British Council

One of the striking features of Going Global is (its) convening power. Not every organisation or country can pull these kind of international leaders and policy makers (together. I think Going Global has rightly earned that reputation.

Christopher Jibreel Mayaki, Director of National Universities Commission, Nigeria

Life cycle



UK, worldwide


British Council funded


To support the ongoing development and improvement of higher and further education through the world’s largest open forum for international tertiary education leaders, policy makers, specialists and practitioners to explore and identify collaborative solutions to the challenges facing the sector in the 21st century.


Supporting the development of global tertiary education is a priority for the British Council. In order for higher and further education systems to improve, leaders from the community need to be given the opportunity to connect, work together, exchange knowledge and learn from each other. No platform existed to support this ambition at a global level until we convened the first Going Global conference in 2004. Enabling collaboration, knowledge sharing and partnerships is at the very heart of every conference, where leaders can discuss problems and find the answers from colleagues around the world.


Since 2011, Going Global has moved from a biennial to an annual event, with each conference alternating between the UK and international venues. It is the world’s largest open conference for the international tertiary community, regularly attracting 1000 leaders from over 80 countries. The themes at the conferences consistently focus on supporting the development of policy, strategy and systems, the promotion of international mobility and partnerships, as well profiling the latest research. We also present regular updates on our research portfolio including “The Shape of Global Higher Education” series, comparing and benchmarking national HE systems across over 50 countries. Data captured from attendees also helps to inform a process of continuous improvement.


From the most recent post-conference survey, 91 per cent of attendees said Going Global had a positive impact on their knowledge and skills around policymaking, whilst 90 per cent said it had a positive impact on their international networks. A total of 96 per cent of participants said that the conference had given them a better sense of the challenges facing the sector internationally and 89 per cent said it offered them new ideas or solutions to challenges.

Through Going Global, we have had a significant impact on numerous national systems including Nigeria, Pakistan and Egypt. In Egypt, UK partners are becoming involved in the reform process, establishing sector-level partnerships with NARIC and the UK Quality Assurance Agency, and even signing a 15-year Memorandum of Understanding between UK and Egypt to collaborate on new policies, strategies and legislation on quality assurance. Collaborative agreements have been made between the Arab Academy and a range of UK universities, as well Cambridge Assessment, the Ministry of Education, Pearson, Alexandria University, and the Supreme Council for Universities (SCU). New approaches to internationalisation, accreditation, benchmarking and student services have also been introduced at several universities.

Mutual benefit

Going Global provides a unique opportunity for leaders, policymakers and practitioners in tertiary education to gain insight and support to drive improvements to their educational systems. Going Global is an enabling platform for delegates to form new collaborative relationships, networks and partnerships with their peers from around the world and gain access to the latest international innovative research and thought leadership. It also demonstrates that the UK is innovative, inclusive and open to global collaboration and building trusting relationships with other countries. In addition, it reinforces and enhances the positive reputation of higher and further education in the UK.