Wednesday 27 June 2012

The British Council responded today to a story in The Daily Telegraph claiming that universities in the UK are rejecting British students in favour of international (Non-EU) students.

Dr Jo Beall, the British Council’s director of education and society said: "International students never take a place at a UK university away from a UK student. International student recruitment and ‘home’ student recruitment are completely separate. There are domestic caps on home student numbers, set by the government, which do not apply to international students. Further, it would be entirely against UK universities' interests to recruit students without the academic ability to complete their course.

“The British Council's training scheme for international agents supports UK institutions by helping agents understand the UK's education system, its standards and quality, as well as its regulations. We also offer sound advice to prospective students. This year we have jointly launched an international code of principles for agents with Australian, Irish and New Zealand educational organisations and governments. The aim of this code is to ensure that students receive a better service when they use agents to help them apply for school, college or university places overseas. We are building the principles from this code into our training scheme.

“Our education system has a great reputation; the UK is the second most popular destination for students in the world, and international students hugely enrich the UK economically, academically, and culturally.

It is in everyone's best interest that UK institutions are supported in being able to recruit foreign students who can contribute to the UK's higher education sector."


For a copy of the international code of ethics, or more information, please contact Tim Sowula, Senior Press Officer, 0207 389 4871 or

The UK, Australia, New Zealand and Republic of Ireland first met for talks in 2010, when Australia proposed developing a joint international code of ethics, amongst other initiatives. The London Statement, agreed on 16 March, is the fruit of that.

The London Statement’s seven principles are:

  • Agents and consultants practice responsible business ethics.
  • Agents and consultants provide current, accurate and honest information in an ethical manner.
  • Agents and consultants develop transparent business relationships with students and providers through the use of written agreements.
  • Agents and consultants protect the interests of minors.
  • Agents and consultants provide current and up-to-date information that enables international students to make informed choices when selecting which agent or consultant to employ.
  • Agents and consultants act professionally.
  • Agents and consultants work with destination countries and providers to raise ethical standards and best practice.


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 over 100 countries in the arts, education and English and in 2010/11 we engaged face to face with 30 million people and reached 578 million. We have 6,800 staff worldwide. Our total turnover in 2010/11 was £693 million, of which our grant-in-aid from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was £190 million. The remainder was generated through trading activities such as English language teaching. For every £1 of taxpayer money invested we earn £2.65 in additional income. For more general information, please visit: