To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to strengthen cultural exchange programmes across the Commonwealth.
22 September 2021
Cultural exchange, including the delivery of in person and digital programmes across the arts, education and English in over 50 Commonwealth countries is facilitated through our diplomatic missions and the British Council, as the UK's international organisation for cultural relations. In 2020/21, funding of £25.4 million to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, further supported educational and cultural exchange in the Commonwealth. In 2022, Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games provide valuable opportunities to strengthen cultural relations across our Commonwealth family. Ahead of the Games, the Commonwealth Connections Project will twin 60 schools across the West Midlands with schools in other Commonwealth countries, encouraging these young people to explore shared Commonwealth values; whilst an exciting Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme will boost collaborations between artists in the West Midlands and Commonwealth countries.