Our work in higher education

We work collaboratively with many organisations to support the development of international opportunities for Scotland’s higher education sector. Our partners include Scotland’s 19 higher education institutions, Universities Scotland, Scottish Development International, Scottish Government and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, among others.

We foster international collaboration, partnerships and student mobility through our network of offices and contacts across the world and provide expertise and services in global market research and analysis.


A strategic analysis of the Scottish higher education sector's distinctive assets

A British Council Scotland report on the distinctive assets of the Scottish higher education system was launched on 2 October 2013 in Edinburgh. The report, 'A strategic analysis of the Scottish higher education sector's distinctive assets' by Dr Neil Kemp and Dr William Lawton, reveals the Scottish system is world class and rated highly, not only against the rest of the UK but internationally. 

The report finds, among other facts, that the overall learning satisfaction of international students in Scotland is unmatched worldwide, reflecting the Scottish ethos of higher education as a public good.

The overarching aim of the report was to focus on the positive assets of the higher education sector in Scotland in a holistic way, rather than cataloguing the academic excellence and research strengths of individual universities.

Five distinctive assets identified in the report are:

  • joined up and collaborative sector
  • quality assurance and credit recognition procedures
  • high graduate employability
  • innovative structure and pedagogy
  • research impact.

Lloyd Anderson, Country Director, British Council Scotland, said: 'This report tells a remarkable story of an academic system that is world class and highly innovative, a story of which Scotland should be very proud.

Global Priority Market Analysis

Scottish Enterprise, through Scottish Development International, and British Council Scotland commissioned a study to help identify countries that will form the basis of a ‘Team Scotland’ education mission programme for the next three years.

The purpose of the work was to evaluate the top global markets for future sector-based missions, focusing in particular on opportunities in transnational education, student recruitment, and research collaboration.