From March 27-30, 2023, Tokyo's Toshi Center Hotel became a hub for innovative thoughts and ideas during The 9th Asian Conference on Education & International Development (ACEID2023). This conference was a shining example of IAFOR's determination to champion interdisciplinary dialogues that propel education and international development into new horizons.
This hybrid conference was held in partnership with the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University, Japan. This event exemplifies IAFOR’s internationalising mission, bringing together more than 280 delegates from over 40 countries.
Following the warm welcome address from Joseph Haldane, CEO & Chairman of IAFOR, the plenary day of the conference kicked off with a keynote by Brendan Howe, Dean and Professor of the Graduate School of International Studies at Ewha Womans University in South Korea. Professor Howe delved into how East Asia has significantly contributed to the idea of an "Asia-Pacific Century" through economic development, a lack of interstate war, increased political freedoms, and education-driven successes. However, obstacles like limited resources, language barriers, and disciplinary biases hinder internationalisation of higher education and regional cooperation in education and development.
The morning plenary sessions finished with a keynote from Atara Sivan, Head of the Department of Education Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. Sharing the results of her research, Professor Sivan explained how secondary school and special educational needs students develop transferable skills, including empathy, leadership, and effective communication, through active participation in an inclusive learning community, emphasising the importance of such experiences for their personal, social, and leadership development.
The final plenary presentation took place in the afternoon with a panel consisting of Krisna Uk, the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Director of Special Initiatives, Brendan Howe, Dean and Professor of the Graduate School of International Studies, Ewha Womans University, and Haruko Satoh, Specially Appointed Professor at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP). Led by Dr Uk, the panel discussed the role of ACEID and education in global development, particularly in empowering institutions from the Global South. The panel also discussed collaborative efforts to enhance humanities and social sciences representation in underrepresented scholars across Asia.
Days two and three were parallel presentation days held at the Toshi Center Hotel, before day four was held entirely online.
While formal presentations are the backbone of IAFOR conferences, the value of informal, yet intellectual, interaction among peers is not overlooked. Many delegates from abroad associate the Spring season in Japan with cherry blossoms. As a prelude to the conference, IAFOR had planned to lead delegates through Chidorigafuchi Park, a public space lined with rows of cherry blossom trees. Unfortunately, the spring season also brings with it heavy rains, which led to the cancellation of the pre-conference event.
However, delegates were treated to a memorable conference dinner at Gonpachi Nishi-Azaubu, an iconic destination for foodies and movie enthusiasts visiting Tokyo. The restaurant was used as a filming location for the famous movie "Kill Bill'' directed by Quentin Tarantino. Located in the trendy Nishi-Azabu neighbourhood, this unique restaurant boasts an impressive array of traditional Japanese dishes, as well as a stylish and modern atmosphere.
As we look towards future events, we are grateful to the speakers, participants, and Organising Committee for their commitment and contributions. For those who missed out, online catch-up options and high-quality recordings of plenary presentations are available on the official conference website.