1. The purpose of the British Council’s work is to create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries, and build trust between them worldwide.

2. In achieving this purpose, the British Council builds long-term trust and shares the English language and Education in countries around the world. This hleps create the conditions for the success of UK education providers and businesses operating internationally.

3. The British Council directly supports UK providers of Education, English and Examinations services wherever it can.

Aims of our English and Education work

  • The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries, and builds trust between them worldwide. In line with its Royal Charter, the British Council is focused on delivering its cultural relations objectives and works in many countries to build trust in the UK.
  • Within these charitable objectives, the British Council shares the English language, education and UK culture in countries around the world.

Creating the conditions for the success of UK education providers and businesses

  • The trust generated by our work has a positive impact on people’s willingness to do business with UK companies and institutions. Our research shows the impact is a significant increase in interest in the UK, creating opportunities for UK businesses.
  • By showcasing the best of the UK’s education and culture we build the UK’s reputation for excellence and innovation and provide a bridgehead for UK businesses in rapidly expanding and new markets.
  • By establishing strong education partnerships between the UK and other countries - and encouraging the brightest and best students from around the world to study in the UK - we strengthen the UK’s reputation as a world leader for education and create opportunities for UK education providers to expand and grow.

Supporting UK providers of Education, English and Examinations services

  • We directly support UK education institutions and businesses in international markets wherever we can. We support UK education providers by:

    Convening conferences, exhibitions and networking events to inform UK companies about new opportunities in key global markets

    Producing research and publications to share knowledge and insights to help others understand, enter and operate in key markets around the world

   Creating networks of UK providers to tender for major international contracts

   Providing intelligence and policy input to UKTI Education to enable it support the UK education and English Language Teaching (ELT) sectors in winning major new contracts

   Offering additional forms of support and promotion, where we can, on a paid-for basis to provide a platform for businesses at no additional cost to UK taxpayers.

  • The British Council is not the UK’s international trade promotion organisation. That is the job of UKTI. The respective responsibilities of the British Council and UKTI are set out at the end of this document.
  • We work closely with UKTI and other Government agencies to support UK education providers in accessing opportunities, where this is in line with our charitable status. Further details about how the British Council develops international English and education contract opportunities can be found here.
  • We offer a mix of free and paid for services to support UK education providers of Education, English and Examination services, but we cannot offer open-ended, free support to UK businesses. All of our activities are governed by our Fair Competition policy.
  • We do offer support to UK providers under contract or on a ‘paid for’ basis where this does not conflict with our charitable purposes and agreed strategic priorities and does not unfairly disadvantage other UK providers.
  • Where governments and people around the world want education products or services from us, but we are unable to provide them directly, we partner with UK and international companies to increase our impact. Our relationships with third parties are governed by our Fair Competition policy.

The British Council and UKTI

The British Council works collaboratively with, but separate from, UKTI and UKTI Education. We aim to generate value to the UK through the pursuit of our mission. Requests for specific UK trade promotion should be directed to UKTI and UKTI Education; for example, requests for involvement in trade missions and events organised by UKTI or UKTI Education. The respective responsibilities are outlined below.

Contact the British Council for: 

  • Education partnership / business opportunities within a country;
  • General enquiries about the application system and associated market opportunities within a country;
  • Requests for marketing services under the British Council ‘Services for International Education Marketing’ scheme (further details can be found here);
  • Queries about Accreditation UK and our work to promote the UK as the destination of choice for English language learning;
  • Queries about education events which the British Council is hosting or participating in.

 Contact UKTI and UKTI Education for

  • Support in understanding the business opportunities that may exist for your company within a particular market;
  • Support in accessing high value commercial education opportunities;
  • Trade missions, events and visits organized by UKTI or UKTI Education;
  • Other support to help you get started exporting or to grow your international footprint.


  • We run major UK events to provide market intelligence and raise awareness of commercial opportunities for the UK English language teaching (ELT) sector – most recently for the major markets of India and Brazil.
  • We have developed a series of market report publications for accredited UK English language schools to help them attract international students to the UK – now spanning Spain, Italy, Turkey, Russia, China and Japan.
  • We produce a regular series of research and other publications to provide advice, market intelligence and share best practice in the ELT and education sectors.
  • We regularly work to create networks of UK providers alongside the British Council, drawing upon the complementary skills and resources of other UK organisations, to strengthen our offer and maximise the scale and impact of our work for the UK.
  • Where in a particular country, for reasons of status or capacity constraints, we are unable to respond to the demand for education work that we might normally deliver or organise for the UK, we seek to refer this work to other UK providers or seek partners who can take it on. An example of this is Teacher development support for Chinese provincial governments which is systematically tendered by the British Council to the UK ELT sector.
  • Where the British Council does not offer a particular service or it is one we charge a fee for that a client is unwilling to pay, we will refer them to other UK organisations that may be able to help, including UKTI and private providers.
  • Examples of services offered to the UK education sector for which fees are charged: include the marketing and administration of UK examinations, or the British Council’s ‘SIEM’ portfolio of market intelligence, consultancy and recruitment services for the UK Higher Education sector.