The 1991 Northeast Regional Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society was hosted by the Center for International Education, University of Massachusetts at Amherst on November 15, 1991. The theme of the conference, "the Challenges of International Education in the 1990s: Effectiveness and Excellence," was deliberately made broad in order to encompass a wide range of problems and issues relevant to educators involved in the development of education world-wide.
More than sixty people attended the conference, and participants represented the rich institutional diversity in the northeast region of the US. Participants came from the Bunting Institute (Radcliffe Research Study Center), Clark University, Harvard University, Springfield College, University of Bridgeport, University of Connecticut, University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The conference provided participants with a forum in which to exchange ideas and to inform each other of their current research.
The conference began with a keynote address by Dr. Barbara Burn, Associate Provost for International Programs at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Burn informed her audience of the latest developments in study abroad programs and summarized the key issues involved in promoting opportunities for American students to study overseas.
The program for the remainder of the conference centered on concurrent panel discussions in the morning and discussion groups and multi-media presentations in the afternoon. The topics addressed in these sessions reflected the wide-ranging concerns of the participants: educational discourse, curriculum and materials development, literacy, gender issues, research paradigms, economics of education, politics of education, social changes, educational technology, educational issues in comparative perspective, community learning and assessment, pedagogical reform, and education for refugee resettlement. Many conference participants lamented the fact that, in choosing to attend one particular session, they were deprived of attending other concurrent sessions that were of interest.
In addition to the impressive array of content areas, the conference presentations had a truly international flavor in terms of the countries on which the research focused. From the African continent, research was presented on: Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Malawi, Somalia, and South Africa; from Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Nepal, and Thailand; and from Europe and North America: France, Germany and the US.