About us ©

Mat Wright, British Council Photos

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. 

We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. 

Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. 

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

We have been in Serbia since 1940 and work in these centres. Every year, we reach out to thousands of students, educators, policymakers, academics, researchers, creatives and entrepreneurs in Serbia.

The British Council in Serbia

Belgrade was one of the first eight cities in which the British Council opened its offices overseas.

Our first office in old Yugoslavia was opened in 1940. It was known as the Yugoslav-British Institute and occupied the first two floors of the Anglo-American-Yugoslav club. The Club itself was located in the heart of the town, in the building that is today known as Albanija. At that time we had two main activities: running English language courses and an English kindergarten.

During the Second World War the work was disrupted, but was resumed as early as June 1945. The first British Council Library was set up as part of the operation in 1946. Development of cultural and technical cooperation was also very rapid with first exchanges and visits taking place in 1947.

Having moved premises several times and having had our office and library separate for almost 40 years, we settled into our current building on Terazije Street in January 2001. We are now only 100 metres away from the place we first began work as the Yugoslav-British Institute.

In 2008, the British Council redefined its role across Europe in order to ensure that we continue to contribute to stronger cultural relations within and beyond Europe in a rapidly changing environment.

This change directly affected our library services. Since the uniqueness of the British Council library offer was gone, we transferred the resources to our new partner libraries in Novi Sad and Kragujevac. This transfer also meets the long-standing need of these important Serbian University cities, and will help us provide information services to a wider audience in Serbia.