The British Council Sri Lanka hosted a premier networking event with around 15 higher education institutions from the United Kingdom (UK), with the aim of showcasing the UK’s world-class higher education system and foster collaboration with local stakeholders.

Theevent was well received, and it many of the British Council’s local networksand partners comprising of agents, counsellors, heads of education institutions,actively engaged with the university representatives to exchange informationand insights on the UK’s education sector.

The UKwelcomes approximately 400,000 international higher education students eachyear. Positioned at the top of the world rankings, UK universities have areputation for developing the skills that employers look for, nurturing criticalthinking skills, creativity, and confidence in the process. Along withbenefiting from the academic tradition of some of the world’s most famousuniversities, it also provides access to the latest facilities in world-classresearch. Education in the UK also helps develop English skills and confidencein speaking the language, an attribute that is highly valued by employersworldwide.

In heropening remarks, British Council Sri Lanka Country Director, Maarya Rehmansaid, ‘we are witnessing extraordinary growth in Sri Lankan students choosingthe UK as their preferred international study destination. Our lateststatistics indicate a 369% growth in Sri Lankan student numbers. The Study UKprogramme has greatly influenced this growth and we will continue to workclosely with students, agents, counsellors, parents and educational institutionsto provide the best that the UK has to offer and in turn showcase Sri Lanka’spotential to the UK.’

Highlightingthe opportunities created for students in Sri Lanka, British Council’s DirectorEducation South Asia, Salvador Lopez, said ‘we believe that whilst the graduateroute provides a very exciting offer for our students, world-class education,globally recognised degrees and a diverse and welcoming environment rich inshared history and culture make the UK an attractive destination of choice forSri Lankan students. It enhances their flexibility and cultural awareness,improving their chances of future employability. Most importantly, a UK degree andwork experience are highly valued worldwide.  

Forover 70 years the British Council has been present in Sri Lanka, working withindividuals and institutions to build trust and understanding between the UKand Sri Lanka, particularly through our work in Education, English, Arts, andCulture. We believe our work can and does transform lives and contribute topositive change. We’ve built trust and insight through forging strong, mutualrelationships with individuals and partners. With an increasing number ofhigher education institutions and professional bodies from the UK representedin Sri Lanka, offering a variety of courses in partnership with localinstitutes, students now have a wide choice of options to study either in theUK or in Sri Lanka to obtain a world-class qualification.

TheBritish High Commission's Head of Public Diplomacy, Anusha Anthony, talkedabout the UK government's prestigious and fully-funded scholarship programme -Chevening, which offers ambitious Sri Lankans who see themselves as futureleaders the opportunity to pursue their Masters in the UK to further theircareer and support the development of their country.

Theevent highlighted the British Council’s pivotal role in supporting the academicambitions of students through its various scholarship schemes as well asproviding support in learning English, in selecting and applying for the rightuniversity, or simply through advice and guidance from our long-establishednetwork of professionals. Applications for the British Council Scholarships forWomen in STEM are open until the end of March 2022. The British Council scholarshipsfor Women in STEM support women who aspire to pursue postgraduate study inscience, technology, engineering, or maths at a university in the UK.

Thechanging landscape of the education market demands the creation of new opportunitiesand events such as these, serve as an excellent platform for a wide range ofeducation stakeholders to come together to discuss strategies for acollaborative and sustainable future, especially in times like these whenface-to-face interaction is limited.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’sinternational organisation for cultural relations and educationalopportunities. We build connections, understanding, and trust between people inthe UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the Englishlanguage. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 millionpeople overall including online, and through broadcasts and publications.Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK publicbody. We receive a 15 percent core funding grant from the UK government.

Maarya Rehman, Country Director of British Council Sri Lanka

Maarya Rehman, Country Director of British Council Sri Lanka