Tuesday 14 February 2017


Eighty leading figures in the fields of arts, science and education from across Europe will discuss the long-term impact of Brexit on their sectors at a two-day conference, convened by the British Council.

The Berlin conference, on February 15-16, is the first of the British Council’s EU-UK Culture and Education Series which will encourage hundreds of participants to discuss the future of cultural, scientific and education funding and partnerships as the UK looks beyond Brexit.

Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of the British Council said: “Britain truly wishes to maintain friendships and alliances across Europe following Brexit, so we need to listen to views from the EU’s 27 other nations.

“The knowledge economy will shape both Britain’s and Europe’s future but it has been left particularly concerned by the referendum vote, with questions about funding and movement of people topping the list.

“We need to ensure that all these voices are not only heard, but are fought for in negotiations. Leaving the EU does not mean leaving Europe and ending our long history of exchanging arts, education and science.”

The British Council is drawing on its contacts and expertise to create a forum for leaders in arts and culture, education and skills and science and research to discuss the future of these sectors post-Brexit.

Points raised during the course of the Series will be used to create a communiqué that will be delivered to European and UK government departments and non-governmental institutions on both sides of the Channel to assist and inform negotiators and to aid the development of policy in these fields in the wake of Britain leaving the EU. 

The Berlin conference will be chaired by John Newbigin OBE, Chairman of Creative England and member of the British Council’s Advisory Board for Arts and Creative Industries.

The conference is being organised in partnership with the Goethe-Institut of Germany and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Some 80 delegates are expected to attend the first event of the series among them representatives from Universities UK, Institut Français, Institut Cervantes, European universities, museums and research groups. 

Representatives across a range of sectors are expected from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Belgium, Poland, Slovakia and Bulgaria.

Over the course of coming months up to 500 influential stakeholders will be taking part in events linked to the series, including online events and two further conferences in Europe and the UK.

Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact peter.hawkins@britishcouncil.org +44 (0)207 3893061 mobile: +44 (0)7771 718135, out-of-hours +44 (0)7469 375160

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.