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British Council

About the opportunity

The British Council operates four global programmes across international tertiary education (covering higher education, science and research collaboration, and TVET (technical and vocational education and training): Going Global Partnerships, International Student Mobility and Marketing, Insights and Engagement, Alumni UK. All of these programmes are monitored and evaluated, but the British Council’s rationale for working in international education, and its particular role in this area of research and practice may not be clear to all stakeholders. There is also a need to clearly articulate the value of activities in the international tertiary education space.

Research in this area would be an opportunity to strengthen British Council wider education narrative, and to start to build an evidence base of why international (tertiary) education is crucial to the British Council mission, and to UK goals (articulated in the UK’s International Education Strategy, policies across the UK, and institutional strategies).

Study objectives

The primary objective of this study is to build an evidence base of whether and how international tertiary education builds trust, influence and long-term relationships for the countries involved.

The sub-objectives include:

  • To conceptualise and document the different dimensions of the concept ‘value’ in the context of international tertiary education, (for instance including, but not limited to, economic value, academic value, support for sustainable development, social capital value, cultural capital, human capital, increased trust and influence, soft power value, gender equity, etc.).
  • To map these dimensions/values to the different stakeholders engaged in international tertiary education (British Council, education providers, government departments, academics, industry and employers, students, parents etc.)

The research should focus on a particular component of international tertiary education (such as international student mobility, and/or international teaching partnerships (TNE), and/or national-level partnerships etc.), and investigate whether there is any evidence of how that component generates increased trust, influence and long-term relationships for the countries involved. 

Qualifications required

Research organisations and consultants with expertise in research in areas of international higher education, soft power, internationalisation. 


Outputs will include:

  • A detailed report in word
  • PPT of the key findings
  • Communications content (press and social media) on key findings

Key timelines

RFP issued to bidding suppliers 26/09/2022
Deadline for clarification questions (Clarification Deadline) 11/10/2022
British Council to respond to clarification questions 13/10/2022
Deadline for submission of Proposals by potential suppliers (Response Deadline) 17/10/2022 by 23:59
Final Decision 28/10/2022
Proposed contract start date 4/11/2022
Delivery of scoping report 30/11/2022
Delivery of final outputs 20/02/2023

How to apply?

A full outline of the proposal request, the instructions for responding and evaluation criteria are available as part of the tender opportunity accessible on our Intend portal. The Intend reference number for this opportunity is BC/02589.

You must register an account before you can express an interest in the tender and download the tender pack.