I am honoured to have been elected to succeed Prof. Liu Baocun as CESA President from 2021. Since its establishment more than a quarter of a century ago, CESA has become an important platform for exchange amongst educational scholars across Asia and beyond. As President, it is my aim to work with CESA’s Board and membership to further enhance our capacity to facilitate exchange and collaboration amongst Asia-based researchers, and to give them a stronger voice in global debates over education.
The Covid-19 pandemic has presented a huge challenge to organisations such as ours, dedicated to promoting international scholarly exchange. Our 2020 biennial conference, due to be hosted by Kathmandu University in Nepal, was postponed for a year and eventually took place online in September 2021. Nevertheless, our Nepali colleagues did a wonderful job of adapting the conference for online delivery.
In 2023, CESA’s 13th biennial conference will be held in Hiroshima, Japan. On behalf of CESA, I warmly invite educational scholars from around the world to join colleagues from Asia in Hiroshima in 2023.
Much has been written in recent years about the need for a ‘decolonisation’ of educational studies, with the aim of countering ‘eurocentrism’ or ‘west-centrism’. The continuing dominance of global educational debate by scholars, institutions and journals based in the West is a real problem for our field. However, talk of ‘decolonisation’ is conducted primarily in western academic forums by western-based scholars obsessively focused on ‘western hegemony’. I therefore urge all who are serious about ‘de-centring’ the west to look beyond the familiar western conference circuit, and engage with colleagues in Asia by participating in conferences, symposia or workshops organised by CESA.
From 2021, CESA is associated with a new UNESCO Chair on Education for Peace, Social Justice and Global Citizenship, based at Kyushu University. In April 2021, CESA teamed up with UNESCO Bangkok to organise an online forum to gather feedback from Asian scholars on the interim report of UNESCO’s Futures of Education Commission. I look forward to seeing CESA contribute to similar initiatives in the future.
Meanwhile, we will seek further to expand CESA’s network to involve members from Asian societies that have found themselves marginalised in global educational debate. This effort to strengthen connections amongst Asian scholars, and enhance the global profile of Asian research into education, has always been, and will remain, at the heart of CESA’s mission.
Department of Education,
Kyushu University, Japan