The British Council’s first English Centre in China marks a new commercial relationship and is “a new milestone in country relations” according to the organisation’s country director.
The first classes at the English Centre in Nanjing will begin on October 20, teaching the British Council’s ‘myClass’ English programme for adult learners.
Carma Elliot CMG OBE, the British Council’s country director in China, said:
“The launch of an English centre in Nanjing marks not only the beginning of a new chapter in the British Council’s long history of engagement with Jiangsu province, but also a new milestone in the bilateral relationship between the UK and China.
“By deepening mutual trust and understanding through a greater appreciation of our respective languages, the teaching centre will contribute to bringing our countries closer together, while also opening new doors for individuals in terms of their education, their careers, and the opportunities available to them.”
The British Council was established in China in 1943 by the renowned sinologist Joseph Needham and re-opened as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in 1979.
It operates today as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy and Consulates-General in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Wuhan. The launch of its teaching centre creates a formal base in Jiangsu province, enabling it to further develop the strong ties between the province and the UK.
The British Council has a long history of engagement in the English sector in China and is a respected partner for the delivery of English educational services.
Every year it engages with more than 80m English language learners through self-access learning tools, along with projects working with government, education institutions and companies directly to raise English standards.
Over the last two years in China the British Council has worked with 13 education bureaux to support the professional development of over 9000 teachers and teacher trainers.
It is working with 12 universities to support the development of English and to help them achieve their targets in this area.
It also provide a range of free resources through our websites, mobile apps, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and in print and broadcast. In 2016 over 88 million primary, secondary, and university students, English teachers and professionals used these resources.
The British Council is also the co-owner of IELTS working in partnership with NEEA in mainland China.
Through the launch of its first English Centre in China, the British Council brings its teaching expertise to the consumer market. The centre also provides Chinese English learners with a new way to gain access to British culture and enhance opportunities for young Chinese professionals to engage with the UK.
Nanjing is a significant city in East China where the British Council has already built significant connections through projects such as English Teaching Methodology Courses, UK-China Knowledge Economy Education Partnership (KEEP), Workshops for Researchers, and Musicians in Residence. The British Council has also set up two IELTS test centres in Nanjing and opened the first ‘Aptis’ English-language competency test operation centre in the region of Jiangsu.