A Plan Ceibal lesson

What we do

Located within Plan Ceibal’s offices in Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay (LATU), the British Council’s Uruguay team works to develop global links and relationships through English. We are strongly committed to equal opportunities and diversity in all our work.

The British Council returned to Uruguay in 2012 after an absence of 40 years, working in partnership with Plan Ceibal to improve the quality of English teaching in the primary school system. We are also looking for partners to support the use of English in Uruguay more generally.

The History of the British Council in Uruguay

The British Council began working in Uruguay in 1938. Its activities included the provision of annual grants to Instituto Cultural Anglo-Uruguayo (AUCI) branches, the British School and the Escuela Gran Bretaña, funding for a part-time Chair of English at the University of Montevideo, and the provision of scholarships.

From 1947, initially with our own office, but becoming tied to the AUCI, we built connections with educational institutions, government ministries and professional associations, taught English and administered exams. By 1972 student numbers had reached 8000, with over 20,000 examination candidates. 

However, by 1973 our work in Uruguay became increasingly difficult – a military coup was followed by a government occupation of the University and the imprisonment of many students and staff. The AUCI and its branches carried on with only minor interruptions, but in February 1974 the decision was made for the us to withdraw from Uruguay following a large budget cut. The AUCI remained open and an annual subsidy was paid to it by the British Council. 

There was little or no further British Council activity until 2012, when we successfully bid for a contract with Plan Ceibal. In 2013 a decision was taken to re-establish a branch of the British Council in Uruguay, located in LATU at Plan Ceibal, and the Council signed a major three year contract to develop a project to teach English remotely using videoconferencing technology.

See also