Ninety years of the British Council

Two young people smiling with a logo that says "90 years" in the background

The British Council is celebrating its 90th birthday! Find out more about the British Council, what we do and how we're marking the anniversary.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.


Did you know that the British Council doesn't just teach English? We work with students, teachers, artists, businesses and governments around the world, and this year it's our 90th anniversary.

What is the British Council?

The British Council is an organisation that promotes international cultural relations and education. It was founded by the British government in 1934 and it is one of the oldest cultural relations organisations in the world. We have offices in over 100 countries around the world and we work with people in over 200 countries.

What does the British Council do?

We build connections between people in the UK and countries worldwide, strengthening international collaboration as a way to solve global problems. Here are some recent British Council projects.

  • The UK/Ukraine 2022–23 Season of Culture brought the work of 2,445 Ukrainian artists and creators to major UK arts festivals and launched many collaborative projects.
  • In Kenya, we have supported 51 creative businesses that are developing innovative approaches in the fashion industry.
  • We worked with the Colombian government to create Coding for Kids, a programme that helps students and teachers to develop coding skills. It supported girls to enter STEM fields and helped over 500,000 children.
  • In collaboration with Muslim Hands International, we started English and Digital for Girls' Education (EDGE), a project to organise clubs for girls to improve their English and tech skills and discuss social issues. EDGE began with 45 clubs in Pakistan and it will expand to other countries too, benefiting 40,000 girls.
  • We started the Climate Connection, a project to link people around the world to tackle the climate emergency by sharing ideas and taking action together. The Climate Connection has organised workshops, discussions and presentations at major events, including COP28.

What's happening for the 90th anniversary?

We are celebrating the amazing people that we have worked with over the last 90 years. We are collecting stories and experiences about how the British Council has impacted people's lives, and these will be recorded and stored in the British Library audio archive in London.

But we're not just looking back to our history. We're looking forward as well. Our 90 Youth Voices for the Future programme will invite 90 young people from over 50 countries to visit the UK in July 2024. They will join in learning activities, study visits and discussions to explore how the UK and young people around the world can work together on global issues involving the environment, technology and urban spaces.

Another big project is Next Generation UK 2024, a project that explores how young people see the future for themselves, their communities and the UK.

What's next?

There is still a lot of work to do, but the British Council will continue bringing people together and building trust, with the aim of creating a more peaceful and prosperous world.


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Submitted by Mohammed Awwad on Sat, 15/06/2024 - 18:19


Thank you

You are geat oorganization, and your methods of teaching English language are creative.

Submitted by Valeria_Council1 on Tue, 04/06/2024 - 16:36


Please return the "Big city small world" episodes!!!!!!!!!🍭

Submitted by Sarah.1421 on Sun, 26/05/2024 - 07:11


WOW... That is awesome CONGRATULATION!!! 

How can I register for the 90 Youth Voices for the Future programmes to visit the UK in July 2024 ? 

Thank you .

Hello Sarah.1421,

I'm afraid that the participants in the 90 Youth Voices for the Future programmes have already been selected. I might suggest that you speak with the British Council centre nearest where you live so that you can find out about any similar programmes in the future.

Thanks very much for your interest and kind good wishes!

Best regards,
LearnEnglish team