In a first for StudyWorld, representatives from five Kurdish universities joined delegates at the London event this year. previous entry << >> next entry
The delegation, a direct result of the agreement signed last year between English UK and the Kurdistan Regional Government, met educators both at StudyWorld itself and at schools and universities in London and Coventry.
"We weren't sure until the last minute that they could come, but they had quite a successful few days and were able to meet educators in private meetings, over lunch, and at a formal dinner," said Jodie Gray, English UK's senior international manager who organised the trip.
Dr. Jaza Abdulla Mohammad, Head of School of Science at Koya University, spent time both at StudyWorld and Coventry University. "Both were very useful," he said.
The Kurdish delegation was one of several firsts at this year's StudyWorld: others included free massage outside the meeting halls, a dedicated coffee area with special seating, as well as a bigger and better seminar afternoon. There were also higher-than-usual numbers of newcomers to the event, around 20 per cent of total numbers, with agents coming from 67 different countries.
Tony Millns, English UK's chief executive, said: "We've had quite a number of new agents and new exhibitors as well. There's been a very positive feel, and people have been telling me how they like the atmosphere in the halls -- that we've made the space to ensure tables aren't crammed together, allowing for more relaxed conversations. It's been purposeful and busy without being loud and frenetic."
Sue Edwards, chair of English UK, was also delighted with the event. "Everybody has been incredibly positive -- they've had a good summer and found everything here slick and professional. I've had lots of good feedback about the Welcome Reception, which set the scene."
Rory Curley from Delfin English School in London said: "There's been a calmer atmosphere in the halls which was great -- there's still the buzz but it's very purposeful. I think a lot of the agents have been smarter about making their appointments this year and have tried to do one day in each hall rather than running up and down stairs all the time. It's been excellent."
Jay Buckham, from the Fettes Centre for Language and Culture in Edinburgh, at StudyWorld for the second time, was also pleased. "A lot of the people I saw last year have come back to see me again, I've filled the majority of my appointments and it's a great event, very well organised. And the Pop 'n' Bowl party was good fun." Gary Clarke of the Edinburgh Language Academy, returning for the first time in five years, was surprised by how much had changed. "It's much better than it was then. It's better organised, there's less clutter -- it's been good."
Agent Torsten Pankok from Germany was also pleased: "I've had a lot of excellent appointments, and it's a much more comfortable atmosphere than at other events."
Evan Schiff, promoting his Travelling Classrooms business at StudyWorld for the first time, was ecstatic. "Coming here is a significant investment for a new business but it's been worth it so far. On top of the 40 appointments we've had, people have just dropped in and I've got lots of leads. It's been fantastic."
To see photos from the event click here to visit the StudyWorld London website or view the highlights in the English UK image gallery.