The British Council celebrated its 80th anniversary in Greece with a series of activities, as announced in a Wednesday press conference with the British ambassador to Greece, Kate Smith.
As the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, the Council opened its first Athens office in 1939, and held it first English-language Cambridge certification exam in 1958. To date, some 1.5 million Greeks have received language proficiency certifications from the Council, while 2,000 children and adults are attending classes every year, and some 60,000 UK university candidate students and graduates are benefiting from the institution's services.
A total of 11,000 Greeks study in Britain each year, and another 17,000 attend British courses in Greece.
Apart from being a leading institution in the teaching of the English language, the British Council has developed several educational programs over the years, and is also the co-organiser of Athens Science Festival.
UK Ambassador Kate Smith stressed that the high quality of its services and the innovative methods it implemented "established the British Council, very early on, as a leading language centre in the conscience of Greeks."
Smith said the Council brings hundreds of thousands of people together with culture, science, the arts and the English language, but it also "creates bonds, opens horizons, nurtures interest, and love, for Britain."
She also mentioned the importance of relations of trust and cooperation between all countries, and the exchange of ideas and culture as important in meeting contemporary challenges.
On her part, Director of the British Council Anastasia Andritsou underlined the institution's innovative courses, such as the English-language learning course for 600 migrant children aged 3-5 years old at the Skaramanga accommodation facility.
"We are constantly striving to find new ways to strengthen relations between Britain and Greece," Andritsou concluded.
For more information about the events and activities celebrating the British Council's 80 years in Greece, visit their website.