'Desertification will ultimately damage the planet’s ability to provide what we need to live.' Photo by Lighttruth on Flickr under Creative Commons licence.

'Desertification will ultimately damage the planet’s ability to provide what we need to live.' Photo by Lighttruth on Flickr under Creative Commons licence.

'Desertification will ultimately damage the planet’s ability to provide what we need to live.' Photo by Lighttruth on Flickr under Creative Commons licence.

The 'Drylands, Deserts and Desertification' (DDD) conference, organised by Ben Gurion University’s Blaustein Institute for Desert Research (BIDR) in Israel, with a panel discussion hosted by the British Council, takes place this week on 17-20 November. Vivian Futran Fuhrman, PhD candidate at Ben Gurion University, explains why desertification is a threat to us all.

'Perhaps the most famous example of academic collaboration is CERN'. Photo of bubble chamber at CERN by David Perez under Creative Commons licence.

'Perhaps the most famous example of academic collaboration is CERN'. Photo of bubble chamber at CERN by David Perez under Creative Commons licence.

'Perhaps the most famous example of academic collaboration is CERN'. Photo of bubble chamber at CERN by David Perez under Creative Commons licence.

Universities cannot solve problems if they work on their own. The British Council's Teresa Birks explains the power and complications of 'consortia' ahead of a related dialogue in Indonesia on 20-21 November 2014.

'You can’t be a great singer unless the sound you make is your own, and to make something your own, you have to understand and believe the words that are coming out of your mouth.' Photo by Armando G Alonso on Flickr / CC

'To make something your own, you have to understand and believe the words that are coming out of your mouth.' Photo by Armando G Alonso on Flickr under Creative Commons licence.

'You can’t be a great singer unless the sound you make is your own, and to make something your own, you have to understand and believe the words that are coming out of your mouth.' Photo by Armando G Alonso on Flickr / CC

What can songs teach us about a language? Richard Stokes, Professor of Lieder at the UK’s Royal Academy of Music, talked to Ellie Buchdahl of Education UK about teaching the wonder of language through music.

'The Japanese students who had studied overseas previously were more optimistic about their own personal futures than those who were not interested in study abroad.' Photo: British Council

'The Japanese students who had studied overseas previously were more optimistic about their own personal futures than those who were not interested in study abroad.' Photo: British Council

'The Japanese students who had studied overseas previously were more optimistic about their own personal futures than those who were not interested in study abroad.' Photo: British Council

How do Japanese students really feel about studying abroad? The British Council's Anna Esaki-Smith looks at some of the findings of a report called Japan: Debunking the 'inward-looking' myth, published today.

Graduates in the fast-emerging economies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia are looking for more skills and opportunities. Photo of houses in Tirana by Lassi Kurkijärvi under Creative Commons licence.

Graduates in the fast-emerging economies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia are looking for more skills and opportunities. Photo of houses in Tirana by Lassi Kurkijärvi under Creative Commons licence.

Graduates in the fast-emerging economies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia are looking for more skills and opportunities. Photo of houses in Tirana by Lassi Kurkijärvi under Creative Commons licence.

How can countries in Southern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia -- a region the British Council calls 'Wider Europe' -- prepare their young populations to be successful? Helen Silvester, our Director of Education in Wider Europe, explains the economic and educational issues with which this vast, diverse region is grappling.