Partnerships in education: collaboration, co-operation and co-optation

Partnerships and other forms of collaboration are viewed as essential to addressing global education challenges. Partnership is recognised as a stand-alone goal within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Cross-national education programmes often require external management, accountancy and evaluation partners, and collaborations within and across the spheres of education research, policy and practice, and across disciplines, are increasingly the norm.

Still, at times, established systems clash with new, critical discourses. While local and international collaborations in education practice and research are encouraged, the locus of funding in higher-income countries, expectations for research outputs, the intensified international competition in Higher Education and problematic assumptions around where expertise and agency is located, among other things, can reproduce non-equitable partnerships. This can lead to skewed dynamics of financing and influence within the processes of production and application of knowledge. These issues are even more pertinent within the context of the Coronavirus pandemic which has highlighted global interconnectedness and challenged geopolitics of knowledge and expertise.

At BAICE 2022, we aim to consider critically the changing relationships around how education is conceptualised, planned, implemented, provided, resisted, researched and communicated in various contexts. While recognising the potential value of collaboration, we intend to challenge the normative, aspirational pursuit of partnership. We are interested in how politics, power, priorities, culture and language are understood, recognised and navigated by different stakeholders in education initiatives at all levels of education systems, as well as the processes of learning, from anywhere in the world. We invite papers that reflect on past, present and future partnerships across a wide range of sub-themes to conceptualise joint ventures in comparative and international education more robustly.

Conference Sub-themes