Market Intelligence

Monitoring & Evaluation


Case Study

Skills for Higher Education

Project Information





Skills for Higher Education

British Council

Mexico, UK, Poland, Finland, Japan

6 months

The Brief

The British Council appointed The Research Base to do an international assessment of the skills needed for individuals to benefit from participation in higher education, and what education systems can do to foster these skills. While international in its remit, the project had a particular focus on Mexico; the principal aim was to identify what skills or abilities Mexican students were lacking when they started university and what interventions might be effective to fill this gap.

Project Approach

This project involved multiple methods:

          Analysis of international education data, including construction of a dataset to correlate various input variables linked to education outcomes.

          An international literature review.

          Country case studies: the United Kingdom, Finland, Japan, Slovakia and Poland.

          A review of education policy in Mexico.

          Focus groups with students and interviews with policy makers/educationalists in the UK and Mexico.


The Mexican component of the research was used by The British Council to make policy recommendations to the Government of Mexico. The international research was presented at The British Council’s Going Global Conference and was used to inform continuing debate about how school systems can work best to support individuals to develop the skills needed for higher education.