British Council response to Education UK unit

Wednesday 23 January 2013

The British Council welcomes the announcement from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and UKTI to create a new unit under the brand of Education UK, specifically designed to support the UK education sector in identifying and realising large scale commercial opportunities for the export of UK education services and products.

Since the brand was launched in 2005, the British Council has worked closely with the UK education sector, the Foreign Office, BIS and a range of UK Government departments, to devise a very successful international marketing campaign to build and strengthen the value of the Education UK brand. 

With an international education market estimated to be currently worth more than £14bn to the UK, the creation of this new government commercial initiative linked with the existing strength of the British Council’s 79 years of experience in providing international education opportunities, will enhance the power of the Education UK brand to attract commercial, cultural and scholarly opportunities for the UK.

The British Council will consult with the higher education sector in protecting and enhancing the value and impact of the international student-facing Education UK brand and together with the unit will solicit advice on market segmentation from specialist consultants.  

The current Education UK website, managed by the British Council, is widely acknowledged as the most effective international student-facing information and recruitment vehicle. In 2012, the website reached two million unique users worldwide, an increase of 22 per cent from 2011. Other communications channels run by the British Council under the Education UK brand include magazines, newsletters, brochures and guidebooks, social media channels and student-facing exhibitions in more than fifty countries in 2012/13.

Dr Jo Beall, British Council director of education and society, commented: “The British Council welcomes the announcement of the Education UK unit and looks forward to working with the joint UKTI/BIS team in our management of the Education UK brand and website. This is firmly in line with our aim of promoting the excellence of UK education overseas. The new unit's work to increase large-scale overseas education opportunities for the UK complements the British Council's work to advance cultural relations through internationalising higher education. We do this through research, policy dialogue, digital and global platforms, as well as by attracting overseas students to study in the UK, sharing opportunities for outward mobility and supporting UK institutional capacity in transnational education initiatives. By bringing alongside these efforts with those of UKTI/BIS to increase UK education exports, we can create a more coherent and integrated UK education offer. As we develop the brand together we will explore ways in which the mark ‘Education UK’ may be used more widely as a quality endorsement marking, available to other UK education providers and organisations.”

Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact Tim Sowula, Snr Press Officer on 0207 389 4871 or tim.sowula@britishcouncil.org

About the British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.

We work in more than 100 countries, and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.

We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of £739 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%.  We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose.

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org/.