During the week of 25-30 July, 12 leading educational agents from China, led by a British Council China officer, attended an inward mission that was designed to showcase the summer programmes offered at English UK member centres.
The group was welcomed by English UK staff on their arrival on Sunday and taken on a brief tour of the major historical sites in central London, as well as a ride on the London Eye. They enjoyed the tour and the pleasant summery weather.
On Monday, the group visited Stafford House's brand new site in Holborn, followed by an out-door lunch in the vibrant Covent Garden market. In the afternoon, thanks to sponsorship from UK Trade & Investment, a workshop was held at the Westminster Conference centre. 10 English UK members attended this workshop. Afterwards members and agents came together and enjoyed a relaxing welcome dinner at a restaurant nearby afterward. Tony Millns attended the dinner and gave an official welcome to the group.
From Tuesday onward, the agents visited 5 member schools – Concorde International's summer centre in Hampstead, TASIS in Egham, Twin Summer Centre's in Guildford, Cavendish School in Bournemouth and International House Bristol.
The second workshop was held in Bristol on Friday in association with English UK South West. 9 centres attended the workshop including representatives in the FE and HE sector. Agents were delighted to see such variety of providers within the English UK membership.
The mission continued to Cheltenham and Oxford where they visited St Giles International, Summer Camps in Cheltenham and MM Oxford Study Services summer campus in the Oxford University colleges of Hertford and St. Hugh's. The university town of Oxford left a deep impression on the participants.
With little time to waste, the group visited the King's Colleges summer campus in Reading on Sunday before taking a flight back to China.
The Chinese agents showed serious interest in doing business with English UK members during the mission. Seeing summer centres in operation helped them gain insight and a greater understanding of the differences among the summer centres, the variety of programmes, the operations of summer schools, and student experience in the UK.
Thanks to the hospitality of the host schools, the mission also was a rich cultural experience for the visitors.
Ms. Shuwen Huang of Edulosophy Limited said 'By taking this inward mission visit I built up more confidence on promoting the teaching the methodology, courses, accommodation arrangement. We can not only promote for schools in London, Oxford, and Cambridge but also those good schools in South West and North part of UK.'
Click here to view pictures of the inward mission and video interviews with some of the participating agents.