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. The event was well received, and it many of the British Council’s local networks and partners comprising of agents, counsellors, heads of education institutions, actively engaged with the university representatives to exchange information and insights on the UK’s education sector.
The UK welcomes approximately 400,000 international higher education students each year. Positioned at the top of the world rankings, UK universities have a reputation for developing the skills that employers look for, nurturing critical thinking skills, creativity, and confidence in the process. Along with benefiting from the academic tradition of some of the world’s most famous universities, it also provides access to the latest facilities in world-class research. Education in the UK also helps develop English skills and confidence in speaking the language, an attribute that is highly valued by employers worldwide.
In her opening remarks, British Council Sri Lanka Country Director, Maarya Rehman said, ‘we are witnessing extraordinary growth in Sri Lankan students choosing the UK as their preferred international study destination. Our latest statistics indicate a 369% growth in Sri Lankan student numbers. The Study UK programme has greatly influenced this growth and we will continue to work closely with students, agents, counsellors, parents and educational institutions to provide the best that the UK has to offer and in turn showcase Sri Lanka’s potential to the UK.’
Highlighting the opportunities created for students in Sri Lanka, British Council’s Director Education South Asia, Salvador Lopez, said ‘we believe that whilst the graduate route provides a very exciting offer for our students, world-class education, globally recognised degrees and a diverse and welcoming environment rich in shared history and culture make the UK an attractive destination of choice for Sri Lankan students. It enhances their flexibility and cultural awareness, improving their chances of future employability. Most importantly, a UK degree and work experience are highly valued worldwide.
For over 70 years the British Council has been present in Sri Lanka, working with individuals and institutions to build trust and understanding between the UK and Sri Lanka, particularly through our work in Education, English, Arts, and Culture. We believe our work can and does transform lives and contribute to positive change. We’ve built trust and insight through forging strong, mutual relationships with individuals and partners. With an increasing number of higher education institutions and professional bodies from the UK represented in Sri Lanka, offering a variety of courses in partnership with local institutes, students now have a wide choice of options to study either in the UK or in Sri Lanka to obtain a world-class qualification.
The British High Commission’s Head of Public Diplomacy, Anusha Anthony, talked about the UK government’s prestigious and fully-funded scholarship programme – Chevening, which offers ambitious Sri Lankans who see themselves as future leaders the opportunity to pursue their Masters in the UK to further their career and support the development of their country.
The event highlighted the British Council’s pivotal role in supporting the academic ambitions of students through its various scholarship schemes as well as providing support in learning English, in selecting and applying for the right university, or simply through advice and guidance from our long-established network of professionals. Applications for the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM are open until the end of March 2022. The British Council scholarships for Women in STEM support women who aspire to pursue postgraduate study in science, technology, engineering, or maths at a university in the UK.
The changing landscape of the education market demands the creation of new opportunities and events such as these, serve as an excellent platform for a wide range of education stakeholders to come together to discuss strategies for a collaborative and sustainable future, especially in times like these when face-to-face interaction is limited.