Bangladesh maintains strong bilateral ties with other countries through organizations such as the Department for International Development (DFID-UK). Bangladesh and the UK have a long tradition of cultural and academic exchange and Commonwealth Scholarship since its independence in 1971, wherein opportunity is provided to students from Bangladesh to pursue Postgraduate and Doctoral studies in various universities of the UK. Since independence, more than a thousand scholars have availed of this opportunity.

To address the long-standing need and demand from the Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows of Bangladesh who had attended their academic and research training at different UK academic/research institutions, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) felt that supporting establishing an association in Bangladesh is necessary.


Considering the above context, a whole-day gathering was organized for the Commonwealth Alumni on Saturday, February 22, 2014. A vibrant group of 68 Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship holders of previous years gathered at the Hotel Sarina, Dhaka. They spent the whole day knowing each other, learning from each other and, most importantly, exploring how this group of gems can contribute more from their respective positions. Moreover, it all started with the unanimous decision to establish an association for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission’s (CSC) award holders.

The whole day was divided into morning and afternoon sessions. The event started with a fascinating “Networking Skills Development” session by Robin Davies, Director of Partnership & Programs, British Council Bangladesh, to boost the group’s energy. The 40 minutes session was highly interactive, which can be best understood from a participant’s comment: “I have never learned so much in only 40 minutes”.

Following the much-appreciated session, South Asia’s Regional Manager of Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP), Tawhidur Rahman, presented an overview of the existing CSC Alumni Associations and their activities in our neighboring countries. This informative session was followed by lunch and a group photo session.

A group of 15 scholars and fellows volunteered to put their names forward and enthusiastically agreed to work on the proposal development for an association of Bangladeshi scholars and fellows. From that day onwards, the group worked together to develop a proposal.

Establishment of the Association

The Association mentioned above has been established by interested Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows in Bangladesh with an endowment from the CSC and the British Council. It is now called the ‘Bangladesh Association of Commonwealth Scholars And Fellows (BACSAF)’. The British Council supports the initiation through guidance and mentoring by forming a working group and facilitating the proposal’s approval. The proposal was sent to the CSC for approval. The fund needed for the Association’s initial activities is being negotiated among the volunteer group, the British Council and the CSC.


Bind all Bangladeshi commonwealth alums together, enable them to utilize their individual and collective expertise towards positive impacts on the socio-economy of Bangladesh, and contribute to a sustainable relationship between Bangladesh and the UK.


A sustainable future for the Citizens of Bangladesh

Founding Proposal of BACSAF