1. As a UK Public Body, it is vital that the British Council’s work has a clear focus on delivering benefit for the UK.

2. The British Council delivers benefit directly to UK individuals and organisations by providing opportunities for international learning and business.

3. The British Council creates strong, mutually beneficial, cultural and educational relationships for the UK with people around the world.

4. These relationships lead to higher levels of trust in the UK. This encourages people to visit, study in and do business with people from the UK.

Clear focus on delivering benefit for the UK

Bringing value to the UK is at the heart of the British Council mission and purpose. In line with our Royal Charter, we create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide by:

  • Developing a wider knowledge of the UK and the English language
  • Improving cultural and educational understanding, relationships and cooperation between the UK and countries around the world
  • Changing lives around the world through access to UK education, skills, qualifications, culture and society
  • Attracting people who matter to our future to engage with the UKs vibrant cultural and arts scene, our education and diverse, modern, open society.

Benefit for UK individuals

  • We support the improvement of learning outcomes in UK schools and help many thousands of young UK citizens develop their ideas, languages and skills. We promote foreign languages and provide international study opportunities for UK young people.

Value for UK institutions and communities

  • We help UK institutions benefit from international links, bringing to the UK people from all over the world whose ideas enrich the social and cultural fabric of our nations.
  • We help to build stronger communities in the UK through supporting language teaching including English as an Additional Language, support for social enterprise and cultural development.

Opportunities for UK business

  • We help to grow cultural and education exports through market intelligence and the new business opportunities we share with our UK partners for the English, education and social enterprise sectors. We support the UK government’s International Education Strategy to promote the whole education sector, as well as the accreditation of UK English language schools.

Supporting UK prosperity and security

  • We support international opportunities for the UK to innovate. This includes supporting the UK’s Science and Innovation Network and Plan for Growth by building international links for young researchers and the Newton Fund which draws on the UKs excellence to build strong research and innovation projects with partner countries.
  • Showcasing the UK’s creativity: We show the world the UK’s best education, arts and English teaching in ways which shape attitudes to all parts of the UK as a destination for business, tourism and study.
  • By building trust between people in the UK and other countries in ways which help achieve prosperity and security. Research has consistently demonstrated the connection between high levels of trust and a greater willingness of people to want to visit, study in and do business with people from the UK.
  • Support to UK’s ODA: We contribute to the UK government’s commitment to international development support for stability, economic development, reduced inequalities and good governance in developing, fragile and conflict-affected countries around the world, including those vital to the UK’s strategic interests. Our work will continue to align with the emerging post 2015 Development Agenda, in particular around poverty eradication, quality education, gender equality and sustainable development.


  • Working with the UK government’s GREAT campaign overseas, the British Council is raising awareness and promoting the UK’s strengths in English, education and culture.
  • In partnership with UK English, we manage Accreditation UK, a quality assurance scheme for the English language teaching sector in the UK. The scheme accredits over 550 UK schools, colleges and universities and links them to education marketing in 58 countries.
  • In 2014, we generated £80 million for UK examination boards.
  • In 2014-15, we awarded Erasmus+ programme funding of more than £110 million to over 1000 UK organisations to support both young people and education professionals to work and learn alongside their European peers.
  • We recently launched Generation UK–India, an initiative to support up to 25,000 UK young people to gain professional and academic skills and experience in India over the next five years. This follows Generation UK–China, which began last year and aims to give up to 80,000 young people work experience in China.
  • Our Connecting Classrooms programme, run with DFID, linked over 3,000 UK schools with schools around the world in 2014-15.
  • The biennial Edinburgh Showcase has become one of the foremost opportunities for small and medium theatre and dance companies to present their work. During the 2013 showcase, 56 companies were seen by 234 international programmers.
  • Continuing our drive to boost the take up of modern languages to support the UK’s future success, we provided schools with over 1,400 overseas language assistants and piloted new ways of supporting primary school language learning.