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Opportunity for partnership with the British Council and Education UK

22 November 2000

The British Council is seeking a partner, or partners, to develop and manage a new web site targeted at prospective international students around the world. This is a business opportunity which has arisen out of the Prime Minister's initiative to increase the number of overseas students coming to the UK. The initial lifetime of the partnership would be three years and would involve shared development of, and investment into the site. Revenue from the site would be worth approximately GBP 2 million based on our current estimates. Potential sources of revenue from the site may include banner advertising, data sales and on-line applications.

The site will function as the primary electronic gateway for international students investigating study options in the UK - providing everything from high level promotional information on the main options available right through to searchable course data ultimately leading to on-line application.

The site will be fully branded with the new government sponsored Education UK brand.

The Education UK brand project and the Internet

Around 295,000 international students are currently following courses in the UK across the higher, further and school education sectors.

Targets set under the Prime Minister's initiative seek to increase the UK's market share of the international higher education market to twenty-five per cent and to double the number of international students in further education by 2005. The Education UK brand strategy, which now forms the basis for all British Council activity aimed at recruiting international students, is committed to achieving these targets.

The new web site is a key part of the brand strategy. It will be the principal education web site promoted by British Council offices worldwide. With the brand being rolled out globally, priority countries will be undertaking increased levels of promotional work supporting international student recruitment. All associated promotional materials will carry the Education UK web site URL ( in prime position, ensuring maximum levels of traffic in our key markets.

The site will replace the British Council's existing education web site, the Virtual Campus (, which already receives 300,000 hits per month. With the substantial increase in promotional activity arising from the brand initiative this is expected to rise significantly over the next three years.

The British Council and ECS

The site will be developed and managed by the British Council's Education Counselling Service (ECS) in partnership with the successful bidder / bidders.

ECS is the principle agency responsible for taking forward the Prime Minister's initiative on behalf of UK institutions and the British Council. The ECS vision is to make Education UK the first choice for international students. Its mission is to be the world's leading national education and training marketing organisation and to deliver the ECS vision throughout the British Council network - currently 254 cities in 110 countries worldwide. ECS is also the brand manager for Education UK.

The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for educational and cultural relations. With a truly international presence, it enjoys a worldwide reputation as the primary point of contact for information on international education in the UK and is regarded as the preferred credible source of information by students and advisors.

Next Steps

If your organisation feels that it has something to offer this project, and would be interested in being considered as a potential partner, we would like to hear from you.

If you are interested in being considered for involvement with ECS, please send a written expression of interest to us outlining the following:

  • Details of your organisation
  • Relationships between consortia members (if applicable)
  • A profile of the proposed management team
  • Your organisation's financial background
  • Project management experience
  • Web development and management experience

This should reach us no later than 15 December 2000. We will then work to the following schedule:

  • Week commencing 15 January 2001: Full project briefing from ECS to relevant parties after which full proposals will be expected
  • Week ending 16 February 2001: Deadline for project proposals
  • 6 March 2001: Presentations of bids to selection panel
  • 13 March 2001: Decisions announced

Please address expressions of interest to Wesley Hackett, IT Systems Development Manager.

If you have any queries about this, please contact the ECS Helpdesk.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Page content managed by the ECS Web Manager.

© British Council 2000. The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for educational and cultural relations. Registered in England as a Charity.

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