21 Facts About British Council


British Council is a British organisation specialising in international cultural and educational opportunities.

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British Council offers face-to-face teaching in more than 80 teaching centres in more than 50 countries.

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In 2014, the British Council launched its first MOOC, Exploring English: Language and Culture, on the UK social learning platform FutureLearn.

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In 2013, the British Council relaunched the global website Education UK for international students interested in a UK education.

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The British Council worked with the Palace and British-Indian start-up Studio Carrom to project a peacock, India's national bird, onto the facade of Buckingham Palace.

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In October 2015 the British Council announced a global programme with the BBC, British Film Institute, the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Shakespeare 400 consortium, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Shakespeare's Globe to celebrate Shakespeare's life and work on the 400th anniversary of this death.

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British Council has been running a teacher training programme in North Korea since 2001.

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In July 2014 the British Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for cultural and educational exchange.

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British Council-supported production of Love's Labours Lost in 2005 was the first performance of a Shakespeare play in Afghanistan in more than 17 years.

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British Council has been a primary partner of the Palestine Festival of Literature since the Festival's beginning in 2008.

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In 2009, the Israeli police, acting on a court order, closed down the venue scheduled to host the Festival's closing event since there was Palestinian Authority involvement, but the British Council stepped in and the evening was relocated to its grounds.

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Susanna Nicklin, the council's director of literature said in response: "The British Council is a non-political organisation, and we believe that international cultural exchange makes a powerful contribution to a more peaceful, tolerant and prosperous world.

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In March 2007, the British Council announced its "intention to increase its investment in the Middle East, North Africa and Central and Southern Asia".

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Article points out that the Alliance francaise and the Goethe-Institut, unlike the British Council, are both expanding and replenishing libraries Europe-wide.

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France opened its new library in Tel Aviv in 2007, just a few months after the British Council closed there and shut down the British Council library in West Jerusalem.

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In Oslo British Council informs Norwegian callers that "our office is not open to the public and we do not have an enquiry service".

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The NAO's report, The British Council: Achieving Impact, concluded "that the British Council's performance is strong and valued by its customers and stakeholders".

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In 2008 the British Council was called before the Public Accounts Committee following earlier publication of a National Audit Office report.

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In 2005, along with the Alliance francaise, the Societa Dante Alighieri, the Goethe-Institut, the Instituto Cervantes, and the Instituto Camoes, the British Council shared in the Prince of Asturias Award for the outstanding achievements of Western Europe's national cultural agencies in communications and the humanities.

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British Council has been referred to – frequently in a humorous way by Lawrence Durrell in his collection of anecdotes about a diplomat's life on foreign postings for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – Antrobus Complete.

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From 1967 to 1989 the British Council published the journal Media in Education and Development.

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