Tuesday 13 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 for 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.

A lead researcher from the UK will be commissioned to conduct this research between November 2020 and February 2021 with up to two researchers from Turkey. We will open another call for recruiting researchers from Turkey. 

Although, we strongly encourage joint submissions which include one UK lead researcher as the team leader and up to 2 researchers from Turkey, proposals will be not be disadvantaged and If necessary, we will open another call for recruiting researchers from Turkey.

If there is no joint application, the lead researcher and partner researchers will work together for conducting the baseline research.

The research will identify the following: 

  • Priority areas for UK-Turkey higher education 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. 
  • Suggestions for improving 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 in establishing high quality higher education international partnerships with the UK and other countries, or models of institution-to-institution partnerships. 
  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.

A lead researchers from the UK must submit: 

  1. Research Proposal which should include the rationale, methodology, research methods, roles, and responsibilities.
  2. Full names and titles of researchers from Turkey (if it is a joint application)
  3. Supplier Response (Annex 2).
  4. Pricing Approach (total fee for UK lead researcher) (and Turkey partner researchers, if it’s a joint application)

     a.The British Council will not cover any other cost outside of the requested budget including international travel costs.

by 1 November 2020, 23:59 UK time.


Activity Date/time
RFP issued to bidding suppliers 14 October 2020
Deadline for clarifications (Clarification deadline) 18 October 2020
British Council to respond to clarification questions 20 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 November 2020
Final decission 5 November 2020
Contract Concluded with winning supplier 6-10 November 2020
Contract start day 11 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.