As Bangladesh celebrates 50 years of its extraordinary journey as a nation, this year also marks 70 years since the British Council opened the doors of its first office in Dhaka.
The British Council is incredibly proud to have been part of Bangladesh’s remarkable journey since 1971. On the black night of 25 March 1971, we lost eight guards during the Dhaka University massacre. The memorial to these unsung heroes lives on at our Dhaka University office as a remembrance of their sacrifice.
Over the course of our shared history, the British Council has built strong people-to-people connections between the UK and Bangladesh across English, education, arts and culture. We have worked directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with government, private sector and civil society partners to benefit millions of people all over the country and build long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships between the two countries.
We have helped young people gain the skills, confidence and connections they need to realise their potential. We have supported them to learn English and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture has stimulated creative exchange, including as a tool to highlight the challenges faced by societies worldwide.
We have connected the best of the UK with Bangladesh and the best of Bangladesh with the UK. These connections have helped people in both countries to better understand each other's strengths and our shared values. Looking forward we will renew our focus on creating opportunities for young people, especially girls, to access quality education and learn new skills. We will bring them together to address shared challenges such as climate change and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. We will help more universities and schools to connect internationally. We will deepen existing alliances and build new partnerships across English, education, arts and culture to strengthen the friendship that already exists between our countries.
It is remarkable how much Bangladesh has achieved in half a century and we are excited to be a part of the next chapter of the country’s history over the next 50 years, and beyond.
Please check out the video that we have prepared to celebrate this very special anniversary.