Sarah Cooper, who took up her post as new chief executive of English UK earlier in August, has spent her first days in the office meeting staff and members of some of the association's advisory boards. She explains what she's planning to do next.
What's your priority for the next few months?
Without a doubt, it's meeting members and getting to know them better. I'm in the fortunate position of having come from the industry, and also having been on the English UK Board for several years, which means I already have good insight into the issues we face and have already met quite a few of our members.
That's a good start - but what I want to do is to listen to as many people as possible, from all different types of centre, and from all over the UK. And while we've been facing many challenges as an industry, I know there have been creative approaches by a number of centres in addressing those challenges, in targeting new markets, diversifying what they offer, or finding new ways to reach students.
We need to harness that creativity as well as understand the challenges. Having that full picture will help English UK to support our industry and advocate our needs to the Government as it begins to move through the Brexit process.
Where can members meet you?
The first opportunity will be StudyWorld from 5-7 September in London.
If you haven't already booked for this, we're experimenting with a new one-day pass for members, which allows you to come on a business day of your choice as well as for the welcome reception on Monday. We can give more details of that if you email firstname.lastname@example.org, but we think it's a great new initiative to help more members get the benefits of English UK's flagship event.
What about meeting members outside London?
This is my priority. We're putting together the schedule for the next round of our very successful member roadshows starting soon after StudyWorld, focusing on how we can work together on public affairs and policy, both in national and your local contexts, and market development
We got lots of feedback from members telling us how valuable they found these events, so I'm hoping we'll get an even bigger turnout this time round, with plenty of time to hear what members have to say, and to share what English UK is doing on their behalf.
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