2010 Chair’s Report, Lore Arthur

September 2010

Dear BAICE members

I am delighted to report that BAICE continues to thrive – despite current uncertainties across the higher education sector in the UK and elsewhere. We have been able to increase our membership and our finances are in a healthy position. As an Association we have been very active, offering support to a number of events. The journal Compare continues to be very highly regarded, not only by its contributors and readers but also by its publisher, Taylor&Francis. We have a strong and lively executive committee which has made a number of creative decisions this year – as this somewhat lengthy letter indicates. We are mindful that some of our income,  which is generated largely from the sale of Compare, should benefit our membership and the overall professional field of international and comparative education.

Supported projects

Last year I reported that we had decided on a single theme for BAICE-sponsored events per year. For 2008/09 this was “Internationalisation of Educational Research, Learning and Teaching”. Because these events had attracted a considerable number of participants we decided to let the same theme run for 2009/10.  Under this banner we financially supported the following projects:

Exploring Academic staff mobility: Conversations around experiences and needs of international staff in higher education University of Bristol (£1000.00) Contact: Dr Sheila Trahar.

Promoting international understanding of intercultural education and practice. University of East Anglia (£1000.00) Contact: Dr Sheila Aikman, University of East Anglia.

Educational research in cross-cultural perspective: Exploring the possibilities and challenges in Bangladesh,TheOpen University, University of Manchester, University of Dhaka and University of Rajshahi. This is a jointly funded project with workshops taking place in Bangladesh and the first time that a BAICE supported initiative will take place outside the UK (£1000.00). Contact: Freda Wolfenden, The Open University.

 In due course the reports of these events will be available on our website

 History and Archive Project:

This project is led by Prof. Keith Watson and Prof. Michael Crossley, University of Bristol. It began in 2008 with the aim to strengthen our knowledge and understanding of the Society’s history, to locate key documentation and to establish a formal archive. We hope to have the virtual archive available on our redesigned website in the coming year.

Conferences/ workshop

A one day BAICE-ESCalate jointly supported event took place on the 22nd of September at the University of Bristol under the title of “Developing Intercultural Competencies in International Higher Education Communities: Initiating European Conversations”. With 43 participants from throughout the UK and key speakers from Germany, and the Netherlands and the UK , the day was considered to have been hugely successful and oversubscribed. Contact: Dr. Sheila Trahar, University of Bristol.

A two-day BAICE supported student workshop/conference took place on the 14th of January, 2010 at the University of Sussex. The first day focused on Professional Development with 12 participants from 5 institutions. This was followed by a student conference the next day under the theme “Linking practice to theory and theory to practice” with a total of 30 participants. Adverse weather conditions prevented more people coming but all participants found the event very worthwhile. Contact: Paul Fean, University of Sussex.

Reports for both events will be made available on our new website.

BAICE/Compare New Writers’ Programme

This programme began in 2007 and has now completed its third year. To date, 55 writers have been involved in the programme The workshop held  at the UKFIET Conference in Oxford 2009 had 22 participants, 12 were based in UK institutions, with the remainder coming from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Egypt  Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and India. Following an in-depth evaluation, the programme is considered to have been highly successful and worthy of our on-going support – though in a slightly different format. (see editors’ report).

BAICE conference fee support

Thanks to our healthy financial situation, we were able to support this year’s BAICE conference at the University of East Anglia by £40.00 per person across all fee categories. This was an exceptional case though the rising costs of either setting up or participating in conferences is a matter of concern.

We were also able to offer sponsorship for three presenters from low income countries for which £3000 in total was allocated.

Students presenting a paper at the BAICE conference have received a subsidy of £50.00

The BAICE website

The website is in the process of being revamped. Previously, the site was supported by the University of Sussex but for a variety of reasons this was no longer practical. We decided, therefore, that the BAICE website should be independent of an institutional affiliation; in other words, we now ‘own’ our website, although the University of Bristol has taken on the task of redesigning and administering it in the course of the coming weeks. So keep an eye on it.

BAICE Presidents

I am delighted to report that Prof. Birgit Brock-Utne the Institute for Educational Development, University of Oslo, has agreed to be the BAICE President 2010-2011.

She is well known for her work on human rights and African Studies.

I would like to thank Prof. Anne Hickling-Hudson, BAICE president 2009-2010 for her support and encouragement throughout the year and particularly for her key note address at this year’s conference.

Honorary Members

This year the executive board has recommended that Prof. Rosalind Pritchard and Dr Rosemary Preston should become Honorary Members of BAICE for their distinguished contribution to the field of international and comparative education, and their commitment to BAICE over many years.

According to our Constitution this recommendation has to be approved of by members present at the AGM. There are four additional honorary members of BAICE: Peter Williams, Hugh Hawes, Margaret Sutherland and Lalage Bown. Details of BAICE honorary members will be made available on the BAICE website.

New Co-Editor for Compare

I am pleased to be able to inform you that Dr Nitya Rao, Senior Lecturer, School of International Development, University of East Anglia, has been appointed to be the third co-editor of Compare. She will join Prof. Paul Morris and Dr Yusuf Sayed. Compare, as you will know, has six issues per year which means that the workload remains considerable. Nitya has a distinguished publications record, received a number of research awards and previously made substantial contributions to the journal. The editorial office will remain at the University of East Anglia for the time being.

Nitya will begin her new tasks in September following this year’s  AGM – taking over from Prof. Anne Robinson-Pant who will be very much missed. Anne has made a huge and very distinguished contribution to the journal for over five years. In addition to the demanding editorial work she initiated and kept going the now well-established Writers’ Development Programme.

Other departures

Dr Sheila Trahar (Secretary)

Dr Jane Anthony (Treasurer)

Dr Kwame Akyeampong (Website Manager)

Paul Fean (Student Representative)

All have made a considerable, energetic and creative contribution to the BAICE executive committee  and I, together with all other members of the executive committee, are very grateful for all their hard work and sheer commitment!

New officers

I would like to welcome a number of colleagues, some new and some not so new, to the BAICE executive committee from September 2010 onwards:

Chair of BAICE: Dr Michele Schweisfurth, University of Birmingham

Vice Chair: Dr Caroline Dyer, University of Leeds.

Secretary: Dr Brendan Bartram  University of Wolverhampton,

Treasurer:  Dr.  Paul Lynch, University of Birmingham,

Website Manager: Prof. Michael Crossley , University of Bristol

It is nice to know that we have had no difficulties in finding members keen to be involved in the executive committee’s work.  Given that workloads and pressures across universities have increased considerably over recent months this is particularly laudable.

Finally, I would like to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Chair of BAICE and am grateful to all colleagues who have made this experience so stimulating and worthwhile.

Best wishes to all of you


Dr Lore Arthur, Chair of BAICE 2008-2010