HE Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research today welcomed 1300 leaders of international education from nearly 80 countries to the British Council’s Going Global conference, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The conference, held on March 5 – 6, has brought leaders from government, academia and business to the UAE to share their expertise and discuss the role of higher education in developing successful international knowledge economies.
Five pieces of new research will be launched at the conference, and 300 experts from around the world will feature in almost fifty sessions.
The opening ceremony was conducted by HE Sheikh Nahayan, the UK Minister of State for Universities and Science David Willetts, and the Chief Executive of the British Council, Martin Davidson CMG.
Introduced by Sir Drummond Bone, Master of Balliol College, Oxford, HE Sheikh Nahayan told the audience of leaders: “A world seems to be before me. You have assembled from the four corners of the earth to reflect on what you are doing, that is, going global. Today and tomorrow your world will demonstrate attitudes that we all deem essential for successful global activities, namely, cooperation, collaboration, and open-mindedness.
“We have to admire the vision, ingenuity, and competence of Mr. Davidson and his associates in the British Council. They have devised a program that will heighten your knowledge and understanding of global issues in education.”
H.E. Sheikh Nahayan continued, “The United Arab Emirates, which provides a safe, tolerant, and prosperous environment for people from many countries around the globe, understands exactly why Going Global 2013 deserves its fullest support. I am delighted that you have all assembled in our country to heighten your knowledge and understanding of global issues in education. Your presence here this morning reflects a strong interest in the huge promise of global educational cooperation. I am confident that you will make a significant contribution toward making this promise a reality. I wish you well in your noble, forward-thinking endeavour.”
The Rt Hon David Willetts said "At the end of this decade there will be over 200 million people in higher education worldwide. That represents a massive challenge, but also a massive opportunity.
"The British Council's Going Global conference is bringing together 1300 of the world's education policy-makers and practitioners. It will help us forge the relationships and gather the intelligence the UK needs to keep pace with the growing demand and changing trends in global education."
Martin Davidson said “I am confident that collaboration and partnership will be at the heart of many of your discussions. International collaborations have an impact, and bring benefits, that add up to far more than the sum of their parts. Collaborations between investors and tertiary institutions, between researchers and businesses, and between educators and students already contribute to a virtuous circle of learning, innovation and creation.”
Martin Davidson told the audience “In the coming years those connections and those flows of knowledge and skill will become ever more important. Our future well-being and prosperity will depend to a large extent on our willingness to embrace such ways of working, with openness and generosity. The UK is a natural partner of choice in Higher and Further Education projects, and I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that we have an open door – both on a national and an institutional level – to those wishing to invest, study or research with us.”