We aim to help international students have a positive experience in the UK. We do this by giving them guidance on getting a visa, preparing for coming to the UK and settling in once they arrive.
For full details of our work in this area, please see the following brochure:
The British Council's role in visas and immigration (89KB)
The British Council works closely with the UK Border Agency, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Home Office, UKCISA, educational institutions and other sponsors and partners to ensure that visa and entry arrangements are more user-friendly for international students and to make their stay in the UK a positive experience.
We are a stakeholder in the Joint Education Taskforce, where we develop and share research, resources and insights into immigration issues affecting international students.
In April 2009, the UK introduced a new points-based system for visas. One of our main areas of focus has been to help students, agents and educational communities around the world understand the new system and what it means for them. We do this by providing information through the Education UK website, newsletters, publications, pre-departure briefings and through local outreach and media.
If you have any queries about our work in visas and immigration, please contact Helen Clews, British Council External Relations & Immigration Adviser.
We produce a range of publications giving guidance to international students on coming to the UK. These publications are located on the Education UK website. Please note, all of these publications are now electronic copy only, except for Creating Confidence.
Entry Clearance and Immigration booklet 2013-14 (983 KB) for all self-funded international students coming to study in the UK.
We also produce publications to assist UK institution staff:
pre-departure briefings in a wide range of countries to give students planning to study in the UK advice and tips on getting a visa and settling in to life in the UK.
This international student safety survey, conducted by the British Council, aims to assess student experiences and premises about safety issues in the United Kingdom.
Creating confidence - international student safety survey report 2010 (790KB)
The British Council supported, jointly with the Association of Colleges (AoC), a Beacon Award for International Student Support. The award recognised best practice in supporting international students from recruitment through to completion of qualifications. It was awarded to further education colleges that developed and maintained consistent and caring procedures for the support of students who are studying in the UK
Previous winners include:
- 2010/2011 Edinburgh’s Telford College
- 2009/2010: Coleg Llandrillo
- 2008/2009: Stevenson College, Edinburgh
- 2007/2008: Bridgwater College
- 2006/2007: Boston College
- 2005/2006: Sussex Downs College
- 2004/2005: The Bournemouth and Poole College
- 2003/2004: Broxtowe College
- 2002/2003: John Leggott College
- 2001/2002: Pembrokeshire College
- 2000/2001: Dudley College
- 1999/2000: Chichester College
- 1998/1999: Broxtowe Col