GREAT Britain campaign

1. The UK government’s GREAT Britain campaign aims to promote the UK internationally as a GREAT place to visit, study and do business.

2. The British Council is a partner in the campaign and through it we are raising awareness and promoting the UK’s strengths in education, English language and the arts.

3. The British Council is working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), Cabinet Office, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Visit Britain and private sector partners to achieve the maximum impact at the least cost.

Promoting the UK’s strengths in English, education and culture

• The campaign is helping us raise awareness of the UK’s cultural and educational assets internationally. This awareness helps us create more international opportunities for UK universities and cultural bodies.

• We are using the GREAT campaign in our UK education promotion work to increase the profile and reputation of the UK internationally and encourage students to come to the UK to study.

• In 2015-16 GREAT is funding education marketing campaigns: China, Hong Kong, India, USA, Brazil, Mexico, Korea, Indonesia and Turkey.

• We are using the GREAT campaign to help promote the teaching and learning of English worldwide, and to bring the UK to life as a destination for study or tourism, for example through stimulus materials on the TeachingEnglish and LearnEnglish websites. In April 2014 we launched a new GREAT mobile app for learners of English.

Working in partnership with the UK government

  • It is GREAT that the UK government is funding a campaign to showcase the UK as a world-class destination for business, study, creative partnerships, investment and tourism – this helps our work for the UK in English, the arts and education.
  • The UK Government and British Council have agreed a budget of £3m in 2015-16 in order to help stimulate growth in the numbers of students choosing to study in the UK.
  • The British Council helped to create the UK culture diary showing all the major cultural events taking place in key markets involving leading UK cultural institutions like the British Museum, National Galleries of Scotland and Ballet Rambert. This diary is used by the British Council and other partners to identify opportunities for integrated activity around specific high profile cultural events for the benefit of UK plc.
  • The GREAT campaign is supporting an international tour of Thomas Heatherwick’s work in 2015-16. The project is being managed by the British Council Arts department.
  • The UK Government providing a further £1m to enable the British Council to lead a campaign involving all GREAT partners called ‘Shakespeare Lives’, to mark the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016.
  • In 2015-16 the GREAT campaign Challenge Fund is being opened up to the British Council. This will enable the British Council to bid for funds for projects that support GREAT campaign objectives in education or culture in non-priority markets.


  • The GREAT campaign is global in reach, but the main target markets are: China/Hong Kong, India, USA, Korea, Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico.
  • The British Council is leading on education promotion campaigns, but also promotes the campaign globally through the use of GREAT collateral at relevant events, in British Council offices and teaching centres worldwide, and through digital channels.
  • The campaign uses a combination of press, posters, television, radio, digital channels, cinema, PR and partnerships. High level promotional events with UK ministers and UK and local celebrities are used to give the campaign local profile in the target country.
  • The GREAT brand is also being adopted as an umbrella brand to strengthen and bring greater focus to the ongoing activities and events of government departments and other organisations in their work in key overseas markets.
  • The campaign focuses on specific UK strengths: entrepreneurship, knowledge, creativity, culture, environmental protection, music, heritage, countryside, sport, innovation, shopping. The British Council has added two further areas of focus: English and literature.
  • Our continuing involvement in the GREAT campaign is expected to bring direct economic benefits to the UK, anticipated at around £75m for the work planned in 2015-16.
  • We are offering 370 GREAT scholarships worth almost £1m to Indian students, in 260 undergraduate and postgraduate courses at 36 institutions across the UK.