Our Aims and Objectives

We are the UK association for all those who research, study and teach global development issues

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What is Development Studies

What is development studies and decolonising development.

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Our Members

We have around 1,000 members, made up of individuals and around 40 institutions

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Find out about our constitution, how we are run and meet our Council

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Meet our Council members and other staff who support the running of DSA

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The DSA Conference is an annual event which brings together the development studies community

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Our conference this year is themed "Social justice and development in a polarising world"

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Past Conferences

Find out about our previous conferences

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Study Groups

Our Study Groups offer a chance to connect with others who share your areas of interest

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Students and ECRs

Students and early career researchers are an important part of our community

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Our book series with OUP and our relationship with other publishers

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North-South Research

A series of workshops exploring North-South interdisciplinary research with key messages and reports

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Membership Directory

Find out who our members are, where they are based and the issues they work on

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Education partnerships for development

Education is a key part of the British Council’s work. Their recent report on the role of tertiary education in development, highlighted the importance of tertiary education helping to reach goals in sustainable global development.

Reesha Alvi from the British Council explains. “We know that strengthening tertiary education systems can pave the way for better outcomes for basic education systems, leading to wider benefits in terms of poverty reduction and economic growth among others.”

“As part of our strategy, we develop partnerships with overseas universities to build capacity, enable the exchange of good practice and improve the quality of higher education in the UK and abroad. We do this through our programmes in higher education, technical and vocational education and training, and skills.”

“We share the experience of the four education systems of the UK through research and policy dialogues, as well as by supporting delegations to and from the UK,” explains Reesha. Reesha is an Education Research Adviser at the British Council, currently specialising in education research.

The British Council’s education programme extends beyond those currently studying. It also encompasses the British Council’s Alumni UK work which involves ongoing engagement with international students who have previously studied in the UK. This initiative offers valuable networking and professional development opportunities to talented individuals outside the UK.

“These alumni initiatives build networks, knowledge and understanding, and contribute to our overall mission to support a more peaceful and prosperous world built on trust.” says Reesha.


Partnerships between UK tertiary institutions and overseas institutions are integral to the British Council’s work. The higher education sector is facing demands to respond to a diverse set of global and local challenges, including the Sustainable Development Goals. “It is imperative to develop robust, inclusive, and globally interconnected tertiary education systems that can support sustainable social and economic development,” says Reesha.

“UK tertiary education is extremely international. UK higher education providers and technical and vocational colleges are involved in a diverse range of partnerships spanning research, teaching, innovation, mobility, and many other areas. We know that such partnerships generate a multitude of benefits. Our recent report found that international partnerships in higher education contribute significantly to the UN SDGs, and that supporting development through HE partnerships is highly efficient. We also have evidence that teaching partnerships in higher education (often known as transnational education, or TNE) support capacity building, contribute to economic development, build sustainable communities and enhance research capacity.”

The British Council works in a variety of ways to support such partnerships and help foster new ones. Their Going Global Partnerships programme supports a range of ongoing partnerships between institutions in the United Kingdom and overseas.

This includes:

  • supporting research partnerships to address local and global challenges and promote inclusive growth
  • creating an enabling environment while supporting institutions and individuals to benefit from internationalisation
  • strengthening higher education and TVET systems and improving the quality and efficiency of institutions and systems.

To engage with the British Council on partnerships please contact the British Council Research and Insight team at [email protected] and subscribe to the Research and Insight newsletter for the latest updates and opportunities.