be more flexible, to make changes when needed, and to present a fresh and cohesive image.

Thank you

I would like to thank all members of the Executive Committee and officers appointed by the Executive Committee for their sheer hard work, creative ideas and commitment, particularly Dr Sheila Trahar, BAICE Secretary and Jane Anthony, the Membership Secretary.

Indeed, many thanks to you all for ensuring that BAICE will continue to be such a strong and vibrant Society. I hope to see you all at the 2010 BAICE Conference (September 10-12) at the University of East Anglia!

On behalf of the Executive Committee

Dr Lore Arthur

Chair of BAICE 2008-2010