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Brian Garvey, MA PhD

Colleagues will be sorry to learn of the death, on 8 February 2014, of Dr Brian Garvey, former Lecturer in the Overseas Education Unit within the School of Education.

Born in London, in 1929, Brian attended a Catholic Grammar School before attending theological college in both the UK and the Netherlands. He returned to the UK in order to read History at Oxford, gaining an MA in 1961, followed by a PGCE in 1962. Brian spent the majority of the next decade teaching history at secondary school level, during which time his interest grew in the administration of education and in education in developing countries. He obtained a PhD in African History from the University of London’s Institute of Education in 1972, and in February 1973 travelled to Zambia to take up a five year post as Senior Lecturer and Assistant Dean in the University of Zambia’s School of Education.

This was to prove a turning point in Brian’s career. On his return to the UK he worked initially as a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the Oxford Management Centre, and as a Lecturer in Education Administration at the Institute of Education, before moving to Leeds to take up the post of Lecturer in the Overseas Education Unit of the School of Education, in 1979.

During his eighteen years at Leeds Brian was able to develop his specialisms in management and decision making in education; rural education; education administration; and, above all, the development and administration of education in developing countries. His subject entailed a great deal of travel. He undertook many visits to Africa over the years (including Zambia, Uganda and Gambia) both to study and observe educational provision and frameworks, and to provide consultancy and expertise, either in an academic capacity or working as a consultant with organisations such as the World Bank and UNESCO.

This expertise informed his PhD supervision of Leeds students from across the world, and his lecturing. His lectures were always popular amongst students for their clarity and incisiveness, and he was a dedicated teacher, always willing to go the extra mile to provide advice and support. His work was meticulously planned and carefully focused. He set, and achieved, high standards for himself and for his students – never satisfied with a superficial answer in his own work, he would always encourage his students to dig deeper, to cultivate an eye for the finer detail, and to get to the heart of each problem that they tackled in their work.

Brian was a conscientious and hard working member of the academic team, earning a well deserved reputation nationally and internationally for the quality of his scholarship and his contribution to the development of his subject area, including his executive editorship of the International Journal of Educational Development (from 1989 to retirement) and his close involvement in organising academic conferences on international educational development and with the International Standing Committee of the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers.

Brian retired from University service in 1997, leaving behind a School much strengthened and diversified. He will be remembered with warmth and great respect by colleagues and students alike.

The funeral service was held on 17th February, on which day the flag on the Parkinson Building was flown at half-mast in Dr Garvey’s memory.