Monday 06 February 2023

Update on Ukraine 

We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and are appalled by the human tragedy that is unfolding in this war. 

We have worked in Ukraine for the past 30 years and strongly believe it’s more important than ever to build positive connections, mutual understanding, and trust between people. Our uccess and impact is down to the hard work, dedication and commitment of our staff and this still remains the case today. We’re doing everything we can to support our exceptional team in Ukraine.  

Whilst we have temporarily suspended face-to-face activities in Ukraine for the safety and well-being of staff, customers and partners, we have resumed some online activities as we’re determined to keep providing cultural and educational opportunities.

Since March 2022, we have:

  • offered free online speaking clubs for children and provided online teaching for young learners
  • created an online English Language hub of free resources for adults and young learners
  • developed the “Teaching and Learning in Difficult Times” course as a response to urgent needs for practical approaches to education in times of crisis. By the end of February, almost 750 Ukrainian English teachers who work with displaced students travelled to Poland to address the issues they experience in the classroom as a result of the ongoing war
  • established the Future English Online Teacher Community, a new peer-led global online platform for English language teachers that facilitates research, consultancy and professional development, providing opportunities for up to 25,000 teachers across the country over the course of three years
  • launched IELTS Online and Aptis to provide Ukrainians with the possibility of taking an English test in a safe learning environment
  • offered humanitarian support to internally displaced people, organised evacuations, and purchased sleeping bags, blankets, food, medicine, and other necessities in Lutsk, Kropyvnytskyi, and Nizhyn through the work of our Active Citizens partners across Ukraine.

Together with the Ukrainian Institute, we launched the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture in June 2022.. The season, which had been planned since 2019 to mark 30 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and Ukraine, helped to strengthen and build cultural connections between both countries, while providing new platforms and opportunities for Ukrainian artists to connect with the UK. The season’s theme is ‘Future Re-Imagined’, focusing on the changed needs and priorities of the Ukrainian sector, giving a voice to Ukrainian creatives, both in the UK and online.

More than 100 events, both in-person and online, were organised, including:

  • Sheffield DocFest hosted the official beginning of the UK/Ukraine Season in mid-July 2022, with a group of Ukrainian filmmakers and artists invited to present their documentary films, virtual reality, and artwork.
  • Ukrainian films were screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival was an excellent opportunity for filmmakers to share their current projects and develop professional connections.
  • At the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, Ukraine showed an animated mosaic projection titled Ukraine: Bits Destroyed. The project featured images of 56 huge mosaics from the 1960s and 1970s, more than a quarter of which had been damaged or destroyed since war in Ukraine began.

Visit the UK-Ukraine Season website

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language.  We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021-22 we reached 650 million people.

External links