The British Council's new Web site, launched last week by Jeremy Hanley, minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is designed to make life easier for overseas students seeking places at United Kingdom universities and for the staff advising them.
Education and training are among the key themes of the site, called Britain Direct, along with science, the arts, economic development and the promotion of the English language.
Participants in Britain Direct have all signed a code of practice and created welcome pages allowing Britain Direct users to see what they have to offer.
The code of practice includes guaranteed standards of service for responding to email inquiries and acceptance of the JANET guidelines for Internet use.
The THES is a Britain Direct partner. The site has links to the THES Internet service, THESIS, and in particular the comprehensive Research Opportunities service for people seeking research posts.
The education and training sector of Britain Direct will also contain material on financing an educational course in the UK, on ensuring that potential students' English is good enough, and on accommodation and other student concerns.
Visitors are guided around a "virtual campus" by a bicycling guide who points to buildings such as the welfare centre or the finance office.
Britain Direct also aims to act as a showcase for British educational technology and equipment overseas, and has links to the British Educational Supplies Association.
Britain Direct is at http://www.britcoun.org/