This Call for proposals is now closed.

Opportunity Northern Ireland: an analysis of Northern Ireland's Higher Education sector

We are seeking a supplier to deliver "Opportunity Northern Ireland", a comprehensive analysis of Northern Ireland's Higher Education sector, as well as the wider context in which Higher Education is delivered in Northern Ireland.

This call for proposal aims to inform the British Council's global network of colleagues of the Northern Ireland Higher Education sector, its strengths and also of the broader assets of Northern Ireland as a Higher Education study destination and area for research collaboration.

The final product should also be of interest more widely to international stakeholders and Governments, who may wish to gain a deeper understanding of Northern Ireland's Higher Education sector.

As such, the end product should inform readers of the wider operating context, strengths and eco-system supporting the Higher Education offer from Northern Ireland on the global stage.

Research objectives:

  • Contextualise Northern Ireland as a region while setting out its unique selling points as a destination for international Higher Education study and research collaboration 
  • Provide a comprehensive overview of Northern Ireland’s wider assets linked to Higher Education, including but not limited to its expertise in areas such as cybersecurity, FinTech, transitional justice, security and peacebuilding, and creative industries 
  • Inform British Council’s global network; stakeholders globally; and international Governments of the context of both Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, detailing each university’s academic overview; collaborative research footprint and international aspirations 
  • Contextualise Northern Ireland’s place in history as a centre of industrial and literary prowess, as well as its current position as a modern, globally connected and youth-driven region 
  • Set out the cultural and Arts landscape of Northern Ireland for an international audience, in terms of its tourism, safety, cost of living and as a gateway for national and international travel 
  • Reflect on the alignment of both universities with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, as well as Northern Ireland’s commitment as a region to sustainability, highlighting the global relevance of Northern Ireland’s HE offer 
  • Explore Northern Ireland’s unique position as the only part of the UK to have a land border with the European Union, and highlight collaboration with HE institutions in Ireland 
  • Showcase a number of striking takeaway facts about Northern Ireland connected to its HE sector, which would be of interest to the British Council’s global network, and encourage engagement and partnership opportunities with international stakeholders and Governments. 

Qualifications required:

We are looking for a supplier with:  

  • Expertise in Higher Education and experience in delivering research projects for large international organisations 
  • Strong writing and communication skills 
  • Strong understanding of Northern Ireland and its political context 
  • Offering good value for money 
  • Ability to deliver on tight time frames and meet deadlines 

Outputs and deadlines: 

The selected supplier will be expected to engage closely with British Council Northern Ireland colleagues and stakeholders throughout the research.

Outputs from the research process are expected to include:

  • A written report of between 10,000 – 15,000 words in length
  • A suite of digital assets, including short animations; infographics; and Powerpoint slides aimed at delivery by the successful supplier to the British Council’s internal global network 

How to apply:

A full outline of the proposal request, the instructions for responding and evaluation criteria are available on our procurement portal. 

Date / time
RFP Issued to bidding suppliers 
Wednesday 17 November 2021 
Deadline for clarification questions (Clarification Deadline) 
Thursday 25 November 2021 (by 17:00) 
British Council to respond to clarification questions 
Tuesday 30 November 2021 (by 17:00) 
Deadline for submission of Proposals by potential suppliers (Response Deadline) 
Monday 13 December 2021 (by 17:00) 
Final Decision 
Thursday 16 December 2021 
Contract concluded with winning supplier 
Friday 17 December 2021 
Contract start date 
Monday 20 December 2021 

For any questions relating to the project, please contact