Monday 10 February 2014


Regional and international leaders to discuss inclusive leadership at British Council’s Global Education Dialogues

Defining and debating issues affecting higher education in East Asia 

As the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations, the British Council has long been shaping the Internationalising Higher Education (IHE) agenda. In recognition of the importance of inclusive leadership for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to remain competitive, and to foster collaboration among partners, the British Council will bring together leaders from a range of public and private sector institutions for a Global Education Dialogue in Hong Kong on 17 and 18 February, that will debate and define the theory and practice of inclusive leadership.

The two-day event, which is part of the British Council’s Global Education Dialogues: The East Asia Series 2013-2014, includes eight facilitated dialogues discussing how, irrespective of background, discipline and or status, inclusive institutions can support and develop all staff in their professional and academic journeys. The programme will focus on key concerns including:

  • developing leadership to support and sustain long term values-led collaborations
  • leading Equality and Diversity by highlighting concerns around global distribution of talent and resources and the, portability of talent and women in leadership
  • recruiting and retaining world class leaders by working across and transgressing boundaries
  • defining leadership capabilities for advancement and development activities

Convened by Dr Halima Begum, Director of Education, British Council East Asia, the Hong Kong dialogue on inclusive leadership gathers regional and international leaders as speakers, including Professor Joseph Sung, SBS, JP, Vice-Chancellor/ President, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dr York Chow, GBS, SBS, MBE, JP, Chairperson, Equal Opportunities Commission of Hong Kong, Ms Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive, Universities UK, Professor Timothy W. Tong, President, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Professor Louise Morley, Professor of Education and Director of the Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research, The University of Sussex. Mr Robert Ness, Director of the British Council Hong Kong, and Ms Michelle Li, JP, Deputy Secretary for Education, Hong Kong SAR Government, will also be in attendance to launch the two-day event.

“Global power has clearly been shifting east towards the Asia-Pacific region. In 2015, extended ASEAN economic integration will mean a more coordinated and increasingly competitive region,” said Dr Begum. “Investing in education – particularly higher education – is a crucial part of East Asia’s drive toward greater productivity, growth, and technological development in an ever more global market. This explains why the British Council convened the increasingly significant Global Education Dialogues East Asia Series, to provide a framework to debate the issues affecting higher education in East Asia.”

“Positioning HEIs as global players means they must not only incorporate inclusive leadership practices into their success strategies, but they must also find ways of implementing such practices. Inclusive institutions will ensure that everyone has a voice and an opportunity to influence decision making by building on existing talent, facilitating diversity and enhancing the cross disciplinary capacity of all their members,” Dr Begum added.

The event also serves as a consensus-building exercise, with the British Council collaborating with Professor Dawn Freshwater, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Staff and Organisational Effectiveness, University of Leeds, and Professor Fanny Cheung, Pro-Vice-Chancellor/ Vice President, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, to define inclusive leadership by collecting, analysing and describing examples of best practice across the region and globally. This process will also help identify performance gaps and opportunities in leadership capacity and capability, to meet future global challenges presented to HEIs. The findings of the research will be presented at the British Council’s Going Global 2014 conference, to be held in Miami from 29 April to 1 May.

Recognising the importance of collaborating globally and working together to meet challenges and develop solutions in this international environment, the British Council’s Global Education Dialogues bring together key policy-makers and influencers for a facilitated dialogues with contributions and fresh perspectives from the British Council’s network of leading thinkers. This important event will allow participants to explore the shifting IHE landscape so that they are better equipped to play their role in the future-proofing of regional and international higher education bodies. The East Asia region covers fourteen countries and territories including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

For more information about the Global Education Dialogues, visit

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. 

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant-in-aid provides less than 25 per cent of our turnover, which last year was £781m. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.