Distinctive Strengths

We focus our work on activities that build on and strengthen the distinctive assets that the British Council offers to people, institutions, governments, customers, clients, partners and other providers.

Our research tells us that our UK stakeholder and partners, and our overseas clients, value a distinctive set of assets that the British Council brings to bear on behalf of the UK:

UK stakeholders and partners value us in particular for:

  •       Our brand and reputation
  •       Our ability to access high-level stakeholders overseas
  •       Our knowledge and insights about overseas markets
  •       Our presence in challenging places
  •       Our global reach and networks, coupled with our ability to deliver effectively and get things done in all the countries where we work.

Teachers, learners, people and customers overseas; as well as donors, clients, partners and Governments value us in particular for:

  •        Our status as a market leader in the provision of high quality English language teaching and assessment
  •        Our integrity, our commitment to mutuality and our ability to represent the UK on an apolitical, people-to-people basis
  •        Our sectoral expertise in English, Education and Society and the Arts, including our knowledge of and access to the UK sectors
  •        Our ability to bring together cross-sectoral and cross-cultural partnerships, and to act as a trusted and expert convener and advisor to all parties involved in such partnerships.

We only undertake paid for, contract, partnership or other activity which builds on and sustains these assets for the UK, and we look to the UK sector to help us in doing so.

This focus on working only in areas where our customers and partners tell us we have strong comparative advantage means in particular that we focus on:

Sustaining presence at scale in English 

Our active role in English teaching and assessment worldwide is integral to our cultural relations purpose.  It means the countries in which we operate see us as a significant and beneficial partner, and it creates the platform and relationships which we need to leverage in undertaking all other aspects of our work.  We will therefore invest, partner and follow fair competition principles which government public bodies to sustain a leading role in meeting global demand as it evolves in response to changing technologies and learner demands.

Helping our overseas and UK customers and partners to develop their own strategies

Through the provision of services such as policy dialogues, market insight, international benchmarking and access to relevant UK and global expertise, we help our overseas and UK customers and partners develop their own strategies.

Building their capability to deliver these strategies

Through the provision of services such as teacher training, professional skills development, networking, organisational development and inter-cultural skills, we help build their capabilities to deliver these strategies.

Brokering access to the wide range of UK sectoral expertise and delivery capacity which is represented by our UK partners.