The Fall 2009 issue of the Open Society Scholarship Program's ScholarForum journal showcases the analysis, reflections, thoughts and commentary of grantees and alumni. Education forms the topical focus of the issue, with the regional gaze cast to Southeast Asia.
The home countries of many OSI scholars are frequently the subject of ongoing international and national critiques of educational policy. In Central Asia, claims of corruption are rife as wages for teachers are barely enough to help them make ends meet. Those affected most by reforms (faculty, school administrators, parents and, of course, the students themselves) are often not consulted, thereby excluding the opinions and interests of those closest to the system. Societies, it seems, can ill afford to let educational development fall out of step with a country's needs. For politicians and the public, it is becoming increasingly clear that education is crucial to a nation's political and economic development in an increasingly integrated world.
Southeast Asia: an area rich with challenges and opportunities for scholarship grantees and alumni. ScholarForum contrasts a light-hearted look at a New Year's celebration in Laos with an experience of personal and academic liberation for a Burmese grantee in an effort to highlight the contrasting experiences that shape the personal development of our scholars in this region.
This issue also features an interview with the Open Society Fellow and former OSI-supported scholar Evgeny Morozov, who reflects on his scholarship time and current activities.