75 years  

Education and International Development Group : 1995-2001

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Dr Yumiko Yokozeki :  student 1993-1997

Yumiko recalls the lonely experience of completing a PhD and the valued support of staff and fellow students.

"I am a senior adviser on education for JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) currently working on an education project in Ghana, the country I dearly love.  I did my research on Ghana while at the Institute of Education and today at this meeting I was so pleased to learn of the Institute’s long and sustained relationship with Ghana.

I was at the Institute of Education from January 1993 to March 1995.  After my study leave, I went back to Tokyo and submitted my thesis in 1996.  Thus I entered DICE (Department of International and Comparative Education) and came out from EID (Education and International Development).  Although the name has changed, the spirit of the department remained the same.  It is an encouraging, supportive and challenging atmosphere that tutors and research students have created. We had Tuesday seminars on research methods and Thursday seminars where research progress was presented.  Both seminars took place in the evenings to allow a greater number of research students to attend.  We were stimulated and learnt from each other.  PhD work can be like a solitary confinement; loneliness and hard work in the dark, wet and cold London can be unbearable.  These seminars not only provided us with knowledge and skills and direction, but also cheered us up and gave us some energy for the coming week. 

Professor Angela Little, my supervisor, was very busy but she was most inspiring, sympathetic and helpful when available.  She provided us with critical academic guidance while at the same time providing the necessary encouragement to go on.  Tutorials were challenging and often humbling experiences; every tutorial made me realise how much I do not know and how much more I had to do.  However, she motivated us never to give up.


The Institute of Education is a place where one can make life-long friends.  I benefited from the friendship and contacts of both tutors and students, and I am still benefiting from it even more after graduation.  International conferences on education of both professional and academic nature often become Institute of Education alumni meetings.  In Ghana, Institute of Education alumni members are in the Ministry of Education, Teacher Training Colleges and universities.  It is good to have people in strategic positions sharing the vision and vigour for development of education.  Even in a new country and new places I visit for my work, I often meet familiar faces who turn out to be graduates from the Institute.  Rapport is instantly made and otherwise tough negotiations become straightforward, constructive and even pleasant. 


Everywhere in the continent of Africa, I meet committed and impressive Institute alumni.  That is when I feel proud to have been at the Institute of Education.

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