The British Council launched their new office in Sylhet at ARCADIA, Darshan Deuri, Amberkhana. The new office will promote educational opportunities in the UK and foster cultural relations with Bangladesh to serve the local institutions, students, teachers, and a wide range of stakeholders in the country.
In Sylhet, the British Council delivers over 7000 exams a year. Apart from examination services, the British Council also have a range of impactful social action projects in Sylhet that are being jointly developed and delivered by the British High Commission, UKAID and the European Union.
The inauguration ceremony took place in the presence of Ariful Haq Chowdhury, Mayor, Sylhet City Corporation, James Cronin, Member, British Council Trustee Board; Barbara Wickham, Director Bangladesh, British Council; Sebastian Pearce, Director Exams, British Council and Mohammad Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, Sylhet Divisional Commissioner. The evening kicked off with a traditional Baul music performance to celebrate the musical flavours of Sylhet. This was followed by speeches from distinguished guests.
Mr Ariful Haq Chowdhury, Mayor, Sylhet City Corporation in his speech said, “I am very happy that the British Council now has its own office in Sylhet. With the state-of-the-art facilities and improved services, I hope that the people of Sylhet will benefit more. I am sure that the stronger presence of the British Council in Sylhet will strengthen our relationship between the people in Sylhet and the UK.”
James Cronin, Member, British Council Trustee Board says, “With the world becoming increasingly global and converging at a very fast rate, an increasing number of people in Sylhet are choosing UK qualifications to equip them for life in western technical and knowledge-intensive societies. Sylhet is now one of the richest cities in Bangladesh with the area's economy largely built on the UK Sylheti diaspora; as a result, people are generally aware of the value that UK qualifications hold. It is also worth mentioning that Sylhet is now the third biggest market in the world for Secured English Language Testing (SELT), which is a UK visa requirement for Bangladeshi students.”
Barbara Wickham, Director Bangladesh, British Council said, “The aim of the new office is to offer enhanced support and state of the art facilities for Sylhet based audience. We have an aim to expand our activities in other cities and across Bangladesh.’’
About 100 guests, dignitaries, government officials, members of the British Council, members of the High Commission, school principals, university Vice Chancellors, and business leaders from Sylhet Chamber of Commerce were also present in the ceremony.
The British Council works with the Government of Bangladesh and many local and UK partner organisations to deliver services and development projects in education, social action and the arts across Bangladesh. In partnership with such organisations, they have brought improvements in teaching and learning, in school and university management, in the attainment of a range of UK qualifications, in community development, in the provision of access to quality educational information through libraries, and in the teaching of English and professional skills training.