“Strengthening, Expanding and Reimagining Connections for, and through, Education”

Jointly convened by

Fiji National University,
University of Melbourne (in collaboration with Monash University) and University of Waikato

01 – 03 December 2021

The events of recent years have brought into sharp relief questions coexistence and interconnectedness. These are not new questions, but the global pandemic, the now-visceral urgency of the climate emergency, and the deep, intersecting lines of inequality increasingly rupturing our societies, demand critical attention to how we share space with each other, and with the non-human world, in safe, just, equitable and sustainable ways. Most importantly, what is the role of education in re(creating) positive forms of coexistence and interconnectedness, and what re(creating) of education spaces needs to happen to allow this?

The 2021 OCIES conference is an opportunity to explore the multi-faceted dimensions of these questions, as well as an attempt at re(creating) our spaces for connection and engagement as a scholarly society. The conference will take place across multiple spaces both virtual and face-to-face, is convened by a geographically diverse team from multiple institutions, and will involve diverse formats for knowledge sharing, generation and personal connection.

Hybrid Conference

Given the ongoing restrictions on travel in our region, the 2021 conference will be a hybrid with an online programme complemented by face-to-face options in selected locations.

In Fiji, the Fiji National University will organize a programme that is virtual only over the course of two days (2nd-3rd December). The sub-theme for the Fiji Hub is “Post-Covid -19 Educational Challenges for The Global South: Access to Quality, Safe and Equitable( Online) Learning Experiences”.

In Australia, the Graduate School of Education of University of Melbourne will host conference participants face-to-face for Day Two of the conference (Friday 3rd December).

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the University of Waikato will host conference participants face-to-face for the full Conference (1st-3rd December) at their campus in Tauranga.

Other institutions in the region interested in hosting conference participants in a face-to-face capacity are encouraged to contact us to explore this option.

Conference Programme

The virtual programme will consist of a range of plenary and keynote sessions, as well as several parallel sessions for individual presentations, talanoa/tok stori sessions, panel discussions and more. At the face-to-face locations (Australia & Aotearoa New Zealand), the programme will incorporate additional face-to-face only sessions, networking and socialising opportunities including conference dinner.

Keynote speakers confirmed to date include:

Professor Carl Mika, current Co-Director of the Centre of Global Studies, University of Waikato, and soon to commence as Professor in the School of Māori and Indigenous Studies, University of Canterbury. Professor Mika’s research explores interconnectivity from Indigenous perspectives, particularly interconnectivity with the non-human world.

Professor Marcia McKenzie, Professor in Global studies and international education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. Her research includes both theoretical and applied components at the intersections of comparative and international education, global education policy research, and climate and sustainability education.

Pre-Conference Workshop for Emerging Researchers (01 December 2021)

Held virtually and face:face at the University of Waikato in Tauranga

Education’s strength, in light of the current global pandemic climate filled with uncertainties, lies in its capacity to re(imagine) and re(create) our inter-connections in meaningful ways that encapsulates hope and inspiration. The OCIES theme for 2021, “Strengthening, expanding and reimagining connections for, and through, education”, sets the scene for the unpacking of our educational re(imaginings) and re(creations).


Registration will be available from early September and a Call for Abstracts will also come out in early September. Watch this space for details or check OCIES Facebook page.

Call for Abstracts

The Call for Abstracts will seek proposals for individual presentations, tok stori/talanoa or other discussion-format sessions, creative arts sessions, panel discussions, and workshops. Watch this space for details or check OCIES Facebook page.