The work of the British Council in Uzbekistan began with the signing of a formal bilateral agreement with the Government of Uzbekistan in October 1996. Over the past quarter century, we have made significant progress in strengthening educational and cultural relations between Uzbekistan and the UK at the institutional level.
The British Council has had a remarkable impact in the country. More than 700 organisations have taken part in our programmes, more than 115,000 people have been direct beneficiaries of British Council programmes, and 27 million people in Uzbekistan and the United Kingdom have been reached through various campaigns. Since Uzbekistan’s independence, nearly every student who has matriculated through the country’s schools, universities, and other institutes of learning, has been in some way touched by the work carried out by the British Council professionals. This legacy will continue to be felt and appreciated for years to come.
Today, the British Council is active in Uzbekistan in three main areas:
- In English we focus on a holistic approach and better support of national education reforms of the teaching of English from primary to higher education and provide more online opportunities for young people to develop their English skills.
- In Education we aim at strengthening higher education instituions partnerships, increasing internationalisation of higher education policies and systems to support national reforms, increase gender parity and young people’s creative enterprise skills.
- In Arts and Creative Economy, we support the development of the creative industries, respond to national needs, develop new audiences and markets through international partnerships.
Our major achievements in Uzbekistan over 25 years include:
- The provision of key support for the opening of Westminster International University in Tashkent, where more than 4,000 students are currently taught in English.
- Implementation of a national programme for the training of English instructors. The programme is implemented in 18 educational institutions and more than 4,000 teachers-in-training partake each year.
- Development of an English for Specific Purposes (ESP) curriculum used by 45 public universities.
- Introduction of the "Culture of Quality" programme, created jointly with London Metropolitan University and the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Education. This programme has offered an innovative professional development path for 500 academic leaders each year for the last six years.
The British Council continues to have ambitious goals in Uzbekistan. In 2021, we have developed a range of programmes to support nationwide education reforms. This work builds on an October 2020 memorandum of understanding signed between the British Council and the Ministry of Public Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan (MOPE). The memorandum has become a symbol of strengthening and expanding cooperation between Uzbekistan and the United Kingdom and British support for the undertaking of a major reform of higher, vocational, and school education, including the reform of teaching English in schools and universities.
Among the main projects implemented within the framework of the memorandum is the Future English project, which aims to support school graduates and English language teachers. The British Council also supports MOPE in participating in international conferences and forums such as the World Education Forum in order to foster exchanges of knowledge and experience with educators from around the world. Experts from the British Council and MOPE have jointly undertaken research aimed at developing a holistic approach to the implementation of education reform, including teacher education and adapting the learning process to the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, on the invitation of MOPE, the British Council took part in the development of a strategy for the national curriculum for the teaching of the English language. Since the beginning of the 2021/2022 academic year, schools and universities have begun to introduce this new curriculum for teaching English, which was developed by a team comprised of experts from Leicester and Cambridge Universities.
Also in 2021, the British Council launched the Going Global Partnership. The goal of the programme is to create strong, inclusive, and globally connected higher education systems that support economic and social growth.
The British Council supports the development of the creative economy in Uzbekistan within the framework of the Creative Spark Higher Education programme. Since 2018, six universities in Uzbekistan have entered partnerships in the field of creative entrepreneurship with six leading universities in the United Kingdom. Every year, more than 11,000 Uzbek students take part in the Creative Spark programme.
The British Council has also implemented several projects to promote British contemporary art and culture in Uzbekistan. In 2017, we spearheaded the launch of a major exhibition and educational programme focused on contemporary art, which was attended by 14,000 people. A further 4 million people took part in the programme through educational projects and the media coverage.
Between 2016-2018, an initiative to support the development of the theatre arts saw attendance by 75 academic staff, 42 theatre professionals and 170 students from theatres and universities from across Uzbekistan. The result of the programme was the emergence of new educational programmes at the Institute of Culture and Art, as well as the creation of an Uzbek version of Hamlet, which was successfully staged in Tashkent and London as part of the International Theater Symposium, attracting more than 2,300 audience members during its run.
In the second half of 2021, the Crafting Futures project was launched with the aim of nurturing young talents in the creative industries and crafts. As part of this project, thirty female artisans received training on sustainability and marketing, and took part in an artisan exhibition.
We are delighted to work together with all our excellent partners and networks in the UK and Uzbekistan to create new exciting opportunities for people to realise their potential and to shape the future!
Please read 25 amazing stories of the individuals we have been working with on a wide range of projects