British Council Slovenia
|British Council v Sloveniji|
|Trg republike 3, SI-1000 Ljubljana|
|Phone||386 (0) 1 300 2030|
|Fax||386 (0) 1 300 2044|
|Dragan Barbutovski, Director|
|Phone||386 (0) 1 300 2035|
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Background of cultural cooperation
The programme of the British Council Slovenia has changed significantly. At the very beginning, the original focus was to develop a wider knowledge of the English language, however, quite soon these efforts resulted in high-quality teaching being offered by local schools of English. Gradually an ongoing cooperation with local cultural producers was developed with an aim to present British arts and culture to Slovene audiences.
A multimedia site-specific installation Map to Paradise from Ljubljana by Peter Greenaway was co-produced in cooperation with Muzeum Institute in 2000 and the exhibition From the Cradle To the Grave – Selected Drawings by Damien Hirst was on view at the International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana in 2003. The internationally established festivals in Slovenia Mladi levi Festival, Exodos Festival, Druga Godba Festival, Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) and the City of Women Festival brought numerous British artists to Slovenia with the British Council's support.
British Council Slovenia has also initiated programmes such as Animating Literature that hosted British authors Diran Adebayo, John McRae, and Donald McLaughlin, amongst others, and an anthology of contemporary British short stories, translated into Slovenian through a cooperative project with the Študentska založba Publishing House. From 2002 through 2008 the BC office in Slovenia collaborated with the UK agency Visiting Arts and the Ministry of Culture on the Slovenia Cultural Profile project (website and book).
In 2004 the first workshops relating to new approaches to cultural infrastructure and the creative industries ("Modernising Heritage, City Revitalisation, Fashion, Design") were organised with Slovene partners. Since 2005 Slovenia has participated in the annual Young Creative Entrepreneur (YCE) programme awards competitions, focusing on Design (2005), Publishing (2006), Screen (2007), and Fashion (2012). Slovenes have been nominated as finalists several times, with young entrepreneurs being rewarded with a tour of the relevant UK industry, where they have met with key people from the trade.
In April 2012 the British Council Slovenia with Adria Media co-organised a spring edition of Philips Fashion Week at Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture. Fashion designer and filmmaker Kathryn Ferguson talked about the topic of fashion films and held a lecture. In the Ljubljana Fashion Week 2013 guest was British fashion designer Jane Bowler.
=Education and society
On behalf of the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the British Council in the period 2004–2007 managed the annual Chevening and Valvasor-Chevening Scholarships co-funded by the Slovene Ministry of Culture. Scholarships covered 3–12 months of postgraduate study in the UK related to commercial management of culture and cultural heritage, management of cultural tourism, audio-visual and media industry, specialised technical professions, and performing arts and film production. A dozen of today's most successful cultural managers, gallery owners, and producers got their vital education in the UK.
The British Council Slovenia has also run various science-based programmes (including the Network Research Programme) in partnership with the Slovene Research Agency (ARRS).
Today in Education they focus on bringing an international dimension to education and raise educational standards through sharing the UK's expertise and encouraging the best international students to study in the UK.
The focus on Social Entrepreneurship tackles Europe’s current economic and social challenges, especially among the young unemployed and disadvantaged populations.
The British Council in Ljubljana supports English language learning by offering and administrating several UK examinations – for example, the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and the Cambridge English suite of examinations on a regular basis. They have introduced also an English test for business – Aptis.