Dr Tejendra Pherali, BAICE Chair and Dr Alison Buckler, BAICE Vice-Chair
Neither of us can remember a BAICE conference or AGM where Professor Bown was not present. Despite being in her late 80s when we joined the BAICE Executive Committee, she was relentlessly interested in and involved in the work of the Association. She commanded attention when she spoke – most memorably for us when she sang the praises of the then BAICE President Professor Anna Robinson-Pant’s creative and interactive keynote at the 2019 UKFIET conference. Lalage demanded forcefully that the field of international and comparative education listen to Anna and pay more attention to issues of life-long-learning. This passion was one she had held for over 70 years, stemming from her early teaching experiences in West Africa where she became interested in women’s literacy. While she came across as a tough critic, and didn’t hold back from entering into lively discussions, she was especially supportive of and patient with early career academics and professionals who were passionate about their research and educational practice in low-resource contexts.
Lalage was a true inspiration for many of us who work in the field of education and international development, with an impressively impactful body of work, particularly in community education and lifelong learning and adult literacy.
Professor Angela Little and Professor Keith Lewin – fellow BAICE Honorary Members who worked closely with Lalage across her career – have described her as “an indomitable spirit” who “shared her wisdom in a wholly supportive way”. Their fuller tributes can be found on UCL’s CIED website, and on this website which has been set up by her family. Professor Bown’s obituary can be found in the Times, here.
Lalage was a touchstone at BAICE events, and she will be missed by the whole BAICE community.