An update from Chief Executive Eddie Byers

Hello Eddie: can you tell us about the campaign to promote the UK more as a study destination? 

We've had an exciting summer, and we can now tell you that we're running two English is GREAT campaigns - one in Brazil and the other in China with fresh funding from the UK government.

The Brazilian campaign started just after StudyWorld London and will carry on until early next year. We're working with BMI Media to deliver much of this campaign, which includes travelling classrooms with teachers from English UK member centres at several student-facing fairs, with competitions to generate student films which we hope will really build a buzz around UK study on Brazilian social media. We're also working with the British Council in China to give an additional push for UK ELT, also under the English is GREAT banner.

Any other promotional events?

Yes, we've just had StudyWorld 2015 which got very positive feedback from agents and educators alike, although many English UK members are continuing to report tough market conditions this year. StudyWorld itself was supplemented by a pre-event inward mission for Chinese agents which they found a very positive and useful experience, and followed by a selection of Fam trips taking fully-screened agents from the event to experience what we offer around the UK.

Any developments on our campaigns within the UK?

We are continuing to engage with the Home Office, in particular on Tier 4 visa changes.  We are expecting further changes later this year, particularly around the introduction of 'exit checks' for all students and on possible changes to English Language level requirements.  As members would expect, we are pressing the case for UK ELT.  

We recently met with other national associations at the Global Alliance of Education and Language Associations (GAELA) conference in London: it was really useful to contrast their visa policy developments with the difficulties we're experiencing here, and to hear what's happening to the industry in the rest of the world.

We're also putting the final touches to our economic impact research which so many of you helped us with. Being able to put fresh and credible figures on the value of our industry is going to be a valuable campaigning tool for us as we go into the autumn, and give us new messages to take to government and other key stakeholders. 

What's happening about the English UK member roadshows?

The second roadshow event is taking place in Brighton on September 24.  These events are really important to us in meeting members, listening to views and talking about what's happening across the association, and also give you a chance to meet colleagues in the region. We've got a busy programme lined up to visit as many regions as possible during the next few months, so do keep an eye on our website - and your email - to find out when we're in town.

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