Islamabad: The British Council Tuesday announced its Going Global Asia Pacific Conference, which provides a strategic forum for leaders in international education to share knowledge and build a global network to shape the future of higher education across the world.
The conference will take place from 28 November to 1 December 2022 in Singapore and is the first regional edition of the British Council’s flagship Going Global conference.
It also marks 75 years of the British Council’s presence in Singapore and its role in advancing the city-state’s growth story through its work in the English language, Education, Arts and Culture.
The conference will explore the theme of International Education in the United Kingdom (UK) and Asia Pacific region: How to pursue equity in an inequitable world – an especially pertinent topic at a time when disparities in educational opportunities are on the rise due to the global pandemic.
The conference aims to reimagine the future of education and build stronger, more inclusive, internationally connected education systems through exchange of insight, learning and ideas to benefit hundreds of millions of people across the UK and Asia Pacific region.
The conference will include both in-person and livestream sessions. The in-person events are being attended by 200 invited senior leaders in the tertiary education sector from 20 countries and territories, representing over 140 organisations across Asia Pacific and the UK at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Senior education leaders globally can also attend key segments of the conference online by registering for live stream sessions until 28 November 2022.
The conference will be opened by Maddalaine Ansell, Director of Education, British Council and attended by Sir Steve Smith, the UK Government’s International Education Champion. It will cover key themes including: The context for education in a changing world; Addressing gender gaps in higher education; Digital inclusion; How Higher Education Institutions can contribute to climate action, and many more.
Key speakers at the conference will include recognised leaders in the global education sector including Dr Libing Wang, Chief of Section for Educational Innovation and Skills Development for UNESCO Asia Pacific; James Crabtree, Executive Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS-Asia); Rodora Turalde-Babaran, Director of Human Development at the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat; and Md. Mokhlesur Rahman, Senior Operations Officer at The World Bank, among others.
The United Kingdom is consistently ranked amongst the most popular destinations for higher education amongst students from across the Asia Pacific. Students from the region account for almost half of the UK’s 600,000 international students, including over 14,000 from Singapore alone. Some notable alumni from Singapore and the wider region include the current Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, the first female Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi and Pakistani female education activist and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai, to name a few.
Maddalaine Ansell, Director of Education, British Council, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting our first regional Going Global conference in Singapore this year – at the same time as we celebrate the British Council’s 75th anniversary in the city-state – and focusing on the Asia Pacific region. We are looking forward to robust discussions on a range of topics including how to ensure that educating international students overseas also builds higher education capacity in sending countries, and that partnerships between countries are equitable and benefit everyone involved. For close to 20 years, through our flagship Going Global conference the British Council has provided a strategic forum for leaders in international education to share knowledge and build global networks that shape the future of further and higher education across the world.”
Amir Ramzan, Country Director, British Council Pakistan, added: “The UK Higher Education sector has strong historic and academic ties with institutions across Pakistan and South Asia, but the impact of Covid 19, environment concerns and the dramatic rise in the prominence of the sector across the region require innovative collaborations to match these new realities. This is why I’m delighted that the largest delegation at the Going Global Conference is from Pakistan with 15 Vice Chancellors, led by Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairperson of the Higher Education Commission. Seven of the Vice Chancellors will be speaking at various sessions and of the total delegation 6 Vice Chancellors are women. This is a testament to the strong partnership we have with the Higher Education Commission and the work we have done to get more female representation in the Higher Education Sector in Pakistan.”
The Chairperson of the Higher Education Commission, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed will be speaking at the closing Plenary on “Future of International Tertiary Education. In addition to this, the delegation includes, Dr Saima Hamid, Vice Chancellor Fatima Jinnah Women University, who will be speaking at the Plenary session on Addressing the gender gaps in Higher Education. Dr Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor Lahore University of Management Sciences, will be speaking at the session on Innovation in Emerging Economies: Does University-Industry Linkage Matters for Graduate Employability whereas, Ahmed Farooq Bazai, Vice Chancellor, Baluchistan University of Engineering and Information Technology will be joining a panel discussion on “Enhancing university’s third mission through teaching and research”. Dr Iqrar Ahmed will also be speaking in a panel discussion on intellectual property.
In addition to the various conference sessions and plenaries, there will be networking opportunities built into the agenda for in-person attendees, along with organised visits and in-person meetings with representatives from some of Singapore’s world class universities and polytechnics.