This Forum feature is one of a series of initiatives designed to recognise and celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE). It is an honour for both of us to represent the association in this anniversary year and we are pleased to help mark this important milestone with this special edition of the Compare Forum.
The anniversary initiatives include a well-attended and well-received Anniversary Symposium on the theme of ‘Sustainability, Peace and Education’, convened by the Centre for Comparative and International Research in Education (CIRE) at the University of Bristol (https://cireblog.wordpress.com/blog/) in May 2018, and a panel discussion based upon the present Compare Forum contributions scheduled for the association’s annual conference to be held at the University of York from September 12–14, 2018 (see https://baice.ac.uk). Michael will also build his 2018 Presidential Address around the history, evolution and ‘reconceptualisation’ of BAICE (Crossley 1999 Crossley, M. 1999. “Reconceptualising Comparative and International Education.” Compare 29 (3): 249–67.
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), while engaging with the conference theme and his own related research.
In planning the shape and content of the Forum, efforts were made to identify a diverse range of contributors who could reflect upon their personal experience of different times, roles and activities. The following sections thus cover the pre-history of BAICE, its foundation and early days, strengthening of the research dimension, increased opportunities for doctoral and early-career researchers, the growth and development of Compare, the official journal of the Association, and contemporary challenges and priorities for future development. Biographical details for the contributors are included at the end to indicate how and when they have each engaged with and supported the society.
Contributors were invited to develop the above themes in ways that document the growth of BAICE and demonstrate how much has both changed and been achieved in those first 20 years – years that, as many of our writers have remarked, have passed so quickly! While there is certainly well justified space for celebration, each of our contributors also critically interrogate a number of contemporary challenges that need to be addressed as BAICE explores new priorities for the future.
In the light of our own experience, and the papers presented here, that future will be challenging but secure if the collegial, supportive and friendly culture that has long characterised BAICE – and made involvement in its ongoing activities so rewarding and enjoyable – remains central to its spirit and mission.
- SoE Centre for Higher Education Transformations
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