This book is the outcome of laborious research and study that have dominated the best part of the last five years. These years have been, without any doubt, the most tiring and stressful of my life, and I recall the words of my mentor, who said to me once, full of kind honesty, that ‘academic research is not good for the soul’. But while writing these lines and looking back to what I have achieved thus far, I can only say that all of this was worth it! Being a part of the British – or shall I say, Scottish – educational system has taught me a great deal, both as a researcher and a person.