Wednesday 06 May 2015 00:00 to Thursday 07 May 2015 00:00
Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo


Please click on the video above to join the live stream of the event. You can send in your questions and comments through Twitter via @HEGoingGlobal or #TalkHE


09.45 - 10.45 | English-Skills-Employability: 'Trinity or Trilemma?'

11.00 - 12.30 | The role of English in skills development in South Asia

14.45 - 15.45 | 'Brick to Clicks' - New Models of delivery in skills

Day 2

09.30 - 10.30 | Key trends in skills in South Asia and addressing South Asia's deficit of technical and soft skills

10.30 -11.30 | 'Minding your language' - English Skills in a globalised economy

14.00 - 15.00 : The great debate: Educators, Employers, Policy Makers and Learners


This dialogue will:

  • Discuss the dichotomy of ever-increasing numbers entering the labour market and continual employer claims of acute skills shortages.
  • Explore the interventions needed to ensure graduates do not fall into a 'Catch-22' situation of being educated, but unemployable.
  • Establish the affirmative policy changes required to ensure a balanced, equitable and inclusive workforce through appropriate English and skills development throughout the learner journey.
  • In a global world, highlight the role of English in enhancing the employability of graduates and nongraduates, enabling them to become truly global citizens.

South Asia is facing a crisis in terms of its human and especially youth capital unprecedented in its modern history. A youth bulge putting pressure on the entirety of its education system, coupled with fragile labour markets with deficits of skilled manpower, lack of credible R&D cultures and an apparent academia-industry disconnect are all militating against plans for future economic growth and social prosperity in the region.

Skills development has taken centre stage as many countries in South Asia attempt to upskill its massive populations (with one million new entrants into the labour market in India alone) as well as empower its marginal communities and citizens to enter the mainstream workforce and spur social mobility. This is a policy area the region simply cannot afford to get wrong.

Whilst the so-called ‘hard skills’ and technical education is much easier to rationalise, it is often the soft or 21st century skills that are cited by governments and employers as the missing link in making the successful transition between education and a job market encompassing continuing professional development and lifelong learning. Recent estimates cite that the number of employable graduates could be as low as 15-25% in South Asia. 

Furthermore, the role of English has become more pronounced, not only as the de facto language of education, research, business, the internet and social media but also as a core skill to engage in an increasingly globalized world. These strong demands for English arise because of its perceived economic and social value. What demands does this place on an existing generation of teaching faculty to hone their professional development and relevance? Do we train the future teaching faculty of tomorrow in a different way to reflect this core skill? 


  • Strategic and/or executive decision-makers from government, education or business and have the authority to enact change or policy.
  • Internationally recognised experts, senior researchers and education leaders with an interest in the series themes.
  • Entrepreneurs, business and industrial leaders with an interest in education and employability.

Participants will be from the UK, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Iran and invited participants from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Germany, France, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, USA and further afield. 


Please contact Nishika Hassim on if you wish to attend.