Tuesday 07 October 2014


Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University and journalist and broadcaster Kirsty Lang will join the British Council as Trustees in October 2014.

The Chair of the British Council's Board of Trustees, Sir Vernon Ellis, said: “On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to welcome our new Trustees. Through their backgrounds in higher education and broadcasting they have experience in presenting the UK overseas and building long term relationships, that will help us make even more impact for the UK around the world through our work in arts, education and the English language."

Professor Janet Beer took up post as Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University in 2007 and in February 2015 will become the Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool.

Professor Beer is the current Chair of the Higher Education Public Information Steering Group which has oversight of the National Student Survey. She is Chair of the Board of the Equality Challenge Unit. She is Vice-President of UUK, England and Northern Ireland, a Board member of UCAS, Chair of SPA, (Supporting Professionalism in Admissions), and a Board member of NCUB. In 2011 she was elected as a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College.

Prof Beer said. "Throughout my career in universities I have found many occasions on which to work with the British Council and have always been impressed with the inspired professionalism and dedication of its representatives in every part of the world.  It is a great privilege to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees and I look forward to helping to forge an even stronger partnership between higher education and the Council."

Kirsty Lang is an experienced journalist and broadcaster with a special interest in foreign affairs and the Arts. She spent many years as a foreign correspondent reporting for the BBC and the Sunday Times from Eastern Europe and later Paris. Shes been a presenter on Channel 4 News, BBC World, and Radio 4s daily arts programme Front Row. She chaired the Orange Prize for Fiction, was a judge of the Independent Prize for Foreign Fiction in Translation, and was also a visiting Professor in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York.

Mrs Lang said: I'm delighted to be joining the Board of Trustees because I believe the British Council continues to play a very important role to play in today's globalised economy promoting Britain through the Arts, the English language and our creative sectors. It’s my belief that the British Council is a great, unsung institution in this country, we are loved overseas and largely unrecognised at home.”

Janet Beer and Kirsty Lang are replacing three outgoing Trustees: Pamela Gillies, Sue Hoyle and Raoul Shah. Further recruitment for another Trustee is underway. The British Council’s Board of Trustees assure the British Council’s charitable purpose and are accountable for the organisation's governance. They hold the Executive Board accountable for the organisations performance, strategy and policy. They are appointed to serve three-year terms, and are selected through a process of external search, interviews and final vote by the full Board.

Notes to Editor

Photos of Janet Beer or Kirsty Lang available on request

For more information please contact Tim Sowula, Senior Press Officer on 0207 389 4871 or tim.sowula@britishcouncil.org

For more information about the management and structure of the British Council please see here.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UKs international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff including 2000 teachers work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant provides less than 25 per cent of our turnover which last year was £781m. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations.All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org