About Generation UK

Generation UK was launched by the British Council in 2013 to help young UK nationals increase their employability, enhance their long-term job prospects, and develop a global mind-set through study and work experience opportunities in China. 

It has also sought to provide a growing number of opportunities for young people from the UK to understand and engage with China, as well as raising students’ awareness of the benefits of gaining international experience. Generation UK aims to bring young people from both countries closer together, increase mutual understanding, and pave the way to lasting links and partnerships between the UK and China.

Since the launch, more than 67,000 young people from the UK have participated in study, internship and teaching programmes across China, through both British Council programmes and wider initiatives. In 2019, approximately 12,000 young UK nationals gained experience in China, over 100 percent increase prior to the campaign.

By promoting outward student mobility, Generation UK supports the UK government’s agenda to foster the UK’s competitiveness and develop a generation of globally mobile, culturally agile young people who can succeed and compete in an increasingly international business environment. Generation UK is supported by all four UK government administrations.

Programme objectives

  • To create more opportunities for UK students to gain international experience by engaging with China – the world’s largest growing economy – through study and work placements
  • To support UK institutions by creating opportunities for UK students to go abroad, and forming direct links with institutions and companies globally
  • To support the UK government’s agenda to foster the UK’s competitiveness and develop a new generation of globally mobile, culturally agile young people who can succeed and compete in an increasingly international business environment
  • To build trust, understanding and mutually rewarding relationships between organisations and individuals in the UK and China

What is on offer for academic institutions in the UK?

Generation  UK  has  developed  partnerships  with  several UK  higher  education  institutions,  with  bespoke  internship  programmes  aligned  with  their  plans  to  improve  access  and  widen  participation  among  their  student  cohorts.

These  bespoke  programmes  are  funded  entirely  by  the  universities.  This  provides  the  UK  higher  education  sector  with  a  sustainable  and  replicable  model  to  boost  student  mobility  to  China.

If you would like to find out more about our bespoke partnerships with UK higher education institutions, please contact the team at gen.uk@britishcouncil.org.cn 

What is on offer for young people in the UK in 2022?

In 2022, we are offering two-month online internships with companies based in China. This opportunity is open to UK students and recent graduates. Funding support for this opportunity is focused on students from low-income backgrounds and further eligibility criteria apply. To find out more about this opportunity, please visit this opportunity’s page

We encourage young people to engage with China by:

  • Highlighting the benefits of gaining study or work experience in China
  • Offering advice and guidance to individuals interested in pursuing opportunities in China
  • Creating a wider network of UK professionals and programme alumni to engage with China by sharing experiences through online dialogue and a series of events in the UK

Generation UK legacy

As part of the Generation UK legacy, we have created a network of programme alumni, as well as young and experienced professionals in China related fields. The network ensures on-going engagement with China and provides a platform for alumni to share experiences, discuss issues and stay up to date with the latest trends and opportunities in China. We host annual events in the UK and work with partners to provide a range of opportunities for members to deepen their China connection.

Generation UK and Widening Participation

Generation UK is committed to Widening Participation; providing funded opportunities to those who would not normally have access or the financial means to undertake an internship or study programme in China.

Through our programmes, students can gain international work experience that is either related to what they are studying at university or their future career aspirations to help boost their cultural understanding and employment prospects. Our programmes have a strong uptake among low-income households (79 per cent), first-generation scholars (40 per cent) and students from BAME backgrounds (43 per cent).

Find out more

To find out more about Generation UK, please contact us at gen.uk@britishcouncil.org.cn

UK students and recent graduates wishing to participate in Generation UK should visit our China opportunity page

External links