The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries, and builds trust between them worldwide. We call this work cultural relations.
We work in over 100 countries, connecting millions of people with the United Kingdom through programmes and services in the English language, the Arts, Education and Society. We believe these are the most effective means of engaging with others, and we have been doing this work since 1934.
Our work in English aims to bring high quality language materials to every learner and teacher who wants them. In developing and post-conflict countries we teach English and train teachers through radio, web and TV broadcasts. We offer over three million UK examinations worldwide, helping people gain access to trusted qualifications to support their career and study prospects.
Our work in Education and Society helps transform national education systems, builds more inclusive and open societies and increases young people’s opportunities. We encourage international students to come and study in the UK, and British students to experience life abroad. We bring schools around the world together so young people and teachers from different countries can share with and learn from each other.
Our work in the Arts involves the very best British and international artistic talent. We help increase audiences for international work in the UK and for UK work globally. We bring artists together and support the development of skills and policy in the arts and creative industries. Through this work we ensure that culture in its broadest sense plays a vital role in connecting with and understanding each other.
In these ways, the British Council builds links between UK people and institutions and those around the world, helping to create trust and lay foundations for prosperity and security around the world.
Read more about our work in our Annual Reports.
In this section
Facts about the British Council
The following information outlines facts about the British Council on key areas of our work and how we operate. These facts are divided into four areas.
The British Council is committed to transparency. Here you can access details about our financial data, policies, funding sources, expenses and more.
Over the last 30 years we have expanded our global network from 79 to over 100 countries. Discover some of the people who make up our organisation.
The British Council was founded in 1934. Since then, our organisation has expanded to over 200 offices in over 100 countries around the world.
Management and structure
Find out how the British Council is organised and managed.
Find our press releases and media contacts here. The Press Office is available for 24-hour media enquiries.
These British Council research reports and opinion pieces present our latest insights into important global questions and trends facing individuals, nations, businesses and communities.
How we work
Find out all you need to know about our corporate reports, documents and policies.
Annual Report 2013 -14
Read our Annual Report 2013 -14
Our blog - Voices'Reading for gist is not an end in itself' Image (c) Natasia Causse licensed under CC-BY-2.0 and adapted from the original on Flickr.
Fresh perspectives on education and culture from around the world
Freedom of information
Corporate plan 2014 -16
Cultural relations insightsAs Others See Us promo
Read our research, reports and opinions