The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries, and build trust between them worldwide.
Our first office in China was opened in Chongqing in 1943 by Joseph Needham. We now work in four cities in mainland China. In Beijing we operate as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy. In Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing we operate as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Consulates-General.
Globally, we work in more than 100 countries and our 7,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, administering exams, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.
We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically funded grant provides less than 25 per cent of our turnover, which was £781m last year. The rest of our revenues are earned from services that customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All of our work pursues our charitable purpose and supports prosperity around the world.