What do the school that inspired Hogwarts, the UK's oldest seaside resort and a cathedral by the architect who designed England's iconic red telephone boxes have in common? These were all places seen by educational tour operators (agents) on English UK's latest inward mission.
English UK's inward missions place a strong emphasis on experiencing destination, as well as visiting member language centres and additional business to business networking opportunities. This latest inbound tour, showcasing English language provision in the North of England and Scotland, was so successful that every agent stated they are more confident about promoting these locations than they had been before the trip.
The group's tour began in Manchester, including a workshop with ten English UK member language centres and a British Council sponsored networking dinner (attended by educators from across the North of England), before moving on for showcase visits in Leeds, York, Scarborough, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Chester. The programme also included a dinner hosted by members of English UK Scotland.
Only a minority of the agents had any previous experience of the places visited, and for two it was their first ever trip to the UK. All were unanimous in saying they they intend to work with at least some the language centres they encountered and they want to send students to these parts of the UK.
The educators were equally pleased with the selected agents. Stacey McGill from LILA* commented that "there was a great mix of agents on the programme and they were enthusiastic and keen to learn about the locations they were visiting". The diverse group included representatives from Turkey, Russia, Brazil, Spain, Bahrain, Australia, Uzbekistan, Portugal and Switzerland.
Sarah Byrne from English in Chester added "every aspect of the inward mission is very well organised...the care provided to the agents is exceptional...the overall impression for agents is one of high professional standards; this provides us with a great basis on which to develop quality partnerships".
English UK's next inward mission will be in May 2017 and will showcase English language teaching provision in the South West of England and Wales. It is open to agents from key global markets.