Agents from markets around the world are keen to work with English UK member centres they visited during a tour of east and central England in October. A third of the eleven agents wanted to work with at least three of the seven centres visited, while one liked the idea of sending students to all of them.
Roz Rozidor, English UK's market development manager who led the inward mission, said: "It was great to see so much course innovation in a part of the UK which is less well-known to international agents. They were really impressed, and all of them were a lot more confident about promoting the region as a result."
Marina Anayeva from Educational Centre Greenwich in Russia echoed this, enthusing that the mission had 'provided [me with] an invaluable first-hand experience of the region, which allows me to promote it in a much more convincing way'.
The mission for agents from countries including France, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Japan included a workshop in Birmingham, a networking evening with English UK East members, a British Council sponsored cultural activity in Stratford-upon-Avon, and a farewell dinner in Cheltenham. As well as visiting seven centres, the agents met representatives from many more UK language centres at the workshop and networking dinners.
Each of the seven showcase centres had new or innovative courses to promote, including bespoke adult classes at ILS English in Nottingham; activities integral to courses at Bell Cambridge; new summer vocational courses at Cambridge Regional College; English with Classic Cars at BLS English in Bury St Edmunds; the chance to learn with international UK residents at English Language House in Milton Keynes; a Boarding taster course at Kings College Saint Michael's; and buddy courses with local high schools at inlingua Cheltenham.
"I will work with at least three of them," said Jean-Marc from Au Pays Des Langues, France, who was impressed with the variety of courses at one, the premises and location at another and the quality of teaching at a third – but thought he would look through the brochures and decide to work with others.
Another agent said she would work with all of the centres she'd seen, and explained why, while others planned to work with at least four, or "many" of them.