The Spring 2009 Inward Mission, which was run in association with English UK North, took place from Monday 11 to Friday 15 May 2009. English UK was pleased to welcome a group of thirteen agents from across the Asia Pacific region, including Thailand, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Korea.
The week started with a showcase in Chester, followed by an afternoon showcase in Manchester. The agents were treated to a tour of Old Trafford football ground, which provided numerous excellent photo opportunities! On Monday evening, the group attended a welcome reception hosted by the Accreditation Unit and English UK North. Presentations provided the agents with an introduction to studying in the region and information about the Accreditation scheme. These were followed by drinks and a buffet dinner.
After a spectacular journey through Snake Pass in the Peak district (and many more photographs!), the group arrived for the first workshop in Sheffield, where they met representatives from ten English UK member centres for appointment sessions throughout the day. On day three, the group visited centres in Newcastle and Halifax, and the final showcases were held in Halifax and Hebden Bridge on day four. The agents also had the chance to explore their surroundings. They spoke very positively about their sightseeing tours- made even more enjoyable by the sunshine that lasted for most of the week. The mission concluded with a workshop held in York and a farewell dinner attended by the agents as well as many of the educators they had met during the week.
The group was very friendly and many agents spoke of their desire to stay in touch once they had returned home. Agents also said that they found the combination of workshops, showcases and local tours particularly useful- Teressa Lin of Study Without Borders commented, 'I was really impressed…I established personal relationships with school representatives and got to see the region … Now I know more about what the schools and the cities have to offer and I can expect that my students will have good learning experiences there.' Feedback from educators was equally positive. Comments included, 'A fantastic cross-section of agents with potential for new business', and 'This was an excellent opportunity to meet a range of agents from the Asia Pacific countries, with nothing but a day away from the office.'