Over the shoulder image of a delegate using the Going Global app on their phone.

Due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19, the British Council made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Going Global conference which was due to take place on 29 – 30 June in London.  In the absence of a conference, we shared a limited amount of digital content throughout June and July to explore the theme 'Global learners, global innovation'.  This included blog posts, posters and live virtual events.

Blog posts

Read a series of blog posts submitted by some of our contributors to Going Global 2020.

Poster gallery

Experts from across the higher education sector shared posters with us showcasing the latest insights from the world of international higher education.  All posters are based around the theme: 'Global learners, global innovation'.

Access our poster gallery here

Live virtual events

Click on the name of each online event below to find out more about each session and watch a recording.

Global Learners and Universities of the Future

The initial session for this digital alternative to Going Global generated a lot of ideas about the future of global learning and what universities of the future might look like.

It was chaired by the British Council's Director of Education Maddalaine Ansell, with contributions from: 

  • Vivienne Stern - Director at Universities UK International 
  • Ben Nelson - Chairman and CEO at Minerva Project 
  • Mariana Ludmila Cortés Alvarez - Founder of Edularity 

Watch the recording here

Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals: universities and students looking for solutions

Serving as a platform for dialogue between several university leaders and student representatives, this webinar brought to the foreground the challenges Higher Education faces to reach the Sustainable Development Goals by presenting the implementation of efficient solutions by universities. 

The session was moderated by Tanya Dudnikova, Student at University College London and Ambassador for Global Vision International, and featured contributions from:

  • Bianka Stege - Director of Education and Society for the EU Region at the British Council
  • Dr Hiligje Van't Land - Secretary General of the International Association of Universities (IAU) and Executive Director of the International Universities Bureau
  • Carole Meffre - President of Sciences Po Environment, Paris
  • Dr Jasha Oosterban - Director of the Institut Supérieur d’Ingénierie et Gestion de l’Environnement (ISIGE) at Mines ParisTech-PSL, a member school of Université PSL 
  • Alain Fuchs, President of Université Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL), and Aliza Ayaz, Founder and Executive Chair of UCL's Climate Action Society, were planned to attend but were unfortunately unable to partake in this session.

Watch the recording here

Destination UK: Supporting international learners through coronavirus

In this two-part webianr, Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan MP, shared with global stakeholders the UK's response to the coronavirus crisis, reiterating the message that the UK has never closed its borders to international students and continues to welcome them.

The distinguished international panel representing Nigeria, Germany and Mexico responded by exploring the short, mid and long-term impact that Covid-19 will have on higher education systems, institutions and students around the world.

The session was chaired by the British Council's Director of Education Maddalaine Ansell, and featured contributions from:

  • Christian Müller - Deputy Secretary General at DAAD
  • Dr Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf - Deputy Executive Secretary (Academics) of the National Universities Commission, Nigeria
  • Jaime Escobedo Valdez - Academic Exchange Director at AMEXCID
  • Prof Colin Grant - Vice Principal (International) at Queen Mary University of London, and Chair of the British Council’s Education Advisory Group


  1. Watch the Minister's address here
  2. Watch the Q&A session here

How do universities ensure quality teaching online?

Covid-19 has had a significant impact on universities across the world.  Higher Education institutions had to respond to the pandemic very quickly. For this session we brought together sector experts to discuss quality teaching online.

This session was delivered by the British Council's Wider Europe team as part of their higher education dialgoue series. Ayşen Güven, Director of Education at British Council Turkey, chaired this session. Our speakers were:

  • Douglas Blackstock - Chief Executive, Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)
  • Prof Diana Laurillard - Institute of Education at University College London
  • Prof Dr Muzaffer Elmas - President of the Turkish Higher Education Quality Council
  • Irma Grdzelidze - Head of the Quality Assurance Office at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University

Watch the recording here

After the storm: what shape will international HE take after 2020?

In this session, the British Council's Matt Durnin explored the possible changes to Higher Education after coronavirus, what changes will be temporary and what will represent a more substantial paradigm shift. Matt went on to analyse student sentiments, gathered through British Council surveys, and the long-term forecasts of student mobility.

Watch the recording here

Future of mobility in the UK, ASEAN and East Asia context

This high-level Policy Dialogue brought together leaders from the UK, ASEAN and other globally relevant government agencies, sector bodies and universities to explore the appetite, capacity, challenges and future opportunities for UK-ASEAN Outward Mobility initiatives post Covid-19.

This session was chaired by Leighton Ernsberger, Director of Education and English for the British Council in East Asia.  Our speakers for this session were:

  • Usec. Jesus Lorenzo R. Mateo - Undersecretary for Planning and Governance, Department of Education, Republic of the Philippines and chair of ASEAN SOM-ED
  • Prof Julia Buckingham CBE - Vice-Chancellor and President of Brunel University London, and President of Universities UK
  • Prof Alex Frino - Deputy Vce-Chancellor (Global Strategy), University of Wollongong, Australia
  • Prof Hang Le -  Vice-Provost of Duy Tan University, Vietnam and Co-founder of Passage to ASEAN (P2A) Association

Watch the recording here

English Medium: during and post-Covid-19

In this virtual session our panel explored some of the potential impacts on students and teachers using English Medium, as well as longer term impacts at a national and institutional level for language policy such as the spread of English Medium and the digitisation of learning.

This interactive panel discussion was chaired by Roy Cross.  Our speakers were:

  • Nicola Galloway, University of Edinburgh
  • Jenna Mittelmeier, University of Manchester
  • Heath Rose, University of Oxford
  • Kari Sahan, University of Oxford
  • Reka Jablonkai, University of Bath
  • Samantha Curle, University of Bath

Watch the recording here

What is the future of transnational education?

Discover the changes in distance learning education policies, accreditation and recognition of online university programmes/degrees, and the future of TNE in this virtual session.

This webinar was delivered by the British Council's Wider Europe team as part of their higher education dialgoue series.

Kate Joyce, the British Counil's Director of Higher Education and Science, chaired this discussion.  Our other speakers were:

  • Prof Sir Steve Smith - UK International Education Champion, and Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter 
  • Prof John Brewer - CEO of NCUK
  • Prof Jennifer Watling - Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Dr Vafa Kazdal - Vice-Rector of Academic Affairs at ADA University, Azerbaijan

Watch the recording here

How best can we shape education reform to improve employment outcomes in a changing world?

The aim of this event was to provide an enhanced understanding of the effect of systemic reform in TVET upon employment outcomes, and how education can and is responding to global shocks like Covid-19.

Our contributors for this event were:

  • Chris Cooper - Principal Consultant, Skills Systems, British Council
  • Tara Kennedy - Director, The Research Base
  • David Corke - Director Education and Skills Policy, Association of Colleges, UK
  • Dr. Henry Kiptum Yatich, PhD - Director, Mount Kenya University, Kenya
  • Zein Habjoka - Director, Industry Links and Community Engagement, ‎Al Hussein Technical University, Jordan

Watch the recording here

Does tertiary education have any role in development?

This virtual session introduced a literature review conducted by UCL Institute of Education which analyses the links between tertiary education and development in low to lower-middle income countries. Our speakers also discussed some of the non-economic outcomes of tertiary education which are of global importance.

This session was chaired by the British Council's Michael Peak, Senior Advisor for Education Research, and the discussion was led by Professor Elaine Unterhalter and Dr Colleen Howell from UCL's Institute of Education, as well as Professor N. V. Varghese of NIEPA in New Delhi.

Watch the recording here

Comparing apprenticeship systems against each other and a global standard

Our contributors from the Global Apprenticeship Network and the ILO explored how apprenticeships can offer viable and relevant skills and pathways into the labour market during current global disruptions, and outlined what resources and tools are available to support training providers and employers.

Our contributors for this session were:

  • Andy Hall - Senior Consultant, Skills Systems, British Council
  • Dr. Ashwani Aggarwal - Global Team Leader for Work-based Learning, Apprenticeships, Recognition of Prior Learning and Core Work Skills, ILO
  • Nazrene Mannie - Executive Director, Global Apprenticeship Network

Watch the recording here

International education - the beginning of a new era, or not?

In this panel discussion, international education leaders delved into the future of international education and how we can navigate the challenges and aftermath of Covid-19.

Leading the debate was Matt Durnin, Head of Research and Consultancy for the British Council in East Asia.  Joining him on the panel were:

  • Nancy Rothwell - President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester
  • David Pilsbury - Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Coventry University
  • Laurie Pearcey - Pro Vice-Chancellor, UNSW Australia
  • Dr Elizabeth Lee - CEO, Sunway University Malaysia
  • Xi Youmin - Executive President, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University China

Watch the recording here

Social impact as a strategic driver in higher education

We brought an expert panel together to discuss social impact and how it can act as a genuine strategic driver for higher education.  Our speakers highlighted the opportunities to share best practice in improved social outcomes through higher education, forge and strengthen partnerships and collaboration for improved social impact across the sector, and inform government policy on the vital role of higher education in creating and ensuring societal good.

Contributing to the session were:

  • João Amaro de Matos - Vice Rector of Nova University, Lisbon
  • Peretz Lavie - former President of the Technion University in Israel
  • Rachel Sandison - Executive Director External Relations and Vice Principal at the University of Glasgow
  • Simon Guy - Global Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Lancaster University
  • Susana Catita - Executive Director of Ciência LP

Watch the recording here

Leading with Integrity: sustaining ethical leadership & governance in HE

Our partners at Advance HE delivered this webinar in which the panel tackled one of the major challenges to emerging and established higher education sectors and providers: being ethical and leading with integrity through major and ongoing change, particularly in light of the recent Covid-19 crisis.

This webinar was chaired by Becky Smith, Assistant Director for International at Advance HE, and leading the panel of sector experts was Jo Chaffer, Key Global Associate at Advance HE. Joining them was:

  • Dr Irene Glendinning - academic manager for student experience, Coventry University
  • Dr Stella-Maris Orim - associate professor, Coventry University
  • Dr Zaw Wai Soe - president of the Myanmar University Rectors Committee, and rector of the University Medicine 1, Yangon
  • Mi Mi Myo Win - head of programmes, British Council Myanmar
  • Jamilya Gulyamova - deputy director, British Council Uzbekistan

To view the recording you will need to visit Advance HE Connect to register for an account before you can access the recording.

From Global Goals to Global Learning

In this live interactive session we explored ways in which universities from around the world are integrating the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their learning/teaching activities.

Alex Wright, Head of Public Affairs for the ACU, chaired this virtual discussion.  Joining him were:

  • Dr Lauren Rickards and Dr Wendy Steele, associate Professors at RMIT University, Australia
  • Prof Philip McGowan, Chair of the Sustainable Development Goals Committee, and Naomi Oosman-Watts, Head of Strategic Projects - Student Services at Newcastle University, UK 
  • Prof Jose Frantz, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  • Prof Dhanjay Jhurry, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mauritius
  • Dr. Maneesha V Ramesh - Dean, International Programs and Director, AMRITA Center for Wireless Networks & Applications at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in India

Watch the recording here

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education - #AllMeansAll

Anchored by the findings from the 2020 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report from UNESCO on inclusion and education, this interactive panel discussion examined evidence based policies to enhance diversity and inclusion in higher education

This session was chaired by Michael Peak, HE Research Lead at the British Council.  Our speakers were:

  • Anna Cristina D'Addio - Economist and Senior Policy Analyst for UNESCO's GEM Report
  • Liesbet Peeters - Founder and managing partner of Volta Capital
  • Dr Tania Lima - Director of Global Engagement at King's College, London

Watch the recording here

Global learning in a post-Covid world

In our final live panel debate and Q&A for the digital alternative to Going Global 2020, we heard from Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO, as well as Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi, authors of 'Taking Up Space: The Black Girl's Manifesto for Change'.

Our speakers give their take on how the higher education sector needs to respond to the changes of our times including the growth of the Black Lives Matter and the conversation on the decolonisation of Higher Education, the short-to-longterm impacts of Covid-19 on the student experience, the rise of blended learning and more. 

This session was chaired by Maddalaine Ansell, Director of Education at the British Council.

Watch the recording here