The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations. 

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We call this cultural relations.

We build trust and understanding for the UK to create a safer and more prosperous world. In terms of our reach and impact, we are the world’s leading cultural relations organisation. Cultural relations is a component of international relations which focuses on developing people-to-people links and complements government-to-people and government-to-government contact. We use English, Arts, and Education and Society – the best of the UK’s great cultural assets – to bring people together and to attract partners to working with the UK. The British Council has over 7,000 staff working in 191 offices in 110 countries and territories.

Our work in Russia

We have been working in Russia for more than 20 years, fostering bilateral relations and cultural exchange between our nations. We run programmes and projects in the arts, education and the English language.

Arts and Creative Industries

In the arts, we cooperate with leading British and Russian organisations including, amongst others, the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, The State Kremlin Museums, the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture, and the Hermitage. With the support of the British Council, major exhibitions by William Turner (2008), William Blake (2011), Antony Gormley (2011) and Henry Moore (2011) have been held in Russia. Moreover, we actively work in literature, theatre, contemporary dance, music, cinema, design and fashion.

The greater part of our arts activities is focused on vocational training and educational programmes for people professionally involved in the cultural and creative industries.

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The English Language

We run English teaching and learning programmes; last year our extension courses were attended by more than 6,000 teachers of English. We have developed a network for methodology training, covering 12 Russian cities from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka.

We design online courses and materials to help with teaching and learning English. In 2011, our educational websites were used by more than 600,000 visitors.

We also commission research in applied linguistics, as well as in English language learning and teaching methodology.

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In higher education, we cooperate with state authorities and officials forming educational policy, college and university leaders, scientists and students in Russia and the United Kingdom in order to promote partnership and knowledge exchange. We offer access for Russian people to the UK’s expertise in education and work hard to establish relationships between Russian and British educational institutions.

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