I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the British Council operation in Slovakia. The British Council has been creating opportunities and building trust between the people of Slovakia and the UK since 1946, when our first office opened in Bratislava. Thousands of people from different generations have ‘come through our doors’ and more recently interacted with us online as you are doing now.

In all my jobs it has always given me great pleasure when I hear from people things like: ‘I am really grateful to the British Council for helping to set up our bilingual school in Slovakia in 1991.’ or ‘I learnt my English with you and prepared for my IELTS test, which enabled me to study in the UK.’  That’s what cultural relations is about. That’s what we want to keep on doing. Every English lesson we teach, every time someone takes a UK qualification with us, every time young artists perform and interact in either country, every partnership between schools and colleges continues to bring the countries closer together. I am very keen during my time here to build on that heritage so that more and people from Slovakia can access UK culture, the English language and our education systems. At the same time our partners in the UK have the chance to benefit from this interaction with Slovakia.

As for me, I moved to Slovakia in 2015 from Germany, where I worked in various roles for five years. I also worked in Slovakia from 2008 to 2010 and I was delighted to have the opportunity to return as Country Director. I have also worked in the Czech Republic and Sri Lanka and my background is in English language teaching.  I originally graduated in French and German from London University before taking various teaching qualifications and a diploma in English language teaching management.

I hope you find our website useful. I encourage you to follow the British Council on our Facebook page and you can also follow me on twitter. Please tell us what you like and how we can make things even better for you. I hope some of you choose to stay in touch with us for many years to come!

Alastair Bassett

Country Director, Slovakia