Status:  Closed.  Another successful assignment for Oakleigh Resourcing

Job Title:  Director of Education & Society EU

Client:  The British Council

Location:  flexible within the European Union

Remuneration:  Competitive Package (commensurate with local country pay system)

We seek a senior leader in international education looking for a high impact and delivery focused role. This is an incredibly interesting new role offering significant breadth, depth and challenge in a well respected global organisation.


Background to the role:

The EU region forms a market of around 500 million consumers; and is one of the most sophisticated and developed in terms of education and society globally; and is one of the largest trading partners of the UK. The European Commission contributes global contracts totalling around 180 million euros.  The significance and scale of this work requires British Council to demonstrate thought leadership to help shape future thinking on Education & Society (E&S) in the region; and is critical to the future development of pipeline opportunities globally.   The role of Director of E&S EU is a significant senior leadership role and will help radically shape strategy going forward. The strategy places value for the UK as its centrepiece.

Although the Director E&S EU is a new role, the new hire will have the support of the equivalent post holders already in place and established across the other regions:     E Asia, S Asia, SSA, MENA, Wider Europe, the Americas.

Role Purpose:

  • To lead E&S work across the EU region - establish regional strategy, support country level planning, oversee all E&S programmes in the region, take the lead in regional team development. Liaise with other regional leads.
  • Grow the EU E&S portfolio of programmes on a financially sustainable basis - lead on European Commission E&S contracts; Improve the impact of our E&S work in the region via partnership work; develop & grow the UKs position in science research and innovation amongst EU countries.

Ambitions for 2020: These fall under the UK Governments prosperity and security agendas.

Challenges are many and include:

  • Equipping young people for the global economy, resolving high levels of youth and young adult unemployment, particularly in Eurozone crisis countries.
  • Addressing questions of social cohesion and integration, through educational opportunities for the excluded.
  • Ensuring HE sectors and systems are geared for the challenges of trans-national education and able to respond to partnership opportunities from the UK.
  • Improving levels of English in the tertiary sector, so that universities can maximise opportunities of research collaboration, and staff equipped to use English as a medium of instruction (EMI).
  • Tackling levels of English amongst teachers of English across parts of the region, providing opportunities for teacher training in language competence.

Opportunities are significant and include:

  • Strengthening the UKs position as a leader in science research and innovation amongst EU countries, through greater research collaboration for UK universities.
  • Attracting more high-quality students from the EU to study in the UK.
  • Providing greater access to EU markets for the UKs skills sector to address issues of appropriate skilling of young people for the job markets.

Geographical focus and prioritisation: In countries of significant importance to the UK: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania and Spain are of primary importance.  We expect to have some activity in Greece and Portugal and will continue to have important EC contract work in Cyprus. Additional opportunities in Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania and Spain for International Education Marketing. Post holder to further develop strategy for other countries and ensure engagement with global E&S strategy.

Main Accountabilities:

  • Strategic Development & Leadership
  • Business Development & Planning - people, portfolio, programme and products
  • Contracts & Commercial - EU frameworks & process; marketing and brand positioning 
  • Collaboration - in partnership, externally and internally
  • Technical & Professional Expertise - authoratitive knowledge, stakeholder management

Key Relationships will be with:

  • Internal partners and stakeholders in the UK and across the global matrix.
  • UK government bodies and agencies - FCO, UKTI, DBIS, DfE, Cabinet Office and UUK and major education, training and society institutions in the UK.
  • Key education and society journalists in the region and UK
  • Corporate Sponsors, doundations and government funded sponsors
  • E&S business colleagues in the UK, across the region and globally (including Regional and Country Directors)

Additional:  Note that the post holder will be required to undertake frequent travel within the EU region and occasionally beyond. Regular attendance at evening / weekend events.

Person Specification:

Experience & Qualifications:

  • Degree level educated, with a Masters Degree in a related area preferred.
  • International Collaboration - significant experience of working on international education projects.  EU experience of particular interest.
  • Leadership - proven experience in a leadership role in education or an education related business.
  • Partnership and Project Development - identifying, buidling and managing partnerships, raising income and designing / implementing projects with partners.  Successful delivery of projects to agreed financial and non-financial targets. Analysing and interpreting complex financial data to make informed recommendations adn develop business plans and projects. Possess an active and up to date network amongst higher and vocational educational UK sectors.  Credibility with education and training partners in the UK and overseas.
  • Marketing - market analysis and business experience. Proven presenter to senior level audiences.
  • Society - experience of working on international civil society projects is beneficial.

Skills & Knowledge:

  • Developing business - uses a range of market analysis techniques; ability to develop mutually beneficial projects with govt organisations, foundations and corporates.
  • Communicating and Influencing - at the highest level
  • Managing Risk
  • Managing Accounts and Partnerships
  • Planning and Organising
  • Managing People
  • Knowledge of Education - EU region and UK - significant understanding of current issues in educaiton and training in the UK and EU, in particular of European HE.


  • Creating Shared Purpose
  • Shaping the Future
  • Connecting with Others
  • Making it Happen
  • Working Together
  • Being Accountable

Additional essential criteria: Post holder must be an EU passport holder with the right to work in the EU; and must be able to travel to countries within the region, and to the UK.

To discuss your interest in this role or to check out your suitability, please call our retained Consultant, Elaine Rippon of Oakleigh Resourcing on + 44 (0) 1477 534491.  To apply please email your CV with details of your current remuneration package, and your preferred EU location, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Please also confirm that you are an EU passport holder and meet the essential criteria above.