75 years  

Department for International and Comparative Education 1985-1995

Inaugural Lectures
Academic Resources
The Present
Photo Gallery
About this cd/links

Dr Haikima (Anne) Ershidin :  student 1987-1991

Anne recalls how she transferred from SOAS to the Institute and remembers in particular the support of her PhD supervisor, Professor Angela Little:

"The Institute of Education is known as a world education centre for many reasons. It accommodates students from all walks of life and from different countries, organizes international conferences, actively involves in research on critical issues of education touching from individual matters to national and international development, from politics to economics of education, and its impact on individuals as well as on global issues. Above all, it generously and genuinely provide a platform where different thoughts of schools, believers of different religion, and members of different races can get together to study, research, and debate; develop ideas, express concerns, and advocate their philosophy of education in a free academic environment. This is the best of all. I was proud of what I learned at the Institute and accomplished after my PhD in the field of International and Comparative Education.

With growing self-awareness and great interest in educating those who happened to be born in unprivileged or second-class families, I decided to change my former research on linguistics to education and moved from SOAS to the Institute in May 1987. With referral of Mr. D Warren (former Registrar, present Secretary of the Institute), Dr. Hurst interviewed me on May 18 1987 at the Department of International and Comparative Education (DICE). As part of qualification requirements for the admission, Dr Hurst asked me to write two qualifying essays, each with a minimum of five thousand words. By the end of July 1987, I submitted the essays and waited anxiously for the result. On September 21, 1987, I was pleased with the announcement, "you were successful in your qualifying examination essays. …therefore I confirm your place on the MPhil in the Department of International and Comparative Education”.

At that time, DICE had a new, young, and very responsible Professor, Angela Little. She supervised me successively four years, from its beginning to upgrading on June 20, 1989 and until my graduation on July 17, 1991. Both my four years' persistence in searching roots of the problems in access to higher education in China and Professor Little's insistence on sound scholarship were fully paid off. In their preliminary report, the examiners wrote, "This is not only a thesis of PhD quality but a major contribution to education….  It stands up well to other scholarly works in the field. It is a well executed and presented thesis." After the oral examination, the examiners wrote, "We confirm the remarks in our preliminary report. The candidate answered all our questions in the oral examination to our satisfaction. There is no doubt that she is of Ph D quality."

I returned to Xinjiang in 1992 with a simple question: to what extent could I apply what I had learnt in the United Kingdom to the reality of Xinjiang, China? I was appointed as a Deputy Director of the International Exchange Office in the Ministry of Education, Xinjiang.

While strictly staying in line with the policies and regulations, I tried hard to make a difference in administrative and managerial process. I devoted myself to work, identified needs and demands of universities, colleges and school in the Region, and planned exchange programs, and liaised with universities at home and abroad. I initiated and actively involved in joint projects with Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO) in the UK. With the support of VSO teachers, a large number of English Language teachers were successfully trained for primary and junior middle schools in Xinjiang. I also developed education exchange programs with Japanese Private University Association, and facilitated services for young scholars to go to Japan for further study. In coordination with Japanese Teachers Union, I organized seminars on primary and secondary school management, quality improvement, curricula and on the teaching of language and science. The network between IEO and Berlin Free University in Germany has paved a path for many young scholars of Xinjiang to go to Germany for further study. To sum up, I have contributed in my way to the "open door policy" in Xinjiang."

Back to Recollections 1985-1995

Back to Recollections overview

Home | Histories | Recollections | Inaugural Lectures | Academic Resources | The Present | Photo Gallery | About this cd/links

 Copyright details. Help using the CD.

Compiled and edited by Clare Bentall and Angela Little. First issued Spring 2005.