I am very pleased to report on an excellent year for our Association and a wide range of activities. BAICE continues to maintain a very robust financial status. As Malcolm Mercer, our Treasurer, will report, we have a current balance of over £100,000 and have this year recorded an income of nearly £25000 more than last year. We are therefore in the happy position of being able to expand to fund more activities aimed to further the aims of the Association, and you will receive more detailed reports on these during the AGM.
The BAICE Executive Committee has met three times this year, and also had a separate strategy meeting in Leeds in February attended by Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. The executive resolved to expand its capacity to cope with the full range of activities better and I am delighted to announce the results of our recent elections for two new Ordinary Members. Welcome on board Peter Kelly and Tejendra Pherali.
This is an opportunity also to recognise the sterling work of Lizzi Milligan who moved to the post of Secretary a year ago, and has organised all the documentation before you while in Rwanda!
Many thanks to Elaine Unterhalter of the Institute of Education, our President for 2013, for her support, contributions to executive meetings and stimulating address. I am very pleased to announce that Professor Roger Dale has accepted our invitation to serve as BAICE President for 2013-14. He will deliver the Presidential address to the 14th BAICE conference, Power, politics, and New Priorities for Comparative Education, to be held at the University of Bath. The conference team of Angeline, Michael and Lizzi at Bristol, and Robin Shields now at Bath and Qing as Vice Chair are already hard at work on organising the conference.
As an indication of our robust flourishing, BAICE submitted a bid to host the World Congress of Comparative Education Societies in 2016 as a collaborative venture between BAICE, the University of Glasgow and the City of Glasgow. We were unfortunately not successful in this: we were outbid by the Chinese Comparative Education Society, so the 2016 Congress will be held in Beijing. We owe a debt of gratitude to our drafting team of Campbell Arnot, Malcolm Mercer, Mike Osborne and Michele Schweisfurth, who went to make the presentation on our behalf to CIES, supported in part by BAICE funding. Although we didn’t win, our bid was very well received and as a result we submitted a Letter of Intent to bid again for 2019, and also suggested that it would be helpful for submitting societies if the deadline could be brought forward to allow more time for planning. This was considered at the WCCES meeting held at the 2013 Congress in Buenos Aires but no conclusion was reached.
We have had no formal response to this letter as this time of reporting to you, and have left the ball in the WCCES court. I should stress however that our intent was contingent on the excellent constellation of BAICE and the University and city of Glasgow. Meanwhile of course things move on, and Glasgow has been approached to host another major comparative education conference in 2016. We will therefore, when the next round of bids is announced, re-consider our position and decide afresh whether BAICE will offer a bid to host the 2019 WCCES.
Other WCCES business, briefly. There is currently a call for nominationes to two posts, WCCES Historian. Deadline September 15th, 2013 and Treasurer, Deadline September 30th, 2013. If you have any interest in being nominated for either post pls let me know immediately.
Also, WCCES has resolved that future meetings will not necessarily be held at CIES and has issued an open call for Constituent Societies to host its AGM, deadline 1/10/13. The BAICE Executive has discussed the desirability and practicalities of hosting such a meeting and we do not intend to offer for this round.
Our Association journal is going from strength to strength. Earlier this year, as I hope you read in my letter in Compare, we were delighted to announce our inclusion in the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) with effect from Vol 40 (2010). Nitya, our Managing Co-Editor, will provide more detail on our impact factor and ranking. I would like to place on record a comprehensive round of thanks for this achievement. These go to the Editorial team and particularly Nitya, ably supported by Miriam McGregor our editorial assistant in the Compare office, who made sure the journal meets technical requirements such as copy submission deadlines;to Helen Wheeler, Managing Editor Education and Graham Hobbes at T&F/Routledge for their work on liaising with Thompson Reuters and promoting our cause.
Open Access is now more than on the horizon. We convened a joint Editorial Board and BAICE Executive Committee meeting earlier this year to receive a detailed presentation from Helen Wheeler. I am pleased to report that Compare is OA compliant, and we are vigilant about possible consequences of this move.
Expansion of BAICE-funded activities
Compare generates considerable income for BAICE. We disburse these funds in many ways, including providing bursaries, funding events such as student conferences, and providing money for other meetings. We have BAICE Thematic Fora, offering £1500 per year for each BTF, and are encouraging applications for more of those – Nidhi Singhal will report, and give further detail.
I am also pleased to announce that we are now introducing two further funding pots for activities that further the Association’s aims. Qing has set these out in her report. Each is of up to £5,000 and we envisage awarding £20,000 in total per annum, divided equally across both. The first is a fund specifically to build Research Capacity and Networks, to enable strategic research capacity building and networking activities. The second is Seedcorn funding for pilot research projects and scoping work. Further information and the application form will be available on the BAICE website. For the development of that site, and revelations of the communicative scope of web-based technology on which they will report, we thank Terra Sprague and Michael Crossley.
As a member organisation of the Academic of Social Sciences, BAICE is represented there by our Academicians and we post information on the BAICE site, with inputs from David Turner on the Exec and our Academicians. Could I please bring to you now for approval the request from AcSS to rename our Academicians Fellows, which I will then submit to AcSS. The proposed change is from Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, to Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. The proposal has arisen from a wider desire to elevate the perceived status and standing of the Academy in relation to public policy making.
AcSS is also carrying an Evaluation of Learned Societies Project to gives Learned Societies the opportunity to demonstrate the economic and social value of their activities. The project will generate an evidence base which can be carried forward in case-making activity and is being led by a consortium comprising Prof. Robert Dingwall and Dr. Michael Hewitt;Dr. Ilke Turkmendag has been commissioned to carry out this research and as Chair I am also shortly to be interviewed by her to brief her on BAICE contributions.
BAICE Associate membership
At the executive meeting on 25th April 2013, the issue of whether Associate membership should be retained was raised during the sterling work carried out by Julia Paulson, our new membership secretary, with Malcolm, on reconciling subscriptions and member numbers, as they will report. I would therefore like to bring before you our suggestion that AM be removed as a membership option, due to the administrative burden and financial loss BAICE currently incurs with this classification.
We are fortunate in BAICE to have an extremely strong and ever growing tradition of student activity, and recently welcomed Helen Hanna from Queen’s University Belfast to work alongside Sajjadllah Alhawsawi, University of Sussex. You will shortly hear their report, but this is an opportune moment for me to thank Sajjad for his contribution as he plans to step down, and to announce that elections for his replacement will soon be held.
It is a pleasure and a privilege to serve BAICE and I am profoundly grateful to our dynamic and committed Executive Committee for all that they do to sustain such high levels of activity.