Joe Farrell’s Letter Announcing the Winner for the Best Dissertation in Comparative Education :


I am most delighted to announce that a recent CIDEC graduate, Dr. Sandra Gillespie, has been awarded the Gail Kelly Award for the Best Dissertation in Comparative Education. This annual award is presented by the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) and will be presented to Sandra at the annual CIES meeting in San Antonio, Texas, March 8 - 12, 2000. CONGRATULATIONS, SANDRA!!! The title of her thesis is: "South-South Transfer: A Study of Sino-African Exchanges." Sandra's "home program" was Higher Education; her thesis supervisor was Ruth Hayhoe, and her committee members were Glen Jones and George Dei. Congratulations to them as well!


The "citation" for the award reads as follows:


 "This is a compelling study of Sino-African educational exchanges, focussing upon the experience of African students invited to study in China. While the "South-South" rather than "North-South" transfer of knowledge is often urged and argued for in the literature, there is little if any empirical research on how such exchanges actually work out, and how, if at all, they differ in practice from traditional "North-South" transfers, the experience and consequences of which are already well-documented. Gillespie's study breaks new ground by carefully documenting and analyzing, based principally on interviews and documentary         records, the experiences, and understandings of those experiences, of a large number of Africans who have studied in China within Sino-African educational exchange programs. Theoretically, the work draws upon the corpus of "international academic relations", particularly the work of Ruth Hayhoe, Galtung, and Mazrui. One thing the study clearly demonstrates is that problems of international power differentials, differential legitimization of various forms and sources of knowledge, and         cross-cultural prejudices and mis-understandings do not automatically disappear when the axis of knowledge transfer is shifted from "North-South" to "South-South." This thesis is also very well written; coherently argued and with often compelling and eloquent English prose."


A copy of the thesis is in the OISE/UT Library. An additional copy is available for reading in the CIDEC Resource Centre.


This may be getting to be a tradition. Last year, another CIDEC graduate, Dr. Karen Mundy, now on faculty at Stanford, received the CIES Bereday Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the field for an article she published in 1998 in the Comparative Education Review.