International Education Council

The International Education Council advises on international education strategy and works with government and the industry to support the UK education sector.

Role of the group

The International Education Council was established in July 2013 as one of the main recommendations of the International Education Strategy. It:

  • acts as a champion and advocate for the UK International Education Strategy and the ‘Education UK’ brand
  • provides pragmatic leadership, co-ordination and strategic direction
  • ensures effective communication and engagement with all parts of the sector, industry and government

The Council replaces and builds on the work of the International Education Advisory Forum (IEAF) and UK Trade & Investment’s Sector Advisory Group on Education and Skills (SAGES).

The Council meets 3 to 4 times per year. It forms ‘task and finish’ working groups on topics of particular interest, drawing on relevant domestic and overseas experts. The Council’s co-chair sits on the central Industrial Strategy Council.

An important part of Council members’ role is to represent and connect with stakeholders in their part of the sector, such as through meetings or working groups. This ensures broad awareness of the Council’s work and its achievments against the main objectives, and supports their ability to support important views and issues from their sectors.


Membership of the International Education Council includes senior stakeholders drawn from across the education sector, including: higher education, further education, schools, English language training, products and services and education technology.

Attendee Organisation
Co-Chair: Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS)
Co-Chair - Professor Sir Eric Thomas International Education Champion
Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for Skills and Equalities BIS
Martin Davidson, Chief Executive Officer British Council
Emily Ashwell, Managing Director UKTI Education
Martin Doel, Chief Executive Officer Association of Colleges (AoC)
Matthew Anderson, Executive Director Technical and Vocational Education and Training UK (TVET)
Professor Colin Riordan, Chairman Higher Education International Unit
Anthony McClaran, Chief Executive Officer Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)
Stephen Wright, Chief Executive Officer Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB)
Dr Christopher Ray, Chairman Headmasters’ & Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC)
Tony Millns, Chief Executive Officer English UK
Professor Martin Hall, Chairman Jisc
Rod Bristow, President Pearson
Dominic Savage, Director General British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA)
Professor Carl Lygo, Chief Executive Officer BPP
Matthew Robb, Senior Principle Parthenon
Toni Pearce, President National Union of Students (NUS)
Professor Jane Elliott, International Champion Research Councils UK (RCUK)
Kit Malthouse Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise, London

Officials from government departments in Whitehall and the Devolved Administrations attend Council meetings as observers.

Terms of reference

The International Education Council: terms of reference (PDF, 80.5KB, 1 page) were discussed at its first meeting and have been agreed by Council members.

Council meetings

The International Education Council met for the first time on 25 September 2013 and discussed:

  • terms of reference and ways of working
  • the International Education Strategy and priorities for implementation
  • relations between the UK and China and the role of education
  • the UK offer on English language training

Minutes of all International Education Council meetings can be found below.

Minutes of meetings

Other documents


  • Making the higher education system more efficient and diverse
  • Using Industrial Strategy to help the UK economy and business compete and grow
  • Improving the quality of further education and skills training
  • Increasing the UK’s exports and attracting inward investment

Contact details