Senior Programme Manager, Education

2022, September 15
Senior Programme Manager, Education 15th September 2022

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. We work in two ways – directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities.


We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise. We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK. These connections lead to an understanding of each other’s strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained. We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.


Role Purpose:

This role focuses on delivering the outcomes of our work on Higher Education, TVET & Science through a suite of global programmes and partnerships working with Higher Education institutions and governments in the UK and overseas, alumni, students interested in studying overseas and their influencers.



Main accountabilities but not limited to the following:


Leadership & Management

  • Could play a leadership role on a specific component of a larger project or programme
    Manages delivery teams and/or project team.
  • Manages all EDI processes and ensures comprehensive use of internal tools in programme design and delivery.
  • Maintains an oversight of the action plan developed using internal EDI tools


Relationship & Stakeholders

•    Leads on relationships at a project/programme level.
•    Holds delivery partners to account including supply chain management where applicable.
•    Communicates internally and externally about a project’s success/challenges and lessons learned.


Commercial and Financial Management

•    manage and control the agreed budget, expenditure and income against plans, ensure accuracy of reports and ensure sound financial management and analysis across the portfolio through monthly finance reviews and quarterly business reviews.
•    Ensure timely and accurate planning and forecasting, timely reporting of risks, including financial and identify opportunities and mitigation actions

Programme Management

•    Ensures that every project/programme is compliant with all internal policies and processes (for example safeguarding, EDI, supply change management, social value and conflict sensitivity).
•    Contributes to development of, owns and delivers, the Programme Management Plan
•    Identifies risks in a project or programme and puts together mitigation strategies with SRO.
•    Responsible for data management including timely data entry, quality assurance of data, undertaking basic analysis of monitoring data, and developing progress reports.
•    Undertakes programme-specific data collection as needed and works with colleagues to identify indicators and tools for data collection, quality assures all data, and undertakes basic analysis.
•    Supports the design of results-based programmes including development of basic M & E plans and results frameworks.
•    Undertakes lessons learned and action-reporting and shares learning for future design.
•    Manages, finance, procurement, compliance and reporting on a project/programme.
•    Works closely with sources of digital skills and expertise to ensure high quality digital inputs on programmes and projects.


Business Development

•    Supports the development and management of relationships with strategic clients and partners.
•    Applies due diligence requirements to potential partners.
•    Coordinates research in country/regional context such as analysis of client and partner trends and opportunities.
•    Manages network of associate advisors, consultants and partners.
•    Embeds effective processes, standards and tools to support pipeline and consultant/partner relationship management.
•    Manages or supports the development of high-quality bids/ proposals.
•    Participates in contract negotiations with partners and clients, and prepares agreements such as non-disclosure, pre-bid, contract and partner and consultant agreements.
•    Ensures timely reporting and communication on externally funded contracts/grant funded initiatives.
•    Participates in programme and project reviews and closure activities, helping to ensure learning is embedded in the development of new business.



•    To actively contribute to an inclusive and anti-racist organisational culture, being aware of your own biases, and taking action to mitigate against these. Ensuring people feel valued and are treated equitably, with support for people’s well-being and mental health.
•    Understand the British Council’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion and how it applies to your role and make time for learning and development relating to EDI and anti-racism.


Role specific knowledge and experience:

•    Experience of managing multi country or large in-country programmes that have met project closure and audit standards.
•    Knowledge and/or experience of working with at least two types of funding sources within a structured compliance regime.
•    Experience of managing a wide range of stakeholders.
•    Experience in spotting risk in a project or programme and putting together successful risk mitigation with SRO
•    Understanding of MEL principles


Further Information:

Pay Band: 7
Contract Type: Indefinite
Location: Can be based in any of these cities- Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Guangzhou
•    Foundation level Project Management qualification (in-house training or evidence of CPD in this area could be considered)
•    The British Council systems and global processes operate in English. Written and verbal proficiency in English is required to CEF Level C1 English.
•    Additional job requirements: Role could require some domestic and international travel as required by the programme and some out of hours and evening work responding to or driven by programme/portfolio needs.
•    Condition of Employment:


Local Direct Hire

Applications are welcomed from candidates currently in this location with a natural right to work.
Applications are also welcomed from candidates currently based in other British Council country offices. However, please note candidates must have a natural right to work in the country, on a permanent basis, as immigration clearance and/or on-going visa support is not provided by the British Council for this role.  Relocation support is also not provided.

International Transfer

This role is open to applicants who would need to relocate to undertake the role. Candidates who do not have a natural right to work in the country will be provided with immigration clearance and visa support. Please note Visa approvals are beyond the British Council’s control so any job offer will be subject to securing the required right to work. Relocation support as set out in the British Council international relocation policy is available.


For an informal discussion to find out more about this role, please contact Donald Hu, Head of Education Partnerships, British Council China at


or click on this link to apply directly:



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