Scott McDonald, Chief Executive of the British Council, made his first visit to Egypt on 11-13 January 2022 to see how the British Council work helps strengthen UK -Egypt cooperation through greater access to English skills, UK education, qualifications and arts and culture.
Chief Executive Scott McDonald met with His Eminence The Grand Imam, Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb to discuss future cooperation between the British Council and Al-Azhar
As the British Council continues to build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and overseas through arts, education, and English language, Scott McDonald’s visit reflected this with a programme encompassing a wide spectrum of the British Council’s valuable work in Egypt.
Scott made an auspicious start to his 3-day visit by meeting with the Grand Imam, Sheikh Ahmed Aṭ-Ṭayyeb, where His Eminence emphasized the importance of our continuing commitment to this long-term partnership which started in 2007.
Towards the end of the meeting, this British Council and Al-Azhar academic co-operation was renewed by signing a new 3-year Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties, which aims to strengthen existing areas of work in addition to addressing other emerging needs related to teachers’ English language proficiency, climate education and English as a medium of instruction.
The MoU was signed by Al-Azhar Grand Imam’s Deputy, Doctor Muḥammad Aḍ-Ḍuwīnī and Chief Executive Scott McDonald.
Scott then had the chance to visit the British Council Egypt offices, the oldest British Council office overseas and the largest teaching centre.
He also got the opportunity to see how exams are being delivered and the integrity of the processes in place to deliver UK exams to a very high standard, British Council Egypt delivers nearly 150,000 exams annually.
He also saw how the British Council teaching centres – either face-to-face or online, reached tens of thousands of students per year, and how it is developing the English language competency of students with disabilities as part of wider CSR programmes.
During his visit, Scott also met up with a diverse group of British Council partners and beneficiaries.
He got the opportunity to talk to inspiring young people, entrepreneurs, scholars, artists, and scientists, and understand how the opportunities provided by the British Council and their cultural programmes with the UK adds value to both the UK and Egypt in terms of connecting people, developing mutual understanding, and building trust between the two countries.
Scott McDonald, Chief Executive British Council said: “This is an inspiring country with inspiring people and some fantastic work happening between Egypt and the UK. It is my first time in Egypt and I’m already captivated by the country and people and the Pyramids! The British Council in Egypt has been open since 1938 and has a long history of building trust between the UK and Egypt.
Despite the obstacles the pandemic as thrown our way, it’s been wonderful to see during my visit that we are still able to connect with millions of students, educators, academics, creatives, and entrepreneurs – often in new and innovative ways – and build links with the UK for the benefit of all. I’ve seen first-hand how our focus here in Egypt on providing opportunities for young people, especially women and girls, supports them to achieve the education, qualifications and skills needed to reach their potential in future careers and life.”