The reception, part of Global Education Festival UKsaw over 100 stakeholders gather, network and listen to an impassioned speech by Lord Bilimoria – President of UKCISA, President of the CBI and Chancellor of the University of Birmingham.
“I am the third generation of my family to go to university here [in the UK]. Immigration made this country,” he said.
Bilimoria spoke of the strength of the UK sector, but nodded to the extra work to be done given that one in nine international students come from China in the higher education sector.
He also presented Cherif Safian Afghan Chevening Scholar who was able to come to the UK to study diplomacy through the program last year.
“We wish you the best of experiences here at London Metropolitan University,” Lord Bilimoria told the researcher during his speech as he reflected on the breadth and quality of education on offer in the UK.
“The purpose of higher education is to create environments where students and staff of all nationalities can meet”
Lord Bilimoria nodded to another Lord present – Lord Johnson, who had served as Education Minister in 2019 – when he discussed the importance of the post-study work pathway and the contribution of Johnson in representing education interests in government.
Bilimoria also spoke about his stint as president of CBI, a post he assumed on June 16, 2020.
“The experiences that I had came to the fore during those two years,” he said. He explained that when India suffered a Covid crisis, the CBI rallied around the UN High Commissioner and members provided oxygen cylinders, medical supplies and millions of dollars.
Similar initiatives are planned to support the Ukrainian crisis. “We did this for India, why can’t we do this for Ukraine?”.
Against the backdrop of the Thames and St. Paul’s Cathedral, delegates hailed the evening in central London as an opportunity to meet peers working in language teaching, independent schools, edtech and higher education.
“The Global Education Festival is an opportunity to celebrate all the amazing things that international education has to offer,” said Howells, Deputy Director of External Affairs and Universities United Kingdom International.
The Global Education Festival UK – The reception in London tonight was awesome! It was nice to see so many people from different parts of the international education sector in one place! The event set the stage for #IHEF22 starting tomorrow and next week #PIELive! #GEF22 pic.twitter.com/bfcSPpNtcw
— Bobby Mehta (@bmehtaUK) March 15, 2022
“I think part of the purpose of higher education is to create environments where students and staff of all nationalities, backgrounds, values and beliefs can come together to exchange views in an open and respectful way,” did he declare.
“It’s part of how we build knowledge, expand understanding and help make societies and the world a better place,” he added.
Amy Baker of The PIE also addressed delegates, celebrating the collegial approach to collaboration across various industry verticals.
View the Global Education Festival UK 2022 networking event gallery here.