Partnership between British Council and Association of Commonwealth Universities announced

Partnership between British Council and Association of Commonwealth Universities announced

Published on 25 January 2018

The British Council and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote higher education between the United Kingdom and countries in the Commonwealth and beyond.

Under this MoU, the British Council and ACU will explore opportunities to:

  • Share international insights
  • Develop a Commonwealth recognition framework
  • Develop UK inward and outward mobility
  • Support early career researchers
  • Assist higher education refugees
  • Enhance opportunities for capacity building through their shared networks
  • Build on the ACU Respect and Understanding campaign and the British Council's shared values work

The agreement will also see the two organisations working together at the British Council's Going Global conference in Malaysia in May 2018, the Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (20CCEM) in Fiji in February 2018, and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the United Kingdom in April 2018.

Dr Joanna Newman, ACU Secretary General and Chief Executive, said: 'Through our shared belief in the value of higher education to society, formalising our partnership with the British Council means we can add further value to our members across the Commonwealth, including commissioning joint research and collaborating on future events to address the common issues, challenges, and opportunities facing higher education today.'

Professor Jo Beall, Director Education and Society, British Council, said: 'We look forward to working with the Association of Commonwealth Universities over the coming years, creating joint initiatives and working in partnership that allow us to build prosperous and connected nations. Access to higher education is challenging in some parts of the world; partnerships help to create worldwide opportunities.'

On 24 January, the ACU Chief Executive and Secretary General, and the British Council's Director, Education and Society signed an MoU, formalising the partnership between the two organisations.

Further information

For more information about this MoU, please email

About the ACU

The ACU is the higher education organisation for the Commonwealth. It supports the development of higher education as power for good across the Commonwealth and beyond. It was the world's first international university network and remains one of the most diverse, with 500+ members across more than 50 countries. Established more than 100 years ago, it represents the future. The Commonwealth has a combined population of 2.4 billion, 60% of which are under the age of 30.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.