Global Head – International Student Mobility, Scholarships and Alumni


2nd June 2024

Role Purpose:

To develop our work in the areas of Student Mobility, Scholarships and Alumni and provide leadership in this area to colleagues around our global network. This will include oversight of our Schools Connect, International Student Mobility and Marketing and Alumni UK Global Programmes and supporting research, thought leadership and advocacy. You will also be expected to contribute to the financial sustainability of the British Council through attracting partnership funding and contract income.

Role Context:

Education is a powerful vector for cultural relations activity – especially as access to high quality education at all levels is more important than ever. The UK’s strength in education makes it an excellent partner for people-to-people, institution-to-institution and government-to-government connections. It is one of the three core pillars of the British Council’s cultural engagement activity. Management of our portfolio of global programmes and contracts in the area of Tertiary Education and Science makes a very significant contribution to our overall impact.

This is a new role, and one of two senior roles overseeing the portfolio. It will lead our work in international student mobility, scholarships and alumni. This currently includes the following global programmes:

Schools Connect

International Student Mobility and Marketing

Alumni UK

It also includes the following contracts delivered on behalf of clients:Language Assistants

Warm Welcome Scholarships (DfE)

The role will work closely with the Study UK team, to ensure strategic and operational alignment across the portfolio.

The other leadership role oversees our work to support tertiary education and science partnerships.


Main Accountabilities/Responsibilities but not limited to the following:

Strategy & Planning

Set strategic ambition and framework for our international student mobility (including outward mobility, school partnerships and the promotion of modern foreign languages), scholarships and alumni activity and policy, within the overall Education and Science portfolio, ensuring alignment with corporate strategy. Communicate and implement this strategy.

Develop the international student mobility, scholarships and alumni contribution to the global Cultural Engagement business plan including global financial and non-financial targets. Drive innovation in programme design and delivery to ensure that our digital KPIs are met.

Work with regional leads to translate the international student mobility, scholarships and alumni strategic framework into sustainable regional portfolios that deliver their elements of the CE business plan.

Provide input to Director Education for the UK & global reviews and subsequently support continual improvement by driving the implementation of agreed actions in collaboration with key stakeholders.

Working with Head Tertiary Education and Science Business Development, develop and embed a strategy for engaging with HMG and non-HMG clients and partners for the portfolio growing impact and income.

Work with the Research and Insight teams, and the Regional Insight Hubs to ensure effective research and insight in the field of international student mobility, scholarships and alumni, including cross-cutting themes such as /gender equality and disability inclusion.

Ensure we have effective impact narratives aligned to the strategic framework, in collaboration with RMEL team, the Director CE Marketing and CE Business Strategy Performance and Partnerships team.

Leadership & Management

Represent international student mobility, scholarships, and alumni on the Education Management Team.

Lead a direct team of UK-based staff within the schools connect, international student mobility, scholarships and alumni portfolio and provide strategic direction to colleagues working on these programmes globally. Foster an outcome focused, accountable environment where activities and plans are conducted in accordance with the British Council values and where equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and anti-racism are strong elements of the culture.

For international mobility, scholarships and alumni: ensure strategic alignment of programmes, appropriate SRO resourcing and act as the point of escalation for those SROs.

Be the SRO for selected strategically important programmes.

Lead and line manage senior managers working in international student mobility scholarships and alumni.

Develop and maintain networks of freelance consultants and associates for areas relating to the portfolio. Direct key external consultants as appropriate.

Relationship and Stakeholder Management

Elevate the visibility, reputation and brand of the British Council and the UK with clients, partners and governments globally which will in turn allow British Council/UK to act as a preferred partner and advisor in the area of international student mobility, scholarships and alumni.

Manage reputation, relationships and partnerships with key stakeholders and the UK sector.

Be the senior relationship manager for specific education focused stakeholders in FCDO, DfE and other HMG departments.

Business Development

Grow and diversify income streams to deliver strategic priorities for the international student mobility, scholarships and alumni portfolio in partnership with the Head of Business Development, Tertiary Education and Science and CE Director Business Strategy, Performance and Partnerships.

Oversee and monitor the global business pipeline and represent international student mobility, scholarships and alumni on TAB.

Commercial and Financial Management

Support the positioning, pursuit and design of new international student mobility, scholarships and alumni opportunities across all funding streams.

Manage global pipeline and commercial opportunities in this area in partnership with BSPP.

Programme Management

Lead our international mobility, scholarships and alumni work to meet agreed financial and non-financial targets (approved by Director Cultural Engagement and Director Global Network) and meet global/corporate standards for global and UK-led programmes across all funding streams.

Develop a strong evidence base for all international mobility, scholarships and alumni work, aligned to the strategic framework, which can be used as part of effective impact narratives, business development and continuous improvement.

Ensure the global operating models for international student mobility, scholarships and alumni remain fit for purpose to achieve the agreed targets including determining the right level of resourcing globally, in collaboration with CE Regional Business Directors and CE Director Operations.

Drive and embed a culture of corporate compliance, ensuring that all necessary policies and procedures (e.g. HR, Finance, Legal, EDI, anti-racism, Safeguarding, data privacy, cyber security etc) are implemented and maintained across the portfolio, so that organisational risks are managed effectively.

Identify required SKE capability for global and agreed UK-led international student mobility scholarships and alumni programmes and work with colleagues in region to achieve this to the extent possible. Support the required SKE capability-building globally

Work with CE HR business partner to ensure succession planning for senior roles within international student mobility, scholarships and alumni.

Role Specific Knowledge and Experience:


Strong knowledge and experience of UK and international tertiary education sector, with specific expertise in the area of international student mobility, scholarships and alumni

Extensive knowledge and experience of programme management

Partner and stakeholder engagement at a senior level

Managing and understanding sector needs and experience of business development

Applied knowledge of programme monitoring and evaluation, including developing theories of change

Inclusive leadership skills, modelling EDI and British Council values

Benefits Include, but are not limited to:

32 days annual leave, in addition to public holidays

3 days volunteering leave

Career average defined benefit pension scheme

An unrivalled opportunity for you to use your experience working in and/or leading global organisations to support us in building trust across the world.

Department: Cultural Engagement

Contract type: 3 years, with possibility of one-year extension

Closing Date: Sunday 2nd June, 23:59 (GMT)

Location: Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester or London

If you are based outside London, you will be required to travel to London from time to time, which may involve an overnight stay.

The British Council supports flexible working, subject to approval by line management and conditional upon the demands of the role. This may not be appropriate for all roles but can be explored at interview.

Application URL: