Apply to become a Future Leaders Connect member

Becoming a member of the British Council’s Future Leaders Connect programme means you will be part of an exclusive group of exceptional individuals from around the world who are recognised as the next generation of leaders. 

Applications for 2021 are now open. 

The closing date will vary by country, depending on the number of applications we receive, with a finite deadline of Monday 5 July.

Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply you must meet the following criteria; (otherwise your application cannot be accepted)

  • Living in one of our participating countries (Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Ukraine, UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) 
  • Aged between 25 and 35 (at the start of the programme)
  • Able to speak and understand English (no official qualification is required, but you must be able to speak English to IELTS level 7 or equivalent).

What are we looking for in potential members?

We are looking for exceptional individuals with the ideas, energy and commitment to work collaboratively with all members of Future Leaders Connect and senior leaders. The programme aims to be representative of the countries in which it operates, and we encourage applications from all sections of society. 

  • You should be able to explain how you want to make change in your country and beyond through policymaking 
  • You should have a good knowledge about policy and how policymaking happens in your country
  • You should be willing to engage with the British Council and the Future Leaders Connect network in the long-term
  • You are likely to be in your early to mid-career and already have examples of when you have demonstrated leadership ability
  • You should have strong networks and be committed to supporting the development of the country you are living in through policy change.  

“The experience from the training with Cambridge, to meeting the former Presidents and champions of human rights, MP’s of the UK Houses of Commons, House of Lords and the amazing group of global leaders has been totally amazing. Future Leaders Connect is definitely life-altering, full of learning, full of experiences and fully recommended.”

Future Leaders Connect member

Application information

For full details of the application and selection process please visit our Terms and Conditions page

Completing your online application 

Before applying, you will be asked to answer several screening questions to ensure you meet the criteria. If successful, you will receive an email inviting you to make your application. It will take you approximately one hour to complete your online application. Please note, you cannot save and come back to it later, the whole application must be done at once.

Shortlisting and interview

If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to interviews/an event in your country (dates to be shared with those shortlisted). At the interview or event you will present your policy vision and explain your leadership experience to a panel of experts. Unfortunately, if you cannot attend the interview/event your application cannot be progressed. There will be some places on the reserves list at this stage.

"We need brilliant minds, we are going to need as many people as possible driving policy change, so do not give it a second thought, apply for Future Leaders Connect."

Future Leaders Connect member

 #FutureLeadersConnect

Watch videos from current Future Leaders Connect members to hear about their experiences.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions below. 

Former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan discusses global policy with Future Leaders Connect members ©

British Council

How will the programme be delivered in 2021?

The programme will be delivered online, allowing you to access the same unique opportunity to further your skills to support you to make a difference through policy-making, through practically scheduled sessions to meet your needs and requirements - without needing to travel. In addition there will be the new opportunity for online connection and interaction with programme alumni  from previous years.  

I do not meet the age requirement, can I still apply?

Your application will not be eligible if you do not meet the age criteria. You must be aged between 25 and 35 on the date when the programme begins. We cannot accept applications from anyone who does not meet the age criteria.

Do I have to live in one of the countries at the time of applying?

Yes, you must be living in one of the participating countries at the time you apply in order to be eligible to apply to the programme. In the UK, you should specify which nation you are living in at the time of applying, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales. You will not be eligible if you are not living in the country that you apply from or if you apply from a country which is not currently part of the programme. 

I am not available for the selection event or some of the programme dates, what do I do?

Unfortunately, if you cannot attend any of the required dates then this will make you ineligible for the programme. 

I can speak and understand English, but not to IELTS level 7, can I still apply?

Throughout the application process you must be able to demonstrate you are able to speak and understand English (to IELTS level 7 standard). The official qualification is not required, but your English will be reviewed at the application stage and during the selection events and interviews if you are successful, if you are not able to speak and understand English to the standard of IELTS level 7 (this means you will need to generally have an effective command for the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and understandings. You can understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations) then your application will not be progressed. The Future Leaders Connect advanced policy and leadership programme is conducted in English and all participants must be able to adequately engage through English.

Will I need to travel to the UK?

No. The programme will be delivered online.

Can I apply if I, or an immediate family member, is employed by British Council, Møller Institute or Guidant Global?

No. You are ineligible to apply to Future Leaders Connect if you, or an immediate family member, are employed by British Council, Moller Institute or Guidant Global. In this case immediate family member is defined as one's spouse, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings and immediate in-laws (mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law). Adopted children and stepchildren also counted as immediate family members. 

I do not have any policy knowledge, can I apply?

The British Council’s Future Leaders Connect programme is aimed at people who already have policy knowledge and experience. Through your online application and the selection process, you will be expected to demonstrate your policy knowledge.

How are applications reviewed?

All online applications are reviewed by our sifting agency in accordance with the Future Leaders Connect selection criteria. 

Do I have to pay to join the programme?

No. This is a free course provided by the British Council.

Will I get a certificate after completing the programme?

You will receive a certificate from British Council and Moller Institute upon successful completion of the programme.

What happens after 6 weeks of training?

You will become a member of the Future Leaders Connect Alumni, which provides you with long-term learning and development opportunities in your own country and internationally. You will also be provided with a mentor to help you develop and implement your policy Action Plan.