Wednesday 09 April 2014


British Council and International Unit response to Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement of ‘The Newton Fund’

The British Council and the International Unit welcome the additional investment by the UK Government into building research and innovation capacity in emerging economies.

Professor Rebecca Hughes, British Council Director of International Higher Education, said: “The Newton Fund marks a shift towards large scale, sustainable and mutually beneficial research relationships between the UK and international partners.  Many of the countries involved are where the British Council’s in-depth knowledge on the ground and  trusted reputation can provide the platform for new world class collaborations grounded in excellence and in intercultural understanding.  We are delighted to be supporting this ground-breaking approach and helping to demonstrate how the work of UK academics can make a difference in the lives of the poorest and most in need. We are working in close collaboration with other UK partners to make the fund’s outputs a life changing reality for significant numbers of people and in this process enhancing mutual understanding, security, and prosperity.”

International Unit Director Vivienne Stern, said: “The Newton Fund represents a real opportunity for the UK higher education sector to contribute to building research and innovation strength in some key partner countries, by funding collaborations that can start new relationships and deepen existing links.

“The UK higher education sector has clearly demonstrated its strength in contributing to international development and in growing education and research collaborations into enduring partnerships. It already has an extensive array of international relationships with proposed partner countries at academic, institutional and sector-wide level. As the core of the UK's research and innovation ecosystem, higher education institutions will play a central role in the success of these programmes. This new funding should promote the long term economic development and welfare of people in these rapidly developing countries and also unlock new opportunities for UK HEIs to contribute to global growth and prosperity through partnership.”

“It is fitting that the Chancellor announced the Fund in Brazil, one of the proposed partner countries. Brazil is rapidly becoming an international research and innovation player, and Brazilian government schemes are enabling the growth of international higher education collaborations. The UK commitment of resource will enable Brazilian and UK researchers to work together, addressing key social and environmental challenges and having real impact where it matters.”

Notes to Editor

Background - Newton Fund

The Newton Fund is a £375 million (£75 million per year over five years) UK government allocation to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The fund is designed to develop and “improve the research and innovation capacity of Emerging Powers and build valuable partnerships for the UK”. It is a new resource for BIS, in addition to the ring-fenced Science and Research Budget.

The primary purpose of the Fund is to develop the scientific capacity in partner nations for their long term sustainable economic growth by research capacity building and broader scientific capacity building. The partnerships will be match-funded by partner countries and programmes are expected to begin in 2014/15.

The countries the UK will work with under the Fund are:

·         Brazil

·         Chile

·         China: Newton UK-China Research and Innovation Partnership

·         Colombia: Newton-Caldas Fund

·         Egypt

·         India: Newton-Bhabha Fund

·         Indonesia

·         Kazakhstan: Newton-Al Farabi Partnership Programme

·         Malaysia

·         Mexico

·         Philippines

·         South Africa and wider Africa

·         Thailand

·         Turkey

·         Vietnam

For more information about the Fund please see

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s 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: You can also keep in touch with the British Council through and

About the International Unit

The International Unit is the sector body which represents all UK higher education institutions in support of their international activities; initiating and delivering projects and initiatives to develop the breadth and depth of the UK HE sector.

The IU works to support the development and sustainability of the UK HE sector’s influence and competitiveness in a global environment and promotes the sector’s distinctive strengths internationally. It supports the sector’s engagement in the European Union and Bologna Process policy debates.

The International Unit is part of Universities UK and is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Scottish Funding Council, Department for Employment and Learning (Northern Ireland), GuildHE, the Higher Education Academy and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. It is based at Universities UK.