Toast on 80th anniversary

The 80th anniversary of the British Council in Cyprus was celebrated at an event on Tuesday 29 September hosted by the British High Commissioner, Stephen Lilly and the Director of the British Council in Cyprus, Angela Hennelly. The event was attended by the President of the House of Representatives, the Minister of Education, the Mayor of Nicosia and other distinguished guests such as University Rectors, UK Alumni and executives from cultural and educational organisations.

Since 1940 when the first British Institutes were established in Cyprus, the British Council has been remembered for its British higher education fairs, the organisation of exams, setting up a newspaper which is now the Cyprus Mail and its library. The Director of the British Council in Cyprus, Angela Hennelly, went through the main highlights of the British Council’s history in the island, noting how many of its original activities are now still running, are currently still being used or have evolved throughout time. “As always, the world keeps changing and 2020 has taught us of the value of digital technology. We are moving forward and continue to offer our services in a digital world building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language”, Ms. Hennelly stated.

The British High Commissioner, Stephen Lilly focused on how the British Council has been an essential part of enhancing the links between the UK and Cyprus. “Since 1940, the British Council has been creating and nurturing strong partnerships here in Cyprus across education and culture”, the High Commissioner stated. “It has connected people and institutions, opened up new opportunities for Cypriot students to study at UK universities, for Cypriot universities to partner with UK institutions, for the public to learn or improve their English, for children to get involved in science and research.”

The new agreement between Cambridge University, British Council and the Ministry of Education was highlighted by the Minister of Education Mr. Prodromou. The agreement will give the opportunity to students of public schools to receive certificates of internationally recognised examinations such as the Cambridge English Preliminary and Cambridge International IGCSE English as a Second Language. In his address, the President of the House of Representatives, Mr. Syllouris wished the British Council happy birthday and expressed his willingness to collaborate on many issues. The event included a slideshow of pictures from the British Council’s past and a video from the Director of the British Council in Spain Mark Howard.

The event also launched the new service offered by the British Council in Cyprus, the Digital Library. “We are bringing back the library, however in a digital form” Ms. Hennelly announced, and continued that “we are one of the first countries in the European Union to offer the British Council digital library and its vast collection of academic and non-academic e-books, audio books, magazines and newspapers, shows, documentaries and plays, comics and novels”.

To find out more about the Digital Library of the British Council and how you can register, please visit

Follow our #80YearsInCyprus anniversary campaign to find out more about the British Council in Cyprus, its past, present and future and send us your stories through.

Welcome speech by  Stephen Lillie CMG
Welcome speech by Angela Hennelly
Welcome speech by Minister of Education
Welcome speech by the president of the Cypriot parliament
Cutting the cake