Thursday 06 October 2016

Partnership between Scottish Government and British Council to develop Scottish students’ employability through experience in China.

The British Council is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Scottish Government to support more students from Scottish universities to undertake internships in China through the British Council’s Generation UK – China campaign. The partnership will be focused on supporting Scottish students from low-income backgrounds to gain international experience in the world’s second-largest economy. 

Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said: 

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Scottish students to develop highly valuable knowledge and skills working in one of the world’s fastest-growing and most dynamic economies. The Scottish Government’s support for this programme underlines our commitment to investing in Scotland’s future workforce and further strengthening our growing engagement with China.” 

The Generation UK – China campaign will assist the Scottish Government in delivering its International Framework and in further strengthening relations with China. It will also develop the academic achievement and employability of students and recent graduates of Scotland’s higher education institutions. 

My experience interning in Beijing was fast-paced, exciting and always engaging,” said Justine Porter, a graduate of the University of Dundee who completed a two-month internship at a law firm in Beijing through the Generation UK – China campaign last year. 

Exposure to such a culturally distinct environment taught me a great deal about Chinese business etiquette and the importance of social relationships in getting ahead. My experience in China undoubtedly improved my employability,” said Ms Porter, who was offered positions on two trainee solicitor schemes within six months of returning to the UK and has now secured a contract at Penningtons Manches LLP. She recently enrolled in beginner Mandarin Chinese language classes with the view to returning to China in the future and working with Chinese clients.

The Scottish Government joins the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; the Welsh Government; and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland, in working with the British Council to provide opportunities for students from all parts of the UK in China. 

Jackie Killeen, Director British Council Scotland said: 

“We are delighted to be working with the Scottish Government on this collaborative investment and look forward to working with our partners across the country to promote this exciting opportunity. The programme offers participants the chance to gain valuable skills in one of the world’s most significant economies, and will further strengthen ties with a priority country for Scotland. Crucially, it will also help support the global outlook among our students and graduates that is so important for their future.”

The number of UK students coming to China has increased more than 40 per cent since the inception of the British Council’s Generation UK – China campaign, with nearly 8,000 UK students studying or gaining work experience   in China in 2015. 

Generation UK - China, launched in June 2013, aims to grow the number of UK students who have participated in study or internship programmes in China to 80,000 by 2020. To achieve this goal, the campaign is providing a growing number of opportunities for young students to experience, understand and engage with China and raising students’ awareness of the benefits of doing so.

Applications for the Scottish Government partnership scheme will be open from 10 October 2016, with the British Council China visiting universities across Scotland to promote the opportunity to students as well as hosting an information session for Scottish universities. 




Edinburgh University Careers Fair


Glasgow University Careers Fair


Dundee University Careers Fair


British Council  Scotland Office - Generation UK - China Information Session for Scottish Universities



Notes to Editor

About Generation UK - China

The campaign offers funded internships and scholarships for academic study for UK students to gain international experience in China and is currently supported by the Directorate of Advanced Learning and Science, Scottish Government, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Economy, Northern Ireland, the Welsh Government. . As part of this UK wide campaign, opportunities for students from Scottish Universities to apply for the English Language Assistant and Academic Scholarship programme strands will be open in November 2016 and January 2017 respectively. 

For more information on the Generation UK – China campaign, please visit

About British Council events related to international opportunities in Scotland

For a full list of universities the British Council will be promoting international opportunities for Scottish students in China and other countries at, please visit:

For Scotland media enquiries, please contact:

Susie Gray

For China media enquiries, please contact:

Steven Hutt

British Council, China 


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. 

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £864 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.  

For more information, please visit: