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Improving Education for a More Equitable World: the CIES Annual Conference, 2023

March 15, 2023

The Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) is a non-government organization committed to educational improvement and to empowering learners, educators, and many more on local, national, regional, and global scales.

The CIES Annual Conference theme for 2023 was Improving Education for a More Equitable World.

Jun Li, CIES President, led the conference this year. Li’s appointment to presidency in 2021 was history-making as he was the first East Asia-born individual to be elected to this role. Through his position, Li’s unique perspective allowed him to work with others in distinctively shaping the conference to embrace these core values.

The 2023 conference sought to share diverse young people’s voices as never before. For the first time in history, CIES invited Asian keynote speakers to contribute their ideas on educational improvement. This represents a strong step towards the internationalization of the education discipline.

Consistent with Western’s commitment to respecting indigenous land acknowledgements in London, Ontario, CIES performed its first ever land acknowledgment in Washington, D.C. These values deliver a clear message to global education communities about the importance of respecting and acknowledging educational diversity.

The Faculty of Education shares in its ambition for improving educational equity and the internationalization of the discipline of education. In this way, we renew our commitment to the pillars of our Strategic Plan:

“We recognize that to be educated is to have a global perspective. As such, we will focus on how education examines the world and educational ideas and practices in the world. We will look at internationalization through interdisciplinary inquiry and explore how education expands and becomes enriched through inter-cultural and inter-societal mobilities, translations and connections of worldviews, educational policies, programs, practices, educators, and learners.”

The success of the 2023 CIES annual conference in embracing internationalization demonstrates how non-governmental organizations play a new role in education; while we traditionally rely on government and market forces to mature the field, developments such as this illustrate the effect of unique social forces in supporting education and embracing diversity.