Generation UK

Generation UK was launched by the British Council in 2013. By 2020, it aims to help 80,000 students from the UK boost their employability, enhance their long-term job prospects, and develop a global mind-set through study and work experience opportunities in China.

By promoting outward student mobility, the campaign supports the UK government’s agenda to foster the UK’s competitiveness and develop a new generation of globally mobile, culturally agile young people who can succeed and compete in an increasingly international business environment. 

Our programme offers funded internship placements and academic scholarships for UK students to gain international experience in China. By encouraging UK students to engage with China, Generation UK aims to bring young people from both countries closer together, increase mutual understanding, and pave the way to lasting links and partnerships between the UK and China.

The Generation UK campaign is supported by all four UK government administrations. We have secured a commitment from the Department for Education to double funding support for 2018/19. This support will give twice as many young people from disadvantaged and less represented backgrounds the opportunity to take up internships in China from 2018.

Our campaign so far

Since the launch of the Generation UK campaign in 2013, more than 67,000 young people from the UK have participated in study, internship and teaching programmes across China. It is the most significant such student mobility campaign beyond the EU. By 2020, the campaign aims for this number to reach a cumulative total of 80,000.  

Generation UK is working to provide a growing number of opportunities for young people from the UK to experience, understand and engage with China, as well as raising students’ awareness of the benefits of doing so. In 2019, approximately 12,000 young UK nationals gained experience in China, a 100 per cent increase on numbers prior to the launch of the campaign.

We have established partnerships with a wide range of UK and Chinese universities, and assisted in developing bespoke programmes as part of an initiative to help businesses support their young talent and future leaders to engage with and understand China. 

Generation UK is also committed to Widening Participation; providing funded opportunities to those who would not normally have access or the financial means to undertake an internship or study programme in China. Through our programmes, students are able to gain international work experience that is either related to what they are studying at university or their future career aspirations to help boost their cultural understanding and employment prospects.

As part of the campaign’s legacy, we have created a network of programme alumni, as well as wider young and experienced professionals in China related fields. The network ensures on-going engagement with China and provides a platform for alumni to share experiences, discuss issues and stay up to date with the latest trends and opportunities in China. We host annual events in the UK and work with partners to provide a range of opportunities for members to deepen their China connection.

How to get involved

To find out more about how you can get involved, please contact us at