Wednesday 21 October 2020 to Sunday 01 November 2020


Increasing international partnerships is a priority for Turkish higher education (HE) institutions. This interest is matched with the UK: ‘The level of interest from the UK universities increased for international partnerships on student-staff mobility, providing dual degree programmes at undergraduate and post-graduate levels, joint research and industry-university partnerships with the effects of Covid-19’ (Universities UKi June 2020). 

Despite this desire, the roadmap on how to establish institutional partnerships remains unclear. Based on Council of Higher Education’s numbers, 43 protocols have been signed between Turkey and the UK higher education institutions, five of them in only 2019. One of the core areas expressed is that links are created based on the personal experiences of the rectors, academics, and funding schemes. This creates a barrier to more links with the UK. Other factors are that there is no established system to track UK-Turkey institutional level partnerships at higher education level, or a clear strategy to support institution-to-institution partnerships between two countries. 

Baseline research will enable us to explore the real potential of UK-Turkey HE partnerships, by identifying priority areas of international partnerships between the UK and Turkey higher education institutions including transnational education, good examples of partnerships, barriers, and ways to overcome them.

Up to two Partner Researchers from Turkey will be commissioned to conduct this research between November and February together with one Lead Researcher from the UK. There is another call ongoing to recruit the Lead Researcher from the UK.

The research will identify the following: 

  • priority areas for UK-TR HE institutional partnerships
  • priority types for international higher education partnerships between the UK and Turkey.
  • current barriers: for example, regulatory, financial, attitudinal, and operational for establishing UK-Turkey institutional partnerships. 
  • Opportunities for increased scale and scope of institutional partnership suggestions for improving improve conditions fundamental to establishing institutional partnerships. 
  • Case studies of current successful UK-Turkey partnership models/cases and analysis of how they were established 
  • Best practice and ways of promoting UK-Turkey higher education partnerships. 
  • UK institutions attitudes towards TNE in Turkey

Planned outcomes:

  • Series of exploratory workshops organised with the research team (1 UK, 2 Turkish academics) and sector representatives between October 2020 and March 2021.
  • One research publication on the baseline research in strengthening UK-Turkey partnerships in higher education to be ready by March 2021 
  • Online/Face-to-face dissemination event organised by the British Council to share research findings in March 2021 with policy makers from the UK and Turkey.
  • A set of recommendations for strengthening UK-Turkey partnerships as part of the in-country and regional three-year ‘Higher Education for Employability’ programme strategy.

Who might apply?


  1. PhD in a relevant subject area: internationalisation in higher education or similar
  2. Evidence of research track record
  3. Strong understanding and knowledge of potential opportunities and current barriers in establishing institutional higher education partnerships between the UK and Turkey and other relevant countries.
  4. Track record of working successfully with other researchers and other teams remotely


5.  Experience in successfully working with other researchers in Turkey and the UK.

6.  Connections with Turkish academics in the UK and in Turkey.

Researchers from Turkey must submit: 

1.  Research recommendations document which should include:

      a. how the partner researcher would approach the baseline research under a lead researcher from the UK.

      b. a list of recommendations and details on how to conduct the research in Turkey, including identifying good practice examples and relevant regulations.

      c. a list of possible research activities that partner researcher will lead in Turkey in coordination with the lead researcher from the UK (including explanations on why they are relevant)

      d.a draft timeline of research activities.

2.  Supplier Response (Annex 2).

3.  Pricing approach (total fee for Partner Researcher) 

by 1 November 2020, 23:59 UK time.


Activity Date/time
RFP issued to bidding suppliers 21 October 2020
Deadline for clarification questions (Clarification deadline) 26 October 2020
British Council to respond to clarification questions 27 October 2020
Deadline for submission of RFP responses by potential suppliers (Response Deadline) -potential suppliers are required to submit their research proposal which should include research methods and methodology 1 Novermber 2020
Final decision 6 Novermber 2020
Contract concluded with winning supplier 9-13 November 2020
Contract start date 16 November 2020

For your clarification questions and submission, please contact: 

Ali Murat Güçlü
Education Projects Manager

+90 (0) 312 455 3644

*Only successful candidates will be notified.