The Request (dated 15 February 2018)

Dear British Council,
 
According to the BC website:
 
"The Generation UK–China campaign was launched by the British Council in 2013. By 2020, it aims to help 80,000 students from the UK boost their employability and long-term job prospects, and develop a global mind-set through study and work experience opportunities in China."
 
This would equate to an average number of over 11,000 students per year across the seven years from 2013-20. On this basis I would like to ask for the following information:
 
1. A breakdown of the forecasts for the routes to reach this 80,000 target (for example, how many by teaching overseas, by volunteering, by internships, etc). I'm very happy for this to be based on how the BC originally reached the 80,000 number so that no new data needs to be created.
 
2. The actual numbers of Generation-UK funded places available per year for internships with CRCC and Intern China (separate figure for each provider).
 
3. CRCC website states that initial sifting and interviewing is undertaken by them. What concrete measures does the BC have in place to ensure that CRCC adhere to the selection criteria published by the BC, firstly to prevent discrimination or bias, and secondly to prevent CRCC manipulating the process to improve their prospects of selling internships to candidates.
 
Yours faithfully,
 
 

Our Response (dated 13 March 2018)

Dear 
 
Thank you for your request for information dated 15 February 2018 concerning the Generation UK – China campaign. Your request has been handled under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000 and has been passed to me for reply.
 
For your ease of reference I have restated your request below in bold and have provided our response beneath each point.
 
According to the BC website: 
 
"The Generation UK–China campaign was launched by the British Council in 2013. By 2020, it aims to help 80,000 students from the UK boost their employability and long-term job prospects, and develop a global mind-set through study and work experience opportunities in China."
 
This would equate to an average number of over 11,000 students per year across the seven years from 2013-20. On this basis I would like to ask for the following information:
 
1. A breakdown of the forecasts for the routes to reach this 80,000 target (for example, how many by teaching overseas, by volunteering, by internships, etc). I'm very happy for this to be based on how the BC originally reached the 80,000 number so that no new data needs to be created.
 
The Generation UK – China campaign was launched by the British Council in 2013 to support and encourage student mobility to China. The campaign was a response to the UK government’s belief that it is fundamentally important that more young people from the UK have opportunities to gain greater exposure to, and understanding of, China. 
 
The campaign aims to reach the 80,000 target through: promotional campaigns highlighting the benefits of outward mobility; expanding the range of opportunities available, both directly through Generation UK and through other initiatives; and through building an alumni network of Generation UK returnees to be advocates of outward mobility to China.
 
The British Council’s role in this wider campaign is defined as: 
 
•running digital and face to face promotional campaigns to raise awareness of opportunities in China
•administering specific study and internship programme to boost participation amongst young people from under-represented backgrounds 
•management of the campaigns legacy initiative, the Generation UK: China Network. 
 
The approximate forecast for reaching the 80,000 target is as follows:
 
Year
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018 2019
2020
Total
Overall no. of young people from the UK gaining experience in China 6000
6900
7900
9,000
10,300
11,800
13,500
15,400
80,800
These estimates are based upon overall figures collated from a range of providers and programme sources, including the Chinese Government, Chinese and UK universities and several organisations running mobility programmes to China.
 
2. The actual numbers of Generation-UK funded places available per year for internships with CRCC and Intern China (separate figure for each provider).
 
Year
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018-2020
CRCC Asia 5 133
111
152
130
TBC
Intern China 0
34
67
125
130
TBC
3. CRCC website states that initial sifting and interviewing is undertaken by them. What concrete measures does the BC have in place to ensure that CRCC adhere to the selection criteria published by the BC, firstly to prevent discrimination or bias, and secondly to prevent CRCC manipulating the process to improve their prospects of selling internships to candidates.
 
The British Council has worked with its internship delivery partners since 2013 and has robust processes in place regarding the application process; and selection procedures for the internship programme. Relationships with individual delivery partners are underpinned by contractual agreements, which include specific clauses on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and on Conflicts of Interest.
 
The British Council makes all final decisions on applications. 
 
Generation UK – China enjoys strong participation amongst black and minority ethnic (BME) students. 24 per cent of students that participate in all Generation UK – China programmes are from BME backgrounds. This is significantly higher than the average proportion of BME students which participates in general in mobility programmes.  
 
I hope the information provided has been useful. 
 
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to: 
 
Information Governance Advisor (Disclosures)
Information Governance and Risk Management 
British Council
Bridgewater House
58 Whitworth Street
Manchester
M1 6BB 
 
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner for a decision at: 
 
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
 
Phone: 0303 123 1113 
 
 
Yours sincerely