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British Council

British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.

We work in two ways – directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise. We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK.

These connections lead to an understanding of each other's strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained. We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.

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Our values

Our values underpin everything we say and do, how we work with people, behave towards them and communicate. Here is a brief description of what each one means to us.

Open and committed

Our belief in what we do translates into a deep and long-term commitment to the people we work with and the places where we work. We tackle challenges and take responsibility with openness and honesty to bring about positive change.

Expert and inclusive

Inclusion is at the heart of everything we do. By involving everyone in the conversation we learn from each other and bring together all of our experience, knowledge and expertise to do the best work that we can.

Optimistic and bold

We believe in the potential of young people to create a better world. Inspired by this optimism, we are positive and creative and we focus on what works. We are not afraid to make bold choices to shape a better future for everyone.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

As the UK’s principal cultural relations organisation the British Council is strongly committed to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Our work is based on building meaningful, enduring and respectful relationships across different cultures. We cannot do this without a strong commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Our employees

We want the British Council to be an inclusive place to work. We aim to create opportunities and reduce barriers for everyone, particularly under-represented groups. We are committed to making sure there is no unjustified discrimination in our processes for recruitment and selection, performance management and pay, and that promotion and retention is fairly granted across all our operations.

We are a Disability Confident  employer. This means we welcome and want to attract, recruit and retain disabled people within our workforce, so we can benefit from their skills and talents.

Carry out our work

Equality, diversity and inclusion runs through much of our work around the world, whether in the arts, society, inclusive education, teaching English or offering exams. Our goal is to develop inclusive programmes and projects that bring together people with different experiences and backgrounds. We hope this will make everyone's experiences richer, and ultimately lead to more inclusive societies.

We focus on six areas of diversity, aligned to those protected by UK equality legislation:

  • age
  • disability
  • ethnicity or race
  • gender
  • religion or belief
  • sexual identity.

We recognise that these areas intersect and form our identity, together with other characteristics, such as socio-economic status and geographical location. We help colleagues understand the business case, the moral/ethical case and the legal case for our commitment to equality.

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Other United Kingdom

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. We wor...

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