The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.
We work in two ways – directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world.
We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise.
We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK. These connections lead to an understanding of each other's strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained.
We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.
- registered charity no 209131 (England and Wales) and SC037733 (Scotland)
- an executive non-departmental public body. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is our sponsoring department
- a public corporation.
Our Patron is HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH The Prince of Wales is our Vice-Patron.
Read more about our work in our annual reports.