What People Are Saying

Since 2009, The International Academic Forum has welcomed over 16,000 academics to its interdisciplinary conferences in Japan, UK, Spain, USA and UAE. Here is what some of these conference participants say about IAFOR and IAFOR events.

I had a really good time getting to know delegates from various backgrounds and from different countries. And because of that experience, I just really want to come back and present my work.

Dr Weng-Tink Chooi, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia

IAFOR always brings together a really diverse group of presenters and scholars. Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, China, the US… I’ve seen presenters from all over the world.

Professor Ted O’Neill, Gakushuin University, Japan

IAFOR conferences are different from the ordinary education conferences that you might expect or might have attended in the past, especially because of their focus on the interdisciplinary, the intercultural and the international, bringing together themes across a range of topics that cross boundaries, such as social justice or globalisation or transformation of learning and

Professor Sue Jackson, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

One of the things that we’ve encountered is that we are forced to question definitions that we believe to be true in our specific disciplines. We are forced to look at these definitions more critically when encountering or working with a person who comes from a different discipline or background.

Dr Amy Szarkowski, Harvard Medical School, USA

I always look forward to coming to an IAFOR event. IAFOR draws together such a breadth of people, disciplines, people who are passionate about what they do, with great things to present.

Mr Lowell Sheppard, HOPE International Development Agency, Japan

What this conference really embodies is the really generative nature of bringing perspectives and people together from different disciplines from different cultural backgrounds, from different linguistic groups, and how the interactions of those individuals, those different perspectives, generate new knowledge.

Professor Donald E. Hall, Lehigh University, USA

I’ve met people here from Asia of course, but I’ve also met people from Italy, South Africa, Eastern Europe, and we’ve come together to share a bond in an academic and social way. I would recommend considering this conference. It’s a good place for academics, young and old, to get published, in peer-reviewed journals, peer-reviewed

Professor Richard Roth, Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, USA

IAFOR to me is the ultimate interdisciplinary conference. I have been involved with four international conferences with agencies located in Hong Kong, Singapore and Sri Lanka. And of the four conferences, IAFOR’s has been absolutely the most important for me. I have for the last few years involved myself only with IAFOR. They are a

Professor Gary E. Swanson, University of Northern Colorado, USA (fmr)

When I got to the conference, it became clear what a valuable experience it was – so international and interdisciplinary, and intercultural. I could see the benefit of being an active participant so I’m still glad to be very involved today.

Professor Barbara Lockee, Virginia Tech, USA

IAFOR’s truly is an international audience. We often have people from 14 different countries represented at a conference. But it’s more than that somehow. It’s also about the engagement and what that means through the intercultural, through understanding that education comes from a range of disciplines, and thinking about what education means for your own

Professor Sue Jackson, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

I can’t think of another similar opportunity that I’ve ever had attending a conference to engage with so many people from different countries and different perspectives that really have helped inform my own work. And I find it to be a very valuable and enriching experience.

Professor Barbara Lockee, Virginia Tech, USA

Interdisciplinarity: Connections between things. Not to become silent. To stretch, elasticise our brains. To go where we often shouldn’t go or don’t want to go. To be somewhere unfamiliar. That’s actually the most exciting thing to do.

Professor Baden Offord, Curtin University, Australia

IAFOR, like all strong international forums, gives a chance for the liveliest exchange of ideas. The keynote lectures, follow-up discussion panels and round-tables bring together any number of sharp minds: the upshot is both information and scholarship, but also the chance to air contrasting points of view. There is always the invitation for conferees to

Dr A. Robert Lee, Nihon University, Japan (retd.)

When I first participated in an IAFOR conference in Osaka, Japan, what struck me most favourably was the interdisciplinary aspect. I have been to many congresses, symposia, conferences, etc., all over the world. The absolute majority of them, invariably, were intercultural and international. IAFOR’s was the first and only one that was all this plus

Professor Svetlana Ter-Minasova, Moscow State University, Russia

I am most grateful to IAFOR for a chance to listen to papers presented by teachers and ministers, medical doctors and journalists, photographers and film-makers. To have a chat with university lecturers, speech-writers, philosophers and scientists, to see award-winning films and photographs. And IAFOR’s main gift is bringing together interesting and interested people from all

Professor Svetlana Ter-Minasova, Moscow State University, Russia

On the one hand we live in a world increasingly focused on “me, mine and my country”. On the other hand, we also live in a world where the problems facing humanity collectively, such as global warming, environmental degradation, etc., are increasingly threatening the well-being of us all. Given this, the need for an “academic

Dr Brian Victoria, Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, UK

Interdisciplinary study enables broader perspectives on the ever-changing world we live in. As creative and critical thinking become more important with so much information available we need stimuli that provoke synthesis. The real danger of being too narrow in one field is that in going deep we narrow down and avoid larger global challenges.

Professor Stephen J. Hall, Sunway University, Malaysia

In my setting of Malaysia, we are plurilingual and working with our mix of cultures has centuries of background. The challenge is to always nurture understanding at a time when some deal with complexity and faster transitions by retreating into simplistic “us and them” thinking. DNA analysis makes it clear that we are all multicultural

Professor Stephen J. Hall, Sunway University, Malaysia

The commonality of cross-disciplinary work is in shared skills and competencies. Skills and a developed emotional intelligence are shared areas for all to explore.

Professor Stephen J. Hall, Sunway University, Malaysia

Stimulating my thinking often depends on looking for shared interests – allied with but not always the same as my specialised field. IAFOR is an excellent inclusive platform for this.

Professor Stephen J. Hall, Sunway University, Malaysia

A focus on the Asia-Pacific and a growing range of partnerships see increased understanding developing on many levels. IAFOR is staffed by committed professionals and is building even greater academic rigour.

Professor Stephen J. Hall, Sunway University, Malaysia

Interdisciplinary studies provide the opportunity to observe various phenomena, such as achievement motivation, from a variety of perspectives. No one perspective, such as sociology or psychology, can provide a holistic interpretation of behaviour. For this reason, studies that incorporate a variety of theoretical positions and consider a range of empirical evidence are stronger studies. However,

Professor Dennis McInerney, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong

Because the interpretation of phenomena, even clinical test-tube-based data, will have cultural and social dimensions, it is essential for people of different nations, cultures and backgrounds to work together. In my specialised area of cultural studies of achievement motivation, it is essential to collaborate with colleagues in the various cultural settings in which I work.

Professor Dennis McInerney, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong

IAFOR provides the ideal platform for academics and researchers from many fields to present their theorising and research, and provides the mechanism by which individuals can connect with their peers across disciplines.

Professor Dennis McInerney, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong

IAFOR conferences are boutique and have the advantage of allowing individuals to feel part of a cohesive group. Networking is facilitated. Many academics avoid giant conferences because they believe they are impersonal, and despite the large number of attendees they can feel lonely and isolated.

Professor Dennis McInerney, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong

Because of their boutique nature IAFOR conferences provide the ideal opportunity for networking and developing collaborative enterprises with peers from other disciplines.

Professor Dennis McInerney, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong

The main strengths of IAFOR are its multidisciplinary, personalised conferences. Its conferences also provide the opportunity to hear top-notch speakers on a variety of interesting topics.

Professor Dennis McInerney, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong

Interdisciplinary study is important as it gives people opportunities to consider different perspectives, to see life from various angles of perception. We live within various cultures and traditions and we need to consider life from various angle of perception; we cannot see life merely from a single perspective.

Dr Monty P. Satiadarma, Tarumanagara University, Indonesia

Differences increase various perspectives thus also increase knowledge; the possibility of working together with differences allows people to exchange knowledge and to see possibilities and opportunities to create an integrated perspective that is necessary to improve quality of life in a society.

Dr Monty P. Satiadarma, Tarumanagara University, Indonesia

I have attended IAFOR conferences since 2011 and my regularity of attendance is proof that I like being in the IAFOR community, particularly for its openness, the main principle implemented by the late Professor Stuart Picken. From the very beginning of my attendance I have come to know the pioneers and senior members of IAFOR

Dr Monty P. Satiadarma, Tarumanagara University, Indonesia

IAFOR’s conferences have numerous good points: openness to a world view from different perspectives, giving public speakers, researchers and scientists the chance to share their experiences; growth and development, in that the organisation has now grown into a large number of professionals who organise the congresses around the world; service to conference participants, in that

Dr Monty P. Satiadarma, Tarumanagara University, Indonesia

IAFOR opens up opportunities for participants to expand their networking. During congresses participants have many opportunities for contact between one another; after the congresses, IAFOR provides access for people to get in touch by email, Facebook, and a number of other means of communication. IAFOR develops communication opportunities between participants and potential participants through electronic

Dr Monty P. Satiadarma, Tarumanagara University, Indonesia

Interdisciplinary study is vitally important for improving academic research, as it informs and challenges scholars in areas beyond their expertise. I especially value learning something I had no idea about before.

Dr Craig Mark, Tokyo Denki University, Japan

In an age of heightened nationalism, it is essential that scholars from diverse backgrounds can maintain the cosmopolitan pursuit of knowledge, for the enlightenment of all.

Dr Craig Mark, Tokyo Denki University, Japan

Interdisciplinary collaboration can lead to new and creative academic pursuits, which hopefully produce fresh insights and unique research results.

Dr Craig Mark, Tokyo Denki University, Japan

IAFOR provides a welcoming platform for scholars at all levels to collaborate and share their research, with each other and in wider global society.

Dr Craig Mark, Tokyo Denki University, Japan

IAFOR conferences allow emerging scholars in particular to gain experience and expertise in presenting their new research, and gain valuable feedback.

Dr Craig Mark, Tokyo Denki University, Japan

IAFOR conferences provide extensive networking opportunities, not just in the more formal conference panels, but at the informal social functions as well.

Dr Craig Mark, Tokyo Denki University, Japan

IAFOR provides an extensive range of opportunities to showcase interdisciplinary scholarship, including in its journals and its online magazine, THINK. Another major strength of IAFOR is its firm commitment to principles of academic ethics and integrity.

Dr Craig Mark, Tokyo Denki University, Japan

Interdisciplinary study is no longer a sidebar for academic disciplines. It is absolutely necessary. In virtually every discipline, including law, there are questions that cannot be adequately answered from within the discipline. It is essential to interact with others from other disciplines and to engage with their research. Otherwise, one can only view issues from

Professor Frank S. Ravitch, Michigan State University College of Law, USA

We live in a global community and in most fields national borders do not equal disciplinary boarders and cultural interaction is essential if one wants to understand others’ cultural horizons and how that effects issues and research.

Professor Frank S. Ravitch, Michigan State University College of Law, USA

I like IAFOR’s interdisciplinarity and intercultural focus. I also like that IAFOR events allow for newer and more established scholars to interact in a supportive environment where the newer scholars can benefit both from praise and critique without feeling stressed by the environment.

Professor Frank S. Ravitch, Michigan State University College of Law, USA

I have heard some great papers that are relevant to my work, I have had the chance to help newer scholars, and I have learned things from other disciplines that are engaged with the issues that I care about.

Professor Frank S. Ravitch, Michigan State University College of Law, USA

I think most of the folks who attend IAFOR conferences, or at least the ones I have attended, have excellent networking opportunities not only with newer scholars, but also with the variety of established scholars that IAFOR regularly attracts to its conferences.

Professor Frank S. Ravitch, Michigan State University College of Law, USA

Interdisciplinarity, intercultural focus, academically challenging, yet supportive environment.

Professor Frank S. Ravitch, Michigan State University College of Law, USA

Interdisciplinary education and research are the engines driving creativity and innovation. Interdisciplinarity allows us multiple and nuanced angles of understanding as we tackle the most important challenges facing us in the twenty-first century.

Professor Donald E. Hall, Lehigh University, USA

Given the rise of nationalism, isolationism and anti-globalisation around the world, it is more important today than ever before that organisations such as IAFOR provide opportunities for faculty and students to explore common concerns and differences as we grapple with the enduring challenges of intolerance, economic and educational disparity, and cultural conflict.

Professor Donald E. Hall, Lehigh University, USA

If you consider the most pressing issues we face today – from global health challenges to religious and cultural conflict – they present us with challenges that can only be addressed through cooperation among researchers from various disciplines. Anything less only offers us partial answers to complex problems.

Professor Donald E. Hall, Lehigh University, USA

IAFOR provides a dynamic venue (in person, online and in print) for collaboration among faculty and students across nations, disciplines and perspectives. It is unique in the world.

Professor Donald E. Hall, Lehigh University, USA

IAFOR conferences are friendly and supportive environments for students and faculty to exchange ideas, network and brainstorm around compelling international issues.

Professor Donald E. Hall, Lehigh University, USA

Nowhere else will you find such an array of stellar international researchers, university administrators, graduate students and faculty from across the globe interacting in ways that are collegial and commonly focused on solving the most vexing global challenges. I always come away from IAFOR conferences with new friends and professional contacts.

Professor Donald E. Hall, Lehigh University, USA

IAFOR is unique as an interdisciplinary global organisation that offers academics from every country and across the various sectors of higher education (and public intellectualism) the opportunity to share ideas, brainstorm new approaches and generate new knowledge.

Professor Donald E. Hall, Lehigh University, USA

IAFOR bridges cultures and disciplines. IAFOR forces people to think. I am much sorrowed when as a reviewer I see people describing very well what has been done, but not why. They seem to be some “robots” that followed some procedures, but they do not know why. The do not consider the scientific contribution of

Dr Alexandru I. Petrisor, “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urban Planning, Romania

IAFOR conferences bridge the two sides: different cultural backgrounds and different disciplines. They bring together not only people from social sciences, but people from environmental and social sciences, or from sciences and arts and humanities. As an example, when I first attended IAFOR’s ACSEE/ACSS conference, my purpose was to deliver a presentation related to the

Dr Alexandru I. Petrisor, “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urban Planning, Romania

The networking opportunities are excellent. Not only the fact that that the opportunities for socialising are better than at any “traditional” conferences, which include a dinner and a field trip, through the richness of social events, but the way of organising the sessions is very stimulating. Unlike other conferences, where speakers are given 15 minutes

Dr Alexandru I. Petrisor, “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urban Planning, Romania

I recall the life-changing presentation that the late Professor Stuart Picken delivered in 2015. I keep quoting it, and even included some of the ideas in my course on research methods and dissemination, taught at the doctoral level. I do particularly remember a slide containing the words that define IAFOR: “International. Intercultural. Interdisciplinary.” I believe

Dr Alexandru I. Petrisor, “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urban Planning, Romania

As I am a language educator, multiple disciplines are necessary to understand my work and to be effective. Understanding societal issues, economics, politics and psychology are necessarily part of understanding learners and their motivations. IAFOR conferences have provided me with experiences, connections and knowledge that I might not have known how or where to seek

Professor Ted O’Neill, Gakushuin University, Japan

IAFOR manages to do two seemingly contradictory things: bring together researchers and practitioners with a broad range of intellectual interests, while also building a community of enquiry that persists. Participants make professional connections that turn into new avenues for research, but they also make personal connections. I always look forward to seeing previous participants at

Professor Ted O’Neill, Gakushuin University, Japan

I think one of IAFOR’s main strengths is that although it is Asian in origin, IAFOR is international. Not only academics from the eastern part of the world but also those from different parts of Europe want to be a part of IAFOR by participating in the conferences or submitting their work to its journals.

Dr Ebru Melek Koç, Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey

Interdisciplinary study is important because one cannot be an expert in all areas. For example, I am an expert in the area of language teaching. However, if I want to conduct a study on the effectiveness of online mentoring during school practice on the development of student teachers, then I need to work collaboratively with

Dr Ebru Melek Koç, Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey

Without living in a country and experiencing it yourself, you cannot understand how the system works there. So, collaboration and interaction with academics in different nations enables us to get a deeper understanding of a specific topic – for example, teaching education training in Hong Kong.

Dr Ebru Melek Koç, Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey

IAFOR offers scholars an unparalleled educational forum, the strength of which stems from its well-designed organisational structure. Scholars are given the opportunity to attend and choose from a broad array of opening sessions, keynotes, as well as other presentations, networking events and guided recreational tours.

Dr Shamim Ali, Allama Iqbal Open University, Pakistan

For young scholars, it is equally rewarding to participate in IAFOR’s conferences, as I have observed that the younger participants are able to grow their resume and broaden their research interests by attending enlightening presentations and getting acquainted with other scholars in their respective field.

Dr Shamim Ali, Allama Iqbal Open University, Pakistan

IAFOR draws scholars from around the globe to discuss research that meets at the intersection as well as amalgamation of various disciplines and fields. The core strength of IAFOR lies in its strategic vision realised through a multicultural, vast and interdisciplinary scope.

Dr Shamim Ali, Allama Iqbal Open University, Pakistan

IAFOR conferences are always a good place to get different ideas, make your thinking flexible, and learn something totally new. Because the focus is not intentionally narrow, I am exposed to a lot of unfamiliar material. This gives me something to play with and I can choose to learn about it further or not.

Dr William Baber, Kyoto University, Japan

The main strengths of IAFOR lie in the organisation’s ability to draw people together. This is of course partly because of the leadership. An organisation follows the attitudes of its leaders and the attitudes of IAFOR are admirable: flexible, open-minded, community-minded and reactive.

Dr William Baber, Kyoto University, Japan

IAFOR’s commitment to bringing together academics, artists and policy makers is not just unique; it is also very important because this combination of different aims and practices opens up collaborative networks beyond typical disciplinary frameworks.

Dr Myles Chilton, Nihon University, Japan