ICE Video Interviews

A Conversation with
Dr. Fazal Rizvi

During his visit to UBD hosted by ICE in January 2020, Professor Fazal Rizvi (from the University of Melbourne and also an affiliate with ICE) gave a series of talks/seminars/lectures on theories, methodologies and new developments concerning international and comparative education.

At the end of his visit, Professor Fazal Rizvi sat down for an interview with me (Phan Le Ha), in which he further commented on key issues and questions such as the convergence of educational policy conceptualisation and practice, methodological nationalism, inequality associated with mobility/immobility, and the capacity and limits of social imagination.

Professor Rizvi also discussed concepts that invite further theorization, new insights and examination including locatedness-locality-location and hybridisation. During the interview, the discursive construction, projection and consumption of the ‘Finish model’, the cultural politics of PISA, and the varied roles played by the World Bank and OECD in global education and national educational systems were also brought up.

A Conversation with
Dr. Raqib Chowdhury

This week UBD International and Comparative Education (UBD – ICE) features an interview/talk with Dr. Raqib Chowdhury from the Faculty of Education, Monash University, Australia.
Dr. Chowdhury visited the University in February 2020 as a UBD – ICE international affiliate and visiting scholar. During the visit, Dr. Chowdhury met with colleagues and students and gave a series of seminars, workshops and a guest lecture on topics close to his heart and expertise. Raqib was also very generous to sit down for an interview with me (Phan Le Ha) during which we discussed and reflected upon our work on international education and the internationalisation of higher education.
Our discussion and reflection started with some comments on our love-and-hate relationships with some of Foucault’s ideas that we drew on in our co-authored book “Desiring TESOL and International Education: Market Abuse and Exploitation” (Raqib Chowdhury & Phan Le Ha, 2014). Raqib also elaborated on international student agency and choice against the backdrop of the continued market mentality of higher education and the corporatised university in practice. Taking a few steps away from this market economy of the university, Dr. Chowdhury brought up important points about initiatives from colleagues and universities in Asia to engage with knowledge and practice beyond ‘the West’. And we chat about criticality in social sciences writing.
Another highlight of our interview was centred on recent transformations of higher education in Bangladesh and Raqib’s upcoming co-authored book on Bangladesh’s private higher education. Working at universities these days, the language of global university rankings, metrics and research impacts has become pervasive and normalised; and Raqib shared his concerns about the often uncritical promotion of these concepts and practices.
Before we ended the conversation, we returned to some earlier observations about international education and expanded a bit more on the concept of brokering in international education, which we discussed extensively in our co-authored book mentioned above. In particular, we discussed new and emerging meanings and practices surrounding and informing brokering and urged for more scholarly attention to this very phenomenon of international education.
So much to squeeze in this short interview, and we hope you enjoy our conversation. Thank you Dr. Raqib Chowdhury, truly.

A Conversation with
Dr. Najib Noorashid

Welcome to our UBD International and Comparative Education Talk/Interview Series – A Delightful Conversation with Dr. Najib Noorashid!
Our talk/interview series is back this month with a delightful and refreshing conversation that I (Phan Le Ha, Head, ICE) had with Dr. Najib Noorashid, a young scholar who recently obtained his PhD in Applied Linguistics from Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Here in Brunei we address each other by title and first name; so instead of Dr. Noorashid we actually say Dr Najib 🙂!
For those interested in (comparative) sociolinguistics, language policy and planning, language use in realife, and the complex relationships between English and Malay in the Malay world, Dr Najib’s thesis is a must read: “A STUDY ON ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE MALAY LANGUAGE AND ITS VITALITY IN BRUNEI, MALAYSIA, INDONESIA AND SINGAPORE”.
If you have already forgotten about your PhD years, then Dr Najib, through his fresh memories, will surely remind you of this milestone period in life that many of us have experienced. His determination and bravery to challenge established scholarship, ideas and beliefs in his field are admirable. I won’t reveal too much, as I would like to invite you to listen to our conversation to learn about how he did it, what ideas he challenged and countered, what myths he revealed, and how he went about communicating his own viewpoints/findings/scholarly arguments to the ‘guru’ and ‘big names’ in the field.
Dr Najib, alongside his true love for research and academic work, has years of experience working as a journalist/reporter in both English and Malay languages. How did all this inform his interest in sociolinguistics? And yeah, Dr Najib did share with me some insights in our conversation.
This past semester all of us academics/teachers had our teaching heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Najib, like many of us, has been reflecting on the impacts of the pandemic on university teaching and learning. He has also proposed collaborative research that could help inform pedagogies and enhance students’ learning experience.
We chat about potential connections of research conducted in our International and Comparative Education group and the wider community, including university-school research and pedagogy partnerships and updates. Najib told me about a presentation he and another group member gave at an international school in Brunei. The presentation and what followed must have been so stimulating!
We also talked about some publications he is currently working on .. and more …
We hope you enjoy our conversation and we look forward to your engagement with our International and Comparative Education Research Group. Your ideas and thoughts are always welcome!