The new Daffodil Oxford Centre for Excellence in Hospitality, based within Daffodil International University, Dhaka, is a collaborative project involving key figures from Bangladesh and UK hospitality and higher education. As well as providing opportunities for graduates to pursue careers in Bangladesh, the intention is that many will find opportunities for further study and employment in the UK.
Daffodil International Symposium on Hospitality (10th September 2020)
On 10th September 2020, Daffodil International University (DIU) will host an online international symposium that will bring together senior representatives from the hospitality industry, government and academia, as well as notable figures from the UK hospitality industry, to address critical issues facing hospitality education in Bangladesh and worldwide. This event will also mark the forthcoming launch of the Daffodil Oxford Centre of Excellence for Hospitality, a new specialist learning institute located within DIU. From the UK, contributors to this event include Aktar Islam, chef and owner of Michelin-starred Opheem in Birmingham; Dina Begum, chef and food writer and champion of Bangladesh culture; Atul Kocchar, Michelin-starred chef and television personality; as well as Robert Chatterton-Dickson, the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh.
The Daffodil Centre of Excellence for Hospitality (DOCEH)
DOCEH aims to be a respected educational institute that prepares graduates for successful and fulfilling careers in the international hospitality industry. Its distinctive educational provision will combine experiential, hands-on learning with rigorous theoretical study in the fields of international hospitality management and culinary arts.
In addition to delivering outstanding educational programmes, DOCEH will become known for working in close partnership with industry; for its strong relationships with other educational institutes, internationally; for leading conversation about responsible leadership (in areas including social enterprise and the empowerment of women); and for using hospitality and the culinary arts to promote positive perceptions of Bangladeshi culture around the world.
Links to the UK
Bangladeshi and Indian restaurants in the UK have been facing considerable challenges for several years, not least in relation to shortages of skilled labour. With the onset of the covid pandemic, many operators have gone out of business and others have been left fighting for survival.
The Daffodil Oxford Centre of Excellence in Hospitality is seeking to establish strong links in the UK, in part to provide work experience for Dhaka-based students, employment for graduates and opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. It aims is to contribute to the ongoing professionalisation of UK hospitality (particularly, but not exclusively the Bangladeshi and Indian restaurant sector) by providing well-educated staff who are motivated to build successful careers.
Daffodil International University is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Ulster University to provide students with access to degree programmes and work-placements in the UK.
In addition, students and graduates of Daffodil International University, who are based in the UK, will have access to a range of learning opportunities and cultural activities facilitated by the Oxford Cultural Collective, a UK-based educational institute specialising in hospitality and gastronomy.
Restaurateur Aziz Rahman laid the foundations for this project. He has a long-track record of promoting close collaboration between the UK and Bangladesh in his former roles as Director General of the British Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Founding Chairman of the Guild of Bangladeshi Restaurateurs and Chairman of the Dine Bangladesh Campaign. He is now a formal partner in the development of DOCEH and a senior adviser to Daffodil International University.
Conceptualisation and planning of the Daffodil Oxford Centre for Excellence in Hospitality is being led by Donald Sloan, Chair of the Oxford Cultural Collective. Prior to his current role, Donald Sloan was Head of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University, a position he held for fourteen years.