The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.
We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.
In English and Exams we aim to achieve more widespread and better quality teaching and learning of English worldwide, and offer access to professional qualifications.
Working with policymakers, government ministers, teachers and learners across the world we help millions of people to access English by supporting the teaching and learning of English in public education systems, and through self-access materials and courses. We teach learners and teachers of English face-to-face in dedicated teaching centres and online through a range of courses. Every year two million people take international exams with help from the British Council, gaining qualifications that can open doors at leading academic institutions and improve employment prospects.
Through our arts work we find new ways of connecting with and understanding each other to develop stronger creative sectors around the world. We work with experts to showcase the best of the UK’s vibrant and innovative creative sectors globally and to bring international art and culture to the UK. This cultural exchange helps create modern and vibrant creative sectors and can also help to bring together divided communities and build connections, trust and opportunity for people affected by conflict. Our global arts programmes include cultural seasons and festivals in countries around the world, touring exhibitions of the UK’s leading artists, film festivals, book fairs, and dance, music and theatre performances.
Our education and society work aims to provide opportunities for all people to broaden their horizons and build their futures through international education and more open societies. Our work contributes to global education policy development, supports international mobility and collaboration and promotes the UK as a world leader in education and research and a top destination for higher education. Our society work, which ranges from social enterprise to sport, is focused on programmes which help individuals and institutions gain the skills needed to build more accountability, strengthen civil society, widen access to justice and promote the rule of law.