Coloniality as a Frame of Understanding: Interventional Politics in the Privatisation of Bangladeshi Higher Education

23rd November 2021 : 14:00 - 15:00

Category: Webinar

Speaker: Arif H Kabir, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh; Raqib Chowdhury, Monash University, Australia

Location: Zoom webinar, registration required

Audience: Public

In the context of reforms that have characterised private sector higher education in Bangladesh in the last three decades, the presentation discusses how coloniality of power and the geopolitics of knowledge can be helpful constructs in understanding the nature of powerplay at a time long since the exit of the British Raj. As authors we acknowledge our epistemological tensions inherent in being Bangladeshis but in many ways privileged through Western systems that have supported our intellectual growth.

Through an empirically based account of how neoliberalism has worked its way through the higher education sector in the fastest growing economy in the South Asian context, we will discuss how changes have been characterised by not just policy reforms and massification of education, but a sustained friction between control and autonomy in the university sector.

We take an approach that is sensitive to our geo-political and onto-epistemological positionalities as diasporic and hybridised scholars by rejecting epistemological exclusions inherent in the colonial mindset. This position allows the reinforcement of a colonial present, theorising from within Global South decolonial and postcolonial research literature.

The presentation is based on our recently published book, The Privatisation of Higher Education in Postcolonial Bangladesh: The Politics of Intervention and Control, which contributes to discourses of ‘globalisation from above’ and ‘globalisation from below’ and sheds light on the often-idiosyncratic ways in which higher education reform has unfolded in South Asia. It will be of interest to comparative educators and those researching into higher education policy and education developments in Global South nations.

Pre-readingsPreface and Foreword of The Privatisation of Higher Education in Postcolonial Bangladesh: The Politics of Intervention and Control.

This webinar is part of the free public seminar programme hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).