Celebrate Salford, Celebrate Bangladesh: a special event to commemorate Salford's work with Bangladesh

Categories: University Campus

Last month, we were honoured to host a special celebration at the University of Salford to bring together our work with Bangladesh and the Bengali community.

Taking place on Tuesday 22 March, the event commemorated Bangladesh Independence Day with our international community, celebrated the work and commitment to Bangladesh of the Greater Manchester Bangladesh Board and the announcement of the first Bangladesh Student Society. 

Over 250 students, staff and friends of the University attended and heard speeches from the honoured guests. There was an assortment of Bengali food offered and guests were entertained with traditional Bengali music.

Hosted by the University’s International Office, the event hosted several guests of honour including Assistant High Commissioner, Mr Kaiz Ziaul Hasan, Mayor of Salford and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Paul Dennett, and Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Chair of the Greater Manchester Bangladesh Board, Councillor Abdul Jabbar MBE and University alumni, and Bangladeshi business leader Mr Iqbal Ahmed OBE. Whilst the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, could you join the event, he sent a special video message.

Councillor Jabbar said: "Congratulations to the University for hosting this excellent Bangladesh celebration. I felt especially privileged that my university held such a special event for Bangladesh Independence Day, but also for the start of the Bangladesh Student Society.

"I was delighted to meet so many students of Bangladeshi heritage who are serious about taking the best opportunities for their future."

Bangladesh Independence Day is celebrated on Saturday 26 March and is the national holiday of Bangladesh; it commemorates the country’s independence granted in 1971. The Assistant High Commissioner gave a brief history about Bangladesh and described typical celebrations of the day to include parades, speeches and sharing food with families and friends.

Councillor Jabbar gave an overview of the work of the Greater Manchester Bangladesh Board, a group representing local government agencies, business leaders, universities and cultural organisations from the Greater Manchester region with an interest in Bangladesh.

The Board was set up in response to the 2019 GM mission to Bangladesh, where Mayor Andy Burnham and the delegation learnt about connections and opportunities for the two regions. Since this initial visit, the GM Bangladesh Board have started projects in each of the areas of interest. The University of Salford is an active member of the Board, with initial work on education and healthcare.  

Mayor Paul Dennett talked about the commitment that the city of Salford, and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority have towards international relations and to Bangladesh, including the importance of working together across communities.

The event also heard from Arif Hossain, a new student in Salford Business School, who introduced the new Bangladeshi Student Society. Although new to the University, the 2021/22 cohort of Bangladeshi students have already become active members of the University community and taken the opportunity to start the first University of Salford Bengali student society. This is a testament to the energy of our students have to take on opportunities where they can develop their skills and networks, and also share their enthusiasm with other students.

The University of Salford is home to a growing number of students from Bangladesh, as well students and staff of Bengali heritage. The number of students is expected to grow as Bangladesh is currently world’s sixth fastest growing economies with a rich culture in literature, music and arts.

Celebrate Salford, Celebrate Bangladesh showcased the best in the University’s commitment to the region.

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