Then...

After numerous misunderstandings during his secondary education in Cape Town, to the extent that he actually gave English professional football a shot with trials at, amongst others, Queens Park RangersSheffield Wednesday and Sunderland, Bregham decided to give the hotel industry a go instead and in 1986 signed on at Claridges' Hotel, London. However, in the midst of the de rigueur existential crisis typical of the uprooted, his levels of happiness were not what they should've been to progress in this particular service sector, so a dip back into the knowledge industry beckoned to update what he had already been taught, but failed to know. Not yet totally sure that the ivory that lines the knowledge towers was for him, Bregham headed to the City (of London) to learn how to lose money despite - or because of - the fact that it wasn't his. Feeling that perfect information was crucial to the functioning of the free market, yet having a hunch that, like most states of perfection, it was more a dream than a reality - if not a ruse in the name of burgeoning deterritorialised power - university now seemed a good place to understand this mix of contradictory existences, opposed cultures, political shenanigans and socio-economic habiti.

Enrolment for a B.Sc. in Economics and Politics followed at the University of Southampton. It included a sojourn on the ERASMUS exchange programme at Goethe University, Frankfurt, which also saw Bregham do a stint as a Gastarbeiter at the Frankfurter Societäts-Druckerei that published the FT which, if before in the City he had been able to comment upon, he was now publishing (okay, sweeping the floors where it was printed!). Hereafter, some character building took place in various parts of South-East Asia from a work base in 岡山市 (Okayama), Japan, the fruits of which allowed him to further hanker after the privileged life of academe by pursuing an M.A. in Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Finally, deciding that a knowledge of Germany's post-reunification postcodes would one day - somehow - be of use, Bregham joined the Bundespost in order to stock up on some soon to be extinct Deutsche Marken that would get him through a Ph.D. at the University of Edinbrugh. They eventually did, together with the proceeds of six years as a teaching assistant and some inadvertent though crucial funding from the administrative people who look after the nuts and bolts of Scotland's biopower machine. To boot there was weekly pocket money thanks to Bregham's nuts, which played off the hands of the will to know's curiosity about the secrets of who we are and its concomitant production of representational knowledge that the experts take as a right to intervene.

Academe proper then commenced in the hexagonal land that excels in thinking difference, though no doubt because it is so thoroughly and proudly the place of the reign of the same. Taking advantage of the silver lining of the adjunct faculty cloud in France between 2003-2011, Bregham's teaching and researching there gave him a broad yet deep understanding of the conception, development and management of English language - mostly liberal arts - degree programmes and international academic exchanges and partnerships. This experience was garnered at the peculiarly French institution of the grande école, for the most part at Télécom Ecole de ManagementEnsta ParisTechESSECSciencesPo Paris and SciencesPo Rennes. These institutions are generally more outward looking, and hence more attuned to the evolution of global higher education, than French universities where radicals excel in the conservation of vested interests. Indeed, greener pastures become an imperative when, for the third consecutive year, the archaic recruitment process of the French university system declined to acknowledge that Bregham had any teaching experience within academe, whilst it decreed that his research training at two universities ranked within the top 50 worldwide by the QS system, or again the top 40 by the THES system, was inadequate for being qualified to have the right to apply for a faculty position in a French university (yes, the right to apply for a job!). If there is a moral here, it seems one should not underestimate the power of the seekers of truth to gate their community, or at least to adhere to corporate interests just as much as any other industry and to turn a blind eye to the reasonable expectation that, in academe at least, what you know, not who you know or where you've been, ought to apply.

In April 2011, fresh pastures were found in Japan at the Faculty of Policy StudiesChuo University. And in September 2012, Bregham joined the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo. Over and above his teaching and research duties - and in keeping with the Japanese government's encouragement of the internationalisation of its higher education system via the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's (MEXT) Global 30 Project - he is contributing to the development of PEAK (Programmes in English at Komaba) in which English is the language of instruction and a broad liberal arts education the passport to be prized.


...and now