In Pakistan we worked with the Higher Education Commission to launch the joint programme Pak-UK Education Gateway, which enhances partnership between the higher education sectors of Pakistan and the UK. This will lead to:

  • more joint research between the UK and Pakistan
  • collaboration on international programme and provider mobility (IPPM) projects
  • joint work on educational leadership, quality assurance and standard setting
  • increased mobility of students between the UK and Pakistan.

The British Council has already facilitated partnerships between 160 Pakistani universities and 65 UK institutions. These included 160 research links contributing to sustainable development goals and institutional capacity building, involving over 1,000 researchers from both countries. The new Education Gateway will build on this foundation.

In Mexico we worked with the government on a mutual recognition of awards agreement between Mexico and the UK. This means that a UK qualification is recognised in Mexico and vice versa, opening the way for increased mobility between the two countries. We did this by negotiating a quality assurance alignment on a system level, rather than just aligning high-quality institutions.

The value of a framework like this has received such recognition within the region that it has been rapidly taken up by Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Peru. This in turn means that institutions from outside the region have a single means of connecting with this critical market.

In the Philippines, we are working with the education department and with UK higher education institutions on developing an IPPM framework to deliver new curricula at PhD and master’s levels. This highly innovative project involves establishing programmes in identified subject areas to address local challenges.

The courses are supported by scholarship schemes for Philippine students.The fact that our advice was based on solid research, conducted in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, was a critical factor in the government’s thinking. ‘The British Council’s research gave us the confidence that we were making the right decision,’ said a government spokesperson.

In late February 2019, the British Council in Cyprus organised a high-level delegation from the UK higher education sector to visit Cyprus to discuss IPPM. A major issue identified during the visit was the risk posed to IPPM collaboration between the UK and Cyprus. Cypriot legislation allows for collaborationbetween EU member state institutions, but would not have covered the UK in the event of the UK leaving the EU in a no-deal scenario.

Within a matter of weeks, an amendment was passed in the Cypriot parliament removing the risk and paving the way for closer and broader collaboration between the UK and Cyprus higher education sectors going forward.