The British Council is the United Kingdom's international cultural relations organisation founded in 1934. We have offices in 229 towns and cities in 110 countries and territories worldwide. We have been in Hong Kong since 1948.
The British Council opened its headquarters in Hong Kong with an aim to strengthen cultural relations between the people of the UK and Hong Kong.
The first British Council library in Hong Kong started its operation in February in Statue Square. It was the first public library in Hong Kong.
A second British Council library and office was opened in Kowloon.
The British Council also introduced in-service teacher training in the 1950s, subsidised by the Education Department to provide refresher courses for teachers of English in Hong Kong.
The first British Council English Teaching Centre in Hong Kong was opened in the Easey Commercial Building in Wanchai, which later became the largest teaching operation in the British Council global network.
The UK Government provided funding to extend scholarship schemes and fee subsidies, to enable more students to study in the UK.
British Council launched the Education Counselling Service, in partnership with UK universities, to provide counselling and application assistance, and briefings for prospective students.
The Hong Kong teaching centre became one of six used to pilot the British Council’s first computer-assisted language learning programme (CALL) and computer-based English language testing service.
The British Council held its first Education UK exhibition in Hong Kong. Today, the twice yearly exhibitions are among the largest of their kind in Asia.
With joint fund from the Hong Kong Bank, the British Council launched a project to strengthen English language teaching in the local education system by bringing 100 teacher trainees to the UK for a six-week total immersion programme.
The British Council’s Science Alive programme was organised for the first time in collaboration with the Education Bureau and sponsored by the Croucher Foundation. This annual science education programme invites leading UK science academics and communicators to present interactive lectures and workshops to students and teachers in Hong Kong, aiming to promote fun and easy ways to learn science.
A conference was organised for English teaching professionals from the UK, Hong Kong and China to discuss strategies for opening up the Chinese market for English teaching.
The British Council’s building was open at 3 Supreme Court Road in Admiralty. It housed state-of-the-art teaching and examination rooms plus multi-purpose facilities.
The first online course for intermediate English learners was piloted in Hong Kong (and Lisbon) in 1998.
The British Council became one of the first organisations in Hong Kong to offer a 10-day paternity leave and 20-day adoption leave policy for staff members.
The British Council celebrated its 60th anniversary with a party which gathered over 250 VIP guests, including most of the Celebration 60 alumni and many of the local partners and friends.
FameLab, an international Science communication competition co-organised by the British Council and the Cheltenham Festival, was launched as part of the Science Alive programme.
The IELTS Scholarship was launched to support outstanding Hong Kong/ Macau students for overseas undergraduate/ postgraduate study.
The British Council co-organised the London 2012 Olympic Posters Exhibition with Cyberport in celebration of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The British Council introduced the highly flexible adult English course ‘myClass’ which allows students to select the class date, time, topic and even teacher according to their preference and schedule.
The first global computer-based Cambridge English, Starters examination, was also launched.
The British Council set up its new English Language Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui, specially designed for adult students who follow the flexible myClass learning model.
2015 - 16
The British Council presented Event Horizon, the city’s most extensive public arts installation by the internationally acclaimed UK artist, Sir Antony Gormley. During its six months installation, Event Horizon enriched Hong Kong’s city landscape and paved the way for more public art in the city.
The British Council launched its first International Pre-School in Hong Kong. The school adopted the UK-based International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and offered a holistic, bilingual education to children eligible to study in Hong Kong.
The British Council launched SPARK: The Science and Art of Creativity -
Hong Kong’s first Festival of Ideas celebrating creativity across the arts, sciences and education. The three-day inaugural festival brought together over 200 artists, scientists and academics from Hong Kong and the UK from over 50 arts and education organisations.
The British Council celebrates 75 years of building connections, understanding and trust in Hong Kong.