English UK staff visit Istanbul to meet Turkish partners
22 November 2023

English UK visit to Turkey November 2023

English UK staff visit Istanbul to meet Turkish partners

The English UK team attended meetings in Turkey last weekend, to meet new agents and catch up with association leaders.

Roz McGill and Naadiya Rawat attended the EuroAsia Agent Workshop, organised by IEFT and Turkish agent association YEDAB. They also met with Eren Goker, president of agent association UED, and local British Council staff.

Roz said: "It was a successful weekend of relationship building. We look forward to even greater collaboration with agent associations YEDAB and UED." 

UK's visa position has improved in Turkey

The trip followed a visit to Turkey in May which focused on resolving high visa refusal rates.

Anecdotal evidence from Turkish agent associations suggests that the UK's visa position has since improved. In contrast, agents have reported difficulties with visa applications for other ELT destinations, especially Canada, Ireland and Malta.

Our recent statistics reports also show that the Turkish market for UK ELT has recovered well. Student week volume to the UK is now even higher than in 2019. 

Turkish agents are keen to see more visa appointment slots where they can upload the required documents themselves. They have noted a trend of higher refusal rates when the documents are uploaded by visa application staff. Naadiya has raised this concern with UKVI already and will follow up with staff in Istanbul too.

UK ELT presentation benefitted new agents

We gave a presentation promoting UK ELT to around 50 agents at the EuroAsia Agent Workshop. The majority of attendees said they had not previously sent students to the UK for English courses, so this was a great opportunity to introduce them to our market.

The British Council Turkey also gave a presentation on the UK certified agent training course.

Meetings with agents from other markets

At the EuroAsia Agent Workshop, we had useful meetings with agents from emerging ELT countries including Kazakhstan, Libya, Iran and Azerbaijan.

"We shared the information they need to start building their knowledge of UK ELT options and promoting UK language courses. We're grateful to Osman Yilmaz, president of YEDAB, for hosting us", said Roz. 

In total, the event attracted 115 agents from Turkey, Central Asia and MENA. Representatives from five English UK member centres were amongst the providers attending the event. 


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