Cookies

Last updated 11 October 2016

Our website uses cookies to differentiate between distinct users who access it. A cookie is a small alpha-numeric archive which is stored on the hard drive or in the browser of a computer, tablet, smartphone or similar device when it browses the internet. Cookies allow us to offer relevant information on our products and services and to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website.

The majority of the cookies we use are of the analytic type, which count number of users, help us to understand how they navigate our site and improve the way it works, for instance by making search results more accurate. We also use certain cookies for publicity purposes, so that we can more efficiently manage the presentation of our products on other platforms where users may request services, such as Facebook.

None of our cookies store any personal information such as your name or address Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of the British Council website(s).

WHAT KIND OF COOKIES DO WE USE?

According to the type of organisation which administers them:

  • First party cookies: installed by our own website.
  • Third party cookies: installed by websites which don’t belong to us. For instance, where we include content from Youtube or Flickr on our own website or buttons which users can use to share content on social networks, a user accessing such content from our own website may have cookies added from these third parties. The British Council doesn’t control these third party cookies and so the user must review the cookie policies of these other websites for further information. 

According to the length of time they remain active in the user’s system:

  • Session cookies: collect and store data only whilst the user is visiting the website.
  • Persistent cookies: remain stored in a computer and may be accessed and managed by the organisation responsible for the cookie for a specific length of time, or until the user deletes it.

According to the purpose for which data are collected through the cookies:

  • Technical cookies: allow the user to make use of the different options they facilitate: for example controlling data traffic and communication, identifying a session, accessing restricted areas, carrying out a purchase, requesting a subscription or participating in an event etc.
  • Personalisation cookies: allow the user to access services with certain personalised characteristics such as language, browser type, configuration for the region from which the user accesses services etc.
  • Analytical cookies: allow website managers to follow and analyse the behaviour of users on a website so that they can make improvements informed by data analysis on the use of the website by users of its services.
  • Advertising cookies: help with the management of advertising spaces which a web editor has included on a website where services are offered, based on criteria such as the type of content or the frequency with which the content is shown.

In the table below we detail the type of cookies that we use on our website along with their purpose:

Source of Cookie [name of cookie] Purpose
British Council [www-britishcouncil-org-eu-cookie]

A first party British Council cookie set by this site to record that a notice has been shown to site users stating the British Council's cookie policy. The cookie expires after 3 months.

British Council Level Test [QUIZ_LES_RESULT]

A first party British Council cookie used by a British Council level test to store the score of an English test as part of a course selection process. The cookie expires after 3 weeks.

British Council 
[SESS#####]

A first party British Council cookie used by the British Council's ecommerce platform to enable the sales journey for the user when undertaken. It expires after the visit session ends.

Webtrends
[WT_FPC, ACOOKIE]

Third party cookies. Webtrends is an independent 3rd party analytics platform that we use on most of our websites to count visitors to our websites and analyse their usage of the site to help us determine the value of our content to our users. The cookies expiration date varies, some expire after the session ends, others after two years.

Akamai
[akamai_geo]

A third party cookie used to determine the country in which the site is being accessed in order to serve content specific to the country. The cookie expires after the session ends.
Google Analytics [_utma, _utmb, _utmc, _utmz, _ga, _dc_gtm_UA......] Third party cookies. We use Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. that we use on some of our websites to count visitors to our websites and analyse their usage of the site to help us determine the value of our content to our users. The cookies expiration date varies, some expire after the session ends, others after two years.
Add This [di, dt, loc, psc,uid, uit, _atuvc] Third party cookies. The Add This toolbar allows our users to share content from our sites with their friends and contacts through a social networking and bookmarking sites. This service is used on some of our websites and is provided by independent 3rd party suppliers and we do not access to or retain any information using these cookies. The cookies expiration date varies, some expire after the session ends, others after two years.
You Tube [Visitor_Info_1_live, APISID, CONSENT, HSID, LOGIN_INFO, PREF, SAPISID, SID, SSID, VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE, YSC] Third party cookies. Cookies are used by a third party, YouTube, to enable our users view Video on the website. The cookies expiration date varies, some expire after the session  ends, others after twenty years.
British Council
[has_js]
A third party cookie used by the site to detect whether javascript is enabled in order to provide a richer user experience using AJAX.  The cookie expires after the session ends.

Share This
[_stid, _uset, _unam, _stacxiommap, _stamap, _stgmap]

Third party cookies set by Share This to enable our users to share content from our sites with their friends and contacts through a social networking and bookmarking sites. This service is provided by independent 3rd party suppliers and we do not access or retain any information using these cookies. The cookies expiration date varies, some expire after the session ends, others after one year.

Double Click
[DSID, id, IDE, _sm_au_c]

Third party cookies set by Double Click and used on some of our websites to ensure that browsers are not served the same advert multiple times. They do not capture any personal information. The cookies expire after two years.

Optimizely
[OptimizelyBuckets, 
OptimizelyEndUserId, 
OptimizelySegments, 
optimizelyPendingLogEvents] 

 

Third party cookies set by Optimizely on some of our websites to enable the British Council to display alternate content or presentations to users based on device type, previous interactions or randomly. This is used to test new designs and approaches to improve the experience for our users. The cookies expire after ten years.

KissInsights
[ki_r, ki_t]

Third party cookies set by KissInsights on some of our websites to enable our users to optionally partake in surveys on the site. The cookies expire after five years.

Disqus
[_utmt, _insp_wid, _utmb, _utma, _utmc, _insp_norec_howoften, _utmz, _insp_norec_sess, _insp_nv, _sm_au_c, _insp_ref, csrftoken, disqus_unique, _insp_slim, _insp_targlpt, _insp_targlpu, mp_ ... _mixpanel]

Third party cookies set by Disqus on some of our websites  to enable our users to publically comment on articles and content on British Council sites. The cookies expiration date varies, some expire after the session ends, others after one or two years.

Facebook [datr, fr]

Third party cookies set by Facebook.  The cookies expire after one year. 

Facebook Pixels

Third party pixels help us to reach our existing audience on Facebook and supply them with relevant content. These are maintained for between 30 and 180 days.

Turning off Cookies

You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. Below are links to the 'Help' pages of major browsers which explain how you can do this. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our site or any other websites that you visit.

Internet Explorer | Firefox | Chrome | Safari OS X | Opera | Safari iOS | Windows Mobile

You can opt out of Facebook Pixel cookies by visiting the Adverts tab in your Facebook profile settings. You can also sign out of Optimizely variant testing by following these instructions.

Except for essential cookies, all cookies will expire after a period of time.