We would like to share an update with the international and comparative education community about the registration fees for the BAICE 2022 conference. We acknowledge that these are higher than they have been in previous years, and we would like to explain this.
First, BAICE is a non-profit organisation, and the BAICE conference is a non-profit event. This means that each biennial conference is self-funded, i.e. all conference costs are covered by registration fees. Our fees this year are a result of inflated prices across all industries, combined with the need to ensure the event can go ahead at this unpredictable time without making a loss: as a registered charity, BAICE Trustees have a responsibility to ensure the conference is financially viable.
After cancelling BAICE 2020, it was important to us that BAICE 2022 go ahead. Conferences take a long time to plan, and at the point we had to confirm the event – summer 2021 – pandemic restrictions were still in place for many of us and we anticipated low registration. Our current fees are the lowest we could set them for this minimum anticipated registration, and we are operating on extremely tight margins.
Second, BAICE aims to centre inclusion and diversity in all of its events, awards and activities. We recognise that the fees may limit attendance from colleagues without institutional funding, and this is a huge regret. But we wanted to be transparent about our conference budget, and where we have focused on inclusion. Priorities include:
- having a keynote speaker from an LMIC and compensating them appropriately;
- covering full conference expenses for all our volunteers and conference committee members (many of whom are ECRs and/or students or colleagues from LMIC);
- having a dedicated inclusion fund to support conference accessibility;
- having a dedicated care budget to enable us to make a contribution to people who incur additional caring costs as a result of attending;
- including the gala dinner and ceilidh in the conference price (subsidising it for those who might not engage with social and networking opportunities for cost reasons);
- having a dedicated budget for live streaming that will ensure many of our sessions are free to access, live and post-conference, for anyone in the world with an internet connection.
Third, once our base costs have been covered, any profit BAICE 2022 makes from registration fees will be re-invested into making the conference more inclusive. This includes a new scheme offering fee rebates (approx. 25%) to Early and Mid-Career Researchers without institutional funding, and colleagues from LMIC: we aim to decrease conference fees for a large number of delegates, but the number of rebates we will be able to offer depends on the income we generate from registration. We recognise that this is not an ideal solution, of course we would rather offer lower rates in the first place, but we encourage all eligible delegates to apply. The rebates are in addition to our full conference bursary scheme which offers awards of £500 to ECRs and £1500 to colleagues from LMIC. Further information will be available on our website shortly.
BAICE is committed to inclusion, and the decolonial pursuit of academically and epistemologically diverse spaces, and we always welcome ideas for how we can do this better. We hope to debate these issues during the conference and explore practical steps that can help us reimagine our future as a CIE community. We really hope that you will be able to join us in Edinburgh in September.
Dr Tejendra Pherali, Dr Alison Buckler, Professor Ricardo Sabates, Dr Jingyi Li and Dr Jennifer Agbaire – BAICE Officers and Conference Co-Chairs.