Friday 29 April 2016


Going Global, the world’s largest education conference organised by the British Council, opens on 3 May in Cape Town, the first time the conference is being held in Africa.

Going Global is an annual conference offering an open forum for global leaders of tertiary education to discuss issues facing the international education community.

This year’s theme is ‘Building Nations and connecting cultures: education policy, economic development and engagement’, and will be discussed across 40 sessions featuring 150 speakers. 

Since its inception in 2004, Going Global has grown from a bi-annual event in the UK to an annual event alternating between the UK and a major international city.

More than 800 education leaders, government ministers and chief executives from around 75 countries including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, China and Ukraine, will be attending the three day conference.

Highlights of the conference include:

The BBC World Service is recording a special edition of The Forum on ‘Brain Drain. How Do we Stem It?’

The Times Higher Education magazine will be exclusively launching their annual World Reputation Rankings.

The British Council will launch a new major piece of research, The Shape of Global Higher Education,  that reveals which countries have the best policy environment to encourage international engagement; crucial for their future success (or failure) in the global knowledge economy.

Panel discussions will include:

The role of universities in responding to the refugee crisis: Leaders from Jordan, Lebanon, the UK and US debate how higher education can play a role in responding to one of the biggest international issues of this decade.

Students as Agents of Change: The Rhodes Must Fall campaign began in Cape Town last year, and has served as a catalyst for wider student activism beyond South Africa; notably in the UK. But the response of universities to this activism, and how this combines the responsibility of universities to foster the next generation of leaders, is a highly contested topic. We will hear from student leaders from India, Ukraine and South Africa debating the issue head on with Vice-Chancellors.

The #HeForShe campaign: The Executive Director of UN Women (and former Dep President of South Africa) will join a panel of education and business leaders to discuss this global gender equality campaign.

‘Made in Africa’ solutions? The President of Mauritius and Ministers from across Africa will discuss their most pressing challenges for their nation’s developmental goals, in light of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Africa – a continental innovation chain? – Policy makers from across the continent talk about how they are able to boost innovation and growth in their own countries, and what is needed to link internationally in order to boost the economy across Africa.

Decolonising the curriculum: a catalyst for change?: Is higher education curricula in former colonies able to produce graduates able to contribute to nation building and economic and social development? Are they being held back from the innovation and critical thinking required to reach essential goals by curricula that doesn’t reflect the realities of the 21st century?

Breakfast with Othello – the great South African actor Dr John Kani talks about his experience of playing Othello under Apartheid in 1987 at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.  


Notes to Editor

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About the British Council

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. 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 8,000 staff – including 2,000 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 publicly-funded grant provides 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £973 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also 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