The Mandarin Excellence Programme is a unique yet intensive language programme which now has over 5,000 pupils from 75 schools in England on track to fluency in Mandarin Chinese. It is funded by the Department for Education and delivered by the UCL Institute of Education in partnership with the British Council. 

Mandarin Chinese is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, so it is one of the most important languages for the UK’s future. The programme gives students the opportunity to acquire language skills at an early stage, giving them an advantage in their future careers. 

Many teachers and school leaders talk positively about the impact of MEP on students’ self-esteem and the development of a sense of pride and obligation among participants which is often seen to extend to students across the whole school. 

“This programme has revolutionised the way our students learn languages and given our students the most amazing enrichment opportunities which has bought this language to life in many different contexts”. Head Teacher/School Leader 

“In our area of social deprivation, the MEP offers life-changing opportunities.” Head Teacher/School Leader

Learn more about the Mandarin Excellence Programme here.


Programme Update - August 2021

The Department for Education has confirmed that the Mandarin Excellence Programme will continue to be delivered by the UCL Institute of Education in partnership with the British Council for a further three years’ from 2021-2023, with the next cohort of 2,000 pupils enrolling in September 2021. Find out more here.

Mandarin Excellence Programme Independent Evaluation Report

Five years since its launch, the Mandarin Excellence Programme, a five-year partnership between the Department for Education, Institute of Education and the British Council, has been independently evaluated and the report is now publicly available.

Click here to read it.

To celebrate the launch of the report, a webinar was held on 21 January where we heard from the report authors on their methods and findings, and the Mandarin Excellence Programme Strategic Director Katharine Carruthers on the significance and design of the programme, which aims to create a cohort of students in state schools who are on the path to fluency in Mandarin, broadening the global possibilities in their future.

Watch the webinar recording here.