GED Dhaka Symposium on Access Points and Progression Pathways
Monday 19 October 2015 - 11:19 to Tuesday 20 October 2015 - 11:19
British Council, Fuller Road, Dhaka

The Dhaka Symposium ‘Access Points and Progression Pathways’ is a part of the British Council’s South Asia Global Education Dialogues being held across the region throughout 2015. The Dialogues bring key policy makers and opinion formers to debate the challenges and opportunities facing international education and skills. 

Bringing together key policy-makers and influencers to debate the challenges and opportunitiesfacing international education and skills. 

Global Education Dialogues are facilitated dialogues between governments, universities and industry, with contributions and fresh perspectives from our network of leading thinkers. Each event provides space and time for participants to explore the shifting international higher education landscape – with its rapidly changing expectations and responsibilities – so that they are better equipped to play their role in the future-proofing of higher education in their countries.

Target audience

The event will be hosted by the British Council in collaboration with the National Skills Development Council Secretariat. There will be an invited audience of over 100 participants, predominantly from Bangladesh with invited guests from other countries in the region, the UK, East Asia, MENA and further afield. 


Access to high quality Education and Skills brings significant benefits to individuals, society and the economy. It is also vital to social mobility, citizenship and building the knowledge and skills to succeed in a highly competitive world. Bangladesh and South Asia as a whole has a youthful population with two thirds under 30 years of age and has more at stake than most if this dividend is not be a wasted opportunity. 

The Issue

For many, the challenge of accessing and navigating through the many entities of learning and employment, compounded by the lack of coordination and interoperability between them, means many aspirants are confined to the margins, disenfranchised or stuck with limited career prospects and opportunities. This problem is more profound for those from minorities, underrepresented groups, women and those with disabilities. Furthermore the current configuration does not lend itself to the changing nature of learning or learners for whom the journey is seldom, linear, synchronous or without considerable hardship. 

There is a real risk that South Asia will fail a whole generation of its young and aspirational populations. Any future model will need to encompass the whole student lifecycle from entry through school, college, higher education, post graduate, employment and lifelong learning. There needs to be genuine partnership and better collaboration between all stakeholders including policy makers, academics, business, training providers, NGOs and the learners themselves if improvements are to be made 


The Dhaka Symposium aims to contribute to the development of policies and skills development systems in Bangladesh (and the wider region) that facilitate enhanced employment and educational opportunities for its youth, are inclusive and provide clear progression and pathways between non-formal and traditional forms of education and training.

Themes & Objectives

This two-day symposium will look in detail at all the main transition points in the learner life-cycle and explore ways to support young people into employment at different entry points and in achieving academic progression including: 

  • Multiple access/entry points: schools, further education, higher education; formal/informal, with an emphasis on inclusivity
  • The views of young people towards education, skills and employment
  • Industry/employer engagement: labour market intelligence, national occupational standards/competences
  • Quality, scale and future models of skills delivery
  • Changing perceptions of skills development 

The above points would be discussed on the two-day dialogue in big plenary and small parallel sessions. We strongly believe your valuable contribution to this skill symposium will enhance the event outcomes.

 *This is an invitation only event. But you can join the discussion through social media with the hashtag #TalkHE.

Key Speakers

David Ruebain - Chief Executive of Equality Challenge Unit

David Ruebain

Chief Executive , Equality Challenge Unit

David is the Chief Executive of the Equality Challenge Unit since 2010, a policy & research agency funded to advance equality & diversity in universities in the UK and colleges in Scotland & England.  Prior to that, he was a practicing solicitor for 21 years; latterly as Director of Legal Policy at the Equality and Human Rights Commission of Great Britain and before that as a Partner and founder of the department of Education, Equality and Disability Law at Levenes Solicitors

Adrian Greer CMG, Chief Operating Officer

Adrian Greer, CMG

Chief Operating Officer, The British Council

After studying English at university Adrian Greer worked for the National Audit Office in Scotland where he qualified as an accountant. He joined the British Council in 1984 and has been Country Director in Lesotho and Swaziland, Zambia and Russia. He worked for four years in Manchester as geographical head in Development and Training Services (predecessor to Programme and Projects) and from 2004-2007 was a member of the Senior Management team, as Director of Learning, Creativity and Society.

Anir Chowdhury

Anir Chowdhury

Policy Advisor, Prime Minister's Office, Bangladesh

Anir coordinates policy formulation and nationwide implementation of e-governance; leads the process of ICT-facilitated innovation within the government and catalyzes public-private partnership for transformation of traditional government services into e-services. Member of the Prime Minister’s National Digital Task Force and Education Minister’s National ICT in Education Task Force.

Mr. Salahuddin Kasem Khan

Mr. Salahuddin Kasem Khan

Managing Director, A.K.Khan & Company Ltd

Mr. Salahuddin Kasem Khan is a Pioneer industrialist and development thinker in Bangladesh who is currently the Managing Director of A.K.Khan & Company Ltd.,Chairman of Coats (Bangladesh) Ltd. a joint venture with Coats U.K, Chairman of A.K.Khan Jute Mills and Director of Bengal Fisheries Ltd., joint ventures with Nichiro & Maruha of Japan. He is the Former Chairman of AKTEL, Bangladesh.

Maddalaine Ansell

Maddalaine Ansell

Chief Executive, University Alliance, London, United Kingdom Higher Education

Maddalaine is a graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge and a qualified solicitor. She has held a number of appointments including with the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, Home Office and BIS. She worked on the HE White Paper for the then Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, and was appointed to the position of Deputy Director, International Knowledge and Innovation in 2011. She became Chief Executive for University Alliance in January 2015.