Monday 17 March 2014 00:00 to Tuesday 18 March 2014 00:00
Hilton Colombo

What is a Global Education Dialogue?

A Global Education Dialogue brings together key policy-makers and influencers so that they can reflect on and debate the challenges and opportunities facing international higher education. It is a facilitated dialogue 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. Each Policy Dialogue features the latest thinking in its area with new research and input from government and industry leaders. Papers and research from the policy dialogue will be published so that they can contribute to evidence-led policy developments.

Each Policy Dialogue has a specific and focussed agenda, with a limited number of places in order to maximise knowledge sharing and interaction. For this reason participation is by invitation only.

Global Education Dialogues: Dangerous demographics - women, leadership and the looming crisis in higher education

There is a global quest for talent in the Higher Education (HE) sector as Higher Education Institutions seek to position themselves in world rankings, but where have all the women gone in HE leadership? Effective leadership is essential to transform universities into world class institutions, but what makes a good leader in the HE sector today and what are the barriers to success for women in HE and in leading HE institutions? Universities are highly complex organisations facing unprecedented challenges in the new globalised context and in these challenging times it is not just the person at the very top who needs to demonstrate leadership. This policy dialogue looks at how women are engaging in ever increasing numbers in higher education in South Asia, what the return on investment is, what are the barriers for women and what are the best models for talent management in HE.


  • What makes a world class leader in HE today? The new leadership paradigm and the barriers to success.
  • Women in HE in the UK and South Asia.
  • Best practice models from South Asia and the UK.


  • Mapping the demographics of women leaders in Higher Education.
  • Data analysis on progression and mobility amongst women researchers.


This Global Education Dialogue is by invitation only but you can catch the live stream right here on this page. Participants will be from Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, Netherlands, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, UAE and the UK. 


Day 1

Times Sessions
1100–1130 Session 1: Women as Role Models – A way forward (Contributor:  Dr Maryam Rab, Director REMU, British Council, Pakistan)
1130–1200 Session 2: Addressing the gender divide (Contributor:  Linda Holbeche, Co-Director, The Holbeche Partnership, UK)
1200–1230 Session 3: Double Jeopardy: Examining the Low Representation of Women in Top Leadership Positions in Higher Education

Presentation of the latest benchmark BC research reports

‘Women in leadership in Higher Education – Analysing key trends in South Asia’ - Michelle Potts, Director Education South Asia, British Council

‘Women, Leadership and the looming crisis in Higher Education’ - Prof Louise Morley, Director, CHEER, University of Sussex, UK and Dr Barbara Crossouard, CHEER, University of Sussex, UK

Followed by a panel discussion and Q&A


Plenary 1

‘High participation – low representation’, The paradox of unprecedented levels of female participation at undergraduate level, and yet low representation in positions of influence and leadership in Higher Education


Useful links