Education for All: Challenging Orthodoxies and Fostering Inclusion

Education for All: Challenging Orthodoxies and Fostering Inclusion


4 Apr 2024    
All Day

Event Type


4 April 2024, 09:30 – 19:00 BST

A one-day paid in-person conference at Somerville College, University of Oxford.  REGISTER HERE

The conference will review current trends in education and development, inspired by the work and life of the work of the late Professor Lalage Bown, and explore her legacy. During the day a new edited collection, Adult Education and Social Justice – International Perspectives, will be launched.

The Council for Education in the Commonwealth is delighted to be partnering with the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Centre for Research and Development in Adult and Lifelong Learning, University of Glasgow and Somerville College, University of Oxford, to deliver this important event.

REGISTRATION DETAILS including full list of speakers and more information about Professor Lalage Bown’s work.

Themes to be addressed:

Adult and continuing education: A retrospective and prospective analysis of adult and lifelong learning, both in sub-Saharan Africa and in the UK. It will consider traditions from the past and how these may shape future directions for the field with an eye towards contemporary global challenges such as climate change, forced migration and artificial intelligence.

The education of girls and women: The education of girls and women: the last fifty years have seen a marked improvement in literacy levels and access to education by girls and women. However, globally, the picture is very varied. Where are the gaps and who is at most risk? What are the barriers and where might our actions need to be focused?

Decolonising education: The legacy of colonialism continues to impact upon knowledge & learning across the world and at all levels. There have always been some critical thinkers who had voiced concerns; however, in recent years a much deeper understanding has been emerging. What are the concerns? Where are the challenges? What action is required? Who needs to be involved?

African writers in English: Many first readers of ‘Two Centuries of African English’ (1973) had little notion that the history of written English in the African continent long pre-dated the new generation of emerging writers such as Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka. We ask if recognition of memoir, autobiography and documentation in the story of African literature had lasting influence, leading to a rethinking of African history itself. Where is African writing today and whence might it be heading? Has it fully freed itself of dependency on European models?’

These areas of focus will be addressed by panels of specialists. There will be round table discussions and contributions from the floor will be encouraged.

Confirmed presenters include:

  • Betty Abeng, CEO, The Commonwealth Education Trust
  • Professor Gbolagade Adekanmbi, Botswana Open University
  • Professor Rashid Adewumi Aderinoye, University of Ibadan
  • Professor Jean Barr, University of Glasgow
  • Annabel Boud, Association of Commonwealth Universities
  • James Currey, previously Director, Heinemann Publishing, Africa
  • Rachel Dale, family of Professor Bown
  • Professor Patricia Daley, Jesus College, University of Oxford
  • Professor Paolo Federighi, University of Florence
  • Gabriel Gbadamosi, Novelist and Poet
  • James Gibbs, Independent Scholar
  • Dr Robert Hamilton, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Neil Kemp, Trustee Council for Education in the Commonwealth
  • Professor Madhu Krishnan, University of Bristol
  • Dr Harry Kuchah, University of Birmingham and Chair, British Council English Advisory Committee.
  • Dr Babangida Ladan, Bayero University, Kano and National President, Nigerian National Council for Adult Education
  • Professor Jonathan Michie, President, Kellogg College, University of Oxford
  • Alastair Niven, Chair, UK Commonwealth Scholarship’s Support Group
  • Professor Michael Omolewa, University of Ibadan
  • Dr Edeh John Onimisi, Nigeria National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education
  • Professor Michael Osborne, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Pauline Rose, University of Cambridge
  • Baroness Jan Royall, Principal, Somerville College, University of Oxford
  • Professor Tom Schuller, Author, The Paula Principle
  • Professor Maria Slowey, Dublin City University
  • Professor Richard Taylor, Wolfson College, Cambridge and previously Director, Institute for Continuing Education, University of Cambridge.
  • Professor Sir Rick Trainor, Rector, Exeter College, University of Oxford
  • Stephen Twigg, Chair, Council for Education in the Commonwealth and Secretary-General , Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
  • Professor Peter Williams, UK Commonwealth Scholarship’s Support Group
  • Professor Miriam Zukas, Birkbeck. University of London

Book launch: Professor Sir Rick Trainor, Rector, Exeter College, Oxford will launch a book which draws on Lalage Bown’s values and legacy, Adult Education and Social Justice – International Perspectives, edited by Maria Slowey, Heirbert Hinzen, Michael Omolewa and Michael Osborne, published by Florence University Press.

Accommodation: If you require overnight accommodation in Oxford, there are rooms for bed and breakfast available for delegates at Somerville College. However, you will need to make your own arrangements direct by contacting:

Other Oxford colleges also offer accommodation, see:

Further information: contact Dr Neil Kemp. CEC Trustee: