The British Council hosted the Commonwealth Alumni Annual meeting for Bangladesh at its Dhaka University Campus office on November 5 on behalf of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK. For the first time, Bangladesh Association of Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows (BACSAF) lead the overall planning, moderation and facilitation of the programme. Along with over 100 Commonwealth alumni, UGC Chairman Professor Abdul Mannan; Head of DFID Bangladesh, Jane Edmondson, and Head of Political Section at the British High Commission, Adrian Jones attended the event. The alumni engaged in brain-storming sessions and made pledges to collectively face challenges pertaining to education and research, environment and governance.
Overview of Commonwealth Scholarship Fellowship Plan (CSFP)
Provide opportunities for prospective Commonwealth students to pursue Postgraduate and Doctoral studies for strengthening a community for higher economic gains
Currently, there are over 1600 Commonwealth alumni who are currently working in Bangladesh and contributing towards economic development.
The website of BACSAF was also formally launched on the occasion to network through digital communication.The British Council Country Director Barbara Wickham and Deputy Director Jim Scarth were present at the event along with Md. Towhidur Rahman Regional Manager, South Asia, Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP). Prof. Abdul Mannan, Chairman of the University Grants Commission said ‘Bangladesh and UK have a tradition of cultural and academic exchange. Over the years this relationship has further strengthened to help the alumni grow as individuals through providing high skills opportunity, equipped with training and professional skills.
“A recognition of talent- being titled as a Commonwealth Scholar is in itself a prestigious act one would like to have as it is solely judged on merit,” said Jane Edmondson, Head of DFID, praising British Council and CSC for their support in facilitating the scholarship schemes.
“Promotion, communication and continued coordination from the British Council with BACSAF will be the driver of change for the pledges taken during evening, which does not derogate sustainable economic development for the country,” said Barbara Wickham at the event.
Bangladesh Association of Commonwealth Scholars (BACSAF) was formed in 2014 with aims to maintain networks between the scholars, mentor young and talented researchers, and add greater value to the society.