Category Archives: Events

Ireland Seeks Another Slice of the International Student Market

Whilst the UK is in the process of turning students away, Ireland has stepped up efforts again this week to gain more of the international student market. Earlier in the week Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, travelled to India to promote higher-level educationOn his way back from this trip the Minister paid a one-day visit on Wednesday to Saudi Arabia, Ireland’s most important trading partner in the Middle East.

The stopover came as the minister journeyed back to Ireland following a four-day Enterprise Ireland trade and education mission of 22 Irish companies to India.

Enterprise Ireland has promoted Irish higher education in Saudi Arabia since 2007. There are currently over 400 Saudis studying in the country’s higher education institutions and a similar number studying English in Ireland. The visit to the Kingdom was to support an education mission of 13 leading Irish universities and institutes of technology.

“The mission will also grant an excellent opportunity to promote the Irish international education sector, a key sector for jobs and growth in the economy,” said Bruton.

During his stay, Bruton formally launched the “Education in Ireland” brand in Saudi Arabia and met with Minister of Higher Education Khaled Al-Anqari, Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Zainal Alireza and Ali Nasser Al-Ghafis, governor of the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation.

“Saudi Arabia is Ireland’s most important trading partner in the Middle East,” said Bruton in an interview with Arab News late Wednesday. “We’re keen to further develop this area for the mutual benefit of both Saudi Arabia and Ireland.”

Bruton, who took up his ministerial position in March, lauded Ireland’s strong educational institutions.

“Saudi Arabia is planning to invest in education as part of its economic development, and one of the success stories in Ireland has been its success in education,” he pointed out.

“Moreover, many companies attached to our education institutions expanded from incubation companies to become successful,” he added.

This direct link between the commercial world and academia is a main strategy at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

“I think that this is the model that Saudi Arabia wants to pursue and they see this as an economic development tool,” he said.

Bruton said the Irish experience in technological education bridges the gap between the output of the education system and the needs of a developing economy.

“We have been able to bring the experience of the multinationals and small businesses into active participation in our education sector, and it has sharpened its focus to make it more commercially oriented,” he said.

“Both the minister of commerce and the minister of higher education saw investment in education as a vital tool for the future, and I think our model is one really well attuned to their needs.”

Bruton said the pace at which the Kingdom is developing was “breathtaking” and that this offers opportunities for mutual gain.

The Irish educational system places a high value on institutes of vocational training to such a degree that they have become a separate tier of the system — one that focuses on commercially oriented curricula.

“They are playing at a very high level technically and I think that is something that Saudi Arabia wants to plug into,” he said.

“The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation here is planning to treble its output by partnering and at a certain level of education they buy into an experience that can allow rapid growth with a steadying experience.”

In the long term, Bruton said he hoped to see increasing exchanges between the two countries.

“I think the key to the success for Saudi Arabia is to produce people who are all job-ready and have picked up commercial experience and entrepreneurship as well as the straightforward educational content.”

Bruton returned homeward via London in the early hours of Thursday morning after what he described as “a very busy week.”

Ireland Targets International Students to Help Deficit

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, has launched a new trusted agents programme to promote Irish higher-level education in India.

This programme is aimed at increasing Ireland’s share of the more than 100,000 Indian students who travel overseas for education each year.

The Minister said the international education sector is currently worth approximately €900m to the Irish economy.

It is estimated that for every 100 international students who come to Ireland up to 15 local jobs are created. The government has identified this sector as a crucial part of our jobs and growth strategy, are plan to double the number of international students coming to Ireland by 2016.

More than 100,000 Indian students travel overseas for education every year. Around 1,000 of these currently come to Ireland. This new scheme hopes to achieve a significant increase in that number.

The programme will be supported with a marketing and communications fund of €63,000 provided by Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Education & Skills and the Irish higher education sector.

Minister Bruton said: “Ireland’s relationship with education agents is critical in communicating the benefits of Ireland as a quality education destination to discerning Indian students.

“The objective of the new programme is to move Ireland up the agenda of education agents in India and make it easier for them to recommend Ireland as a quality education destination to the students the counsel.”

18th annual Education UK Exhibition in Sri Lanka

Address by Tony Reilly, OBE Country Director British Council Sri Lanka

Janet Ford, Head UK Trade and Investment, British High Commission Sri Lanka, friends from the media, colleagues, good morning.

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for education and cultural relations. We have been in existence now for over 75 years and have been operating here in Sri Lanka for more than 60 years.

The purpose of the BC is to create international opportunities for, and trust between, the people of the UK and other countries worldwide. By creating international opportunities for people in the UK and around the world, we help meet their aspirations for a better life and a brighter future. And that is what today’s launch of the British Council’s Education UK Exhibition is all about – creating opportunities, meeting aspirations for a better life and building the next generation of lasting mutually beneficial ties between the UK and Sri Lanka.

Welcome to the official launch of the 18th annual British Council Education UK Exhibition – the largest UK education exhibition in Sri Lanka of its kind. Every year, more than 60 institutes come together at the exhibition to give students and their parents an opportunity to consider a wide range of study options in the UK and in Sri Lanka.

While demand for Higher Education continues to outstrip supply in Sri Lanka, many parents and students are compelled to consider overseas options.

Over 8,000 Sri Lankans leave the island every year to pursue their higher education in the UK. The UK remains the preferred destination of choice for Sri Lankan students – in spite of our inclement weather. The Education UK Exhibition offers prospective students the opportunity to directly interact with UK institutes and select the best study option from a wide range of courses and internationally recognised qualifications offered by UK institutes.

The importance of giving students an opportunity to live and study in the UK goes way beyond simple economic benefits. British Universities thrive on the internationalism of their campuses and classrooms. Overseas students enrich campus life and contribute in all sorts of tangible & intangible ways. Sri Lankan students are much sought after in the UK. Their ability to adapt to life in the UK quickly, their command of English and their excellent academic skills make them highly valued overseas students. From a British Council perspective, a period of study in the UK is often the start of a life-long relationship between our two countries – a relationship based on mutual understanding and we hope mutual respect. The UK benefits hugely from the presence of so many talented young Sri Lankans studying at its world class higher education institutions.

This year, 72 institutes will be taking part in the exhibition, out of which, 61 of the exhibitors will be travelling to Sri Lanka from the UK.

The overall format of the exhibition will be different to the usual exhibitor stall set-up. Besides the UK exhibitors providing information about the study options available, this year’s exhibition will also showcase different industries, such as fashion and design, aeronautical engineering and electronic engineering. We have included this additional segment for students to be better informed and aware about the wide range of subjects that they can opt to study at local institutes that offer UK qualifications.

We have also arranged for students to be able to meet representatives from the UK Border Agency (UKBA), IELTS, awarding bodies of UK qualification providers in Sri Lanka, and some of the successful UK-Sri Lanka educational partner institutions.

As an organisation committed to developing cultural relations between the UK and Sri Lanka, the British Council contributes to the development goals of Sri Lanka by exposing students to UK education. The Minister of Higher Education, Hon. Minister. S. B. Dissanayake strongly endorses the British Council’s objective in promoting UK education to students looking at overseas study options.

Since he could not make it today, I will read out a statement which he wanted me to share with you:

“Our vision is to build Sri Lanka as an Education Hub in Asia. While developing our existing Higher Education system, we have taken steps to invite leading Universities from the UK, US, Australia, India and many other countries to setup campuses in Sri Lanka. The proposed Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council will regulate both public and private Higher Education providers in the future. With these new opportunities, our students will have an increased number of seats and a wider selection of higher education options. Furthermore, this will also attract students from other countries in the region bringing foreign revenue to Sri Lanka. We warmly welcome the UK universities who will be present at the Education UK Exhibition organised by the British Council for the 18th consecutive year. We look forward to meeting with the UK university delegates and explore possibilities of developing partnerships with Sri Lanka. We thank the British Council for organising this event which is a great opportunity for some of our students to pursue their higher education in the UK.”

I hope that, as the minister envisions, we will be able to work together to achieve the goal of establishing Sri Lanka as an education hub in Asia in the near future.

I would like to thank you the members of the media for joining us today and I urge you to join us at the British Council in communicating the message of the importance of higher education for the bright future of your beautiful country – at peace.

Event Production Show to Target UK’s Emergent Knowledge Economy

The 2011 Event Production Show will give a distinct focus on the human capital and future talent of the live event sector.

Organisers of the show – taking place from 2nd – 3rd February at London Olympia – have confirmed that Thursday afternoon will be a focal point for those currently studying at British universities or abroad.

Seminars and speakers have been set-up in order to provide a dedicated thought leadership programme to students. From 3.15pm to 4.30pm the panel discussion ‘Events Degree: What Next’ will be presented by Simon Bell & David Dewhurst, UK Centre for Events Management, Leeds Met University and Owen Grainger-Jones, International Centre for Crowd Management and Security Studies, Buckinghamshire New University.

They will join a cast of the event industry’s serial thinkers in talks specific to those embarking on their careers in the live event sector.

Undergraduates will be invited to discuss career routes and opportunities with representatives of event industry suppliers exhibiting at the show. A major recruitment drive in the sector is expected through the UK’s Decade of Events featuring; 2012 London Olympics, Cultural Olympiad, Diamond Jubilee, 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the UK’s blossoming festival industry.

Other thought leaders in the event sector over the course of the show will include Wayne Hemmingway, Bernard Doherty, Harvey Goldsmith and Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts.

Sarah Brownlee, Event Production Show organiser commented: “We are making a pledge of support for the UK’s emergent knowledge economy which should serve as a timely boost to the students in the wake of the recent tuition fees debate. Allocating a dedicated afternoon to our student visitor base will ensure nobody from experienced event organisers to our industry’s budding talent misses out.”

This post was submitted by Richard Garside.

Online Training for Educational Consultants: British Council, Islamabad

The online training for consultants is in progress under the aegis of British Council, Islamabad. The ‘Contact Session’ took place at Embassy Lodge, Islamabad at 1500 hrs, on 4 August 2010. The programme manager, Mr.Furqan Shamsi, held a comprehensive brief and cracked the queries of the course entrants. Renowned veteran consultants also graced the occasion. They were Mr.Omair (Ideal Consultants), Ms Rizwana Asif (Emerging Visions) and Mr.Naeem Afzal (CONFED). These consultants explained various aspects of the training i.e mode of study, utility of the training, and so on.

The session started with the Chinese smiles of the programme manager. Consequent upon it, the veterans dwelt on the overall value and worth of the training, technical or study problems that might come in the way and found ways how to get along successfully in the training. In response to the general queries of course entrants, the programme manager spoke in detail on the benefits of UK education; quality of academic qualification from a UK institution, wide variety of flexible courses and institutions, scholarships for international students, healthcare, financial matters, and, above all, excellent opportunities for travel, both within the UK and further afield to mainland Europe.

At the end of the day, the session was pretty informative, participative and useful for all concerned. At tea, the programme manager apprised about various British Council products and promised that the Council staff will go to every possible length to facilitate institutions and individuals in promoting UK education in Pakistan.

It is a hope that the Council has provided a forum that has enlightened about the role and responsibilities of educational consultants. All concerned must be thankful for such a noble practice.

In person, I do apologize to the hosts for my slovenly table etiquettes at tea table. LOLZ

This post was submitted by Miraj ul Haq, Educational Consultant, IMS Consultants,Mardan,Pakistan.

Visa Issues Talk Held to Guide Students and Parents

Student Visa Requirements For UK

03 July 2010

Message Posted : Bandar Seri Begawan –

A talk regarding visa matters for students that are going abroad to study in the UK
was held yesterday at Maktab Sains Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan. The talk was
conducted by Ms Lorraine Douglas-Castrillon, an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) from
UK Border Agency (UKBA) section based at the British Embassy in Manila.
The talk was attended by more than 100 people comprising students and parents. A
similar talk was also held the previous day for Brunei Government in- service
officers at the Civil Service Institute, Rimba.

During the talk, Ms Lorraine touched on the various elements of the ‘Point-Based
System (PBS).Tier 4′ for student application requirements including funds, courses
and documentary requirements.

The introduction of the confirmation of acceptance of studies (CAS) in February this
year will enable applications to be processed faster without an original acceptance
letter from UK.

Instead, students will receive electronic CAS reference codes directly from their
future place of study. The visa section will be able to crosscheck these online
processes allowing the applications to be processed more efficiently.

The British High Commission have reminded the prospective students that visa
applications should be submitted as soon as the students have made their decision to
study in UK and have their documents in order before they travel. Visa applications
can be applied three months prior to the planned departure date but can also be
postdated to reflect actual travel dates.

Although applications should be completed ‘online’ and biometric photographs are
still taken at the British High Commission Visa Section in the capital, all
decisions on visa applications submitted in Brunei Darussalam are made at the
regional UKBA hub at the British Embassy in Manila. It is, therefore, imperative the
applications are lodged well in advance to avoid delays in joining UK courses.

The objective of the talk was to clarify on matters of the visa entry system that
has changed to the Point-Based System which requires students to achieve 40 points
of the system in order to enter UK for further studies.

According to one of the Entry Clearance Officers who came last year, students are
advised to get a visa letter from chosen place of study, which confirms their
acceptance that automatically earns them 30 points.

The last 10 points will be the maintenance (fund) such as the scholarship.

Therefore, students and parents are given the awareness on what to prepare before
proceeding to higher education in UK.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

This post was submitted by inderjit.

Thanks British Council, Islamabad

Thanks to the UK government and particularly to British Council, Pakistan

The British Council Pakistan has embarked on On-line Training for Agents. On 01/7/2010, an orientation session of the current course was arranged at Embassy Lodge Islamabad. The programme manager Furqan Shamsi and his entourage briefed the course entrants about the layout of the course. The team lead enlightened us how the course will give us a thorough knowledge about UK education system. Such moves are good for the ambitious and genuine education consultants in Pakistan.

Students who are ambitious to proceed to the UK must know the fact that there is a proper network of genuine and enlightened agents/consultants who are trained and supervised by the British Council. Now it is up to the students to hunt out and access genuine consultants.

This post was submitted by IMS Consultants, Pakistan.


Microsoft today announces the winners of Internet Explorer 8 Life Academy, who battled it out live in front of a high profile judging panel comprising of Professor Robert Winston, entrepreneur and co-founder Brent Hoberman, Countdown mathematician Rachel Riley, Channel 4 technology journalist Benjamin Cohen and Microsoft Director Leila Martine to win one of three £10,000 grants.

The winning ideas are:
Adventurer Explorer Grant
Luke Duggleby, 22 from Bristol, his idea is to bring internet and services that will significantly improve educational needs to a vocational centre in Uganda. You can see Luke’s live pitch here

Online Venture Explorer Grant
Rowenna Davis, 25 from Southwark, her idea is to provide young people with an online platform to understand their local government and stand for councillors. You can see Rowenna’s live pitch here

Creativity Explorer Grant
Nick Palfrey, 23 from Plymouth, his idea is to develop learning spaces using simulator or video game technology so that 3D models of proposed schools can be explored by students, teachers and parents with amendments made and sent back to architects. You can see Nick’s live pitch here

Internet Explorer 8 Life Academy was a national competition launched to give 18-25 year olds a chance to explore their future potential and win a £10,000 grant to make their socially responsible idea a reality. All entrants had to pitch for a grant in one of three categories
• Adventurer Explorer Grant for travel, adventure or environmental projects
• Online Venture Explorer Grant for budding technology and business entrepreneurs
• Creativity Explorer Grant for creative, media and arts-based ideas.

Leila Martine, judge and director of Windows consumer business, said: “Internet Explorer 8 Life Academy was an opportunity to encourage talent and provide a platform of support to 18-25 year olds. Internet Explorer has grown up with this generation and the aim of the project is to help them explore their future potential and bring a socially responsible idea to life.” I believe the £10,000 grants will do just that and look forward to assisting the winners in their ambitions.”

Professor Robert Winston said: “All 12 finalists who pitched their ideas on the day were strong contenders. Although it was hard to pick the three winners I feel (Insert name) gave a great pitch and wish him/her the best of luck.”

Rachel Riley, Countdown mathematician, said: “It was amazing to see people of my age with such interesting and socially responsible ideas. We’re the first generation to grow up with the Internet and it is such a great tool to help make ideas a reality.”

This post was submitted by James Mulrennan.

Internet Explorer 8 Life Academy Finalists Revealed

Microsoft today announces the 12 finalists of Internet Explorer 8 Life Academy, chosen to battle it out live in front of a high profile judging panel comprising of Professor Robert Winston, entrepreneur and co-founder Brent Hoberman, Countdown mathematician Rachel Riley, Channel 4 technology journalist Benjamin Cohen and Microsoft Director Leila Martine to win one of three £10,000 grants.

Internet Explorer 8 Life Academy is a national competition launched to give 18-25 year olds a chance to explore their future potential and win a £10,000 grant to make their socially responsible idea a reality. Shortlisted ideas include building schools in Kenya; flying old hospital equipment to Uganda; providing careers information for young people; creating green energy from footsteps or providing a politics platform for aspiring councillors. On June 25th 2010 the 12 finalists will go head to head in a live pitch for a chance to win one of three £10,000 grants to put their idea into action.

The judges will be looking for clear and concise presentations from each of the finalists on how their idea will practically and wisely use the £10,000 grant and the difference the ideas will make to society, business or in general.

To get to this stage the finalists submitted a short video to pitch for one of three category grants
• Adventurer Explorer Grant for travel, adventure or environmental projects
• Online Venture Explorer Grant for budding technology and business entrepreneurs
• Creativity Explorer Grant for creative, media and arts-based ideas.

Leila Martine, judge and director of Windows consumer business, said: “18-25 year olds have grown up with the internet, and Internet Explorer has grown with them. The web continues to be a source of knowledge and inspiration for emerging talent and we want to continue encouraging and supporting students and graduates by giving them the extra boost to get their ideas off the ground. Internet Explorer 8 Life Academy ignited the imaginations of 268 people from all over the UK and we have chosen 12 very strong finalists to pitch for the £10,000 grants.”

Rachel Riley, Countdown mathematician, said: “I was lucky enough to get my dream graduate job but that’s not always the case, particularly in the current economic climate. There are so many intelligent and socially responsible young people out there that don’t have the opportunity to make their ideas come to fruition. It’s exciting to be part of a campaign that will give three people the opportunity to do just that. I’m sure choosing the recipients of the grants will be a tough task.”

This post was submitted by James Mulrennan.

Vice Chancellor claims Welsh higher education needs to respond to “period of rapid change”

Tuesday 11th May saw the University of Wales, Newport host a celebration of international education with guests including the university’s Vice Chancellor, Dr Peter Noyes; Director of European and External Affairs for the Welsh Assembly Government, Gary Davies; the Director of Higher Education Wales, Amanda Wilkinson; and Arvid Petersen, Global Executive Chairman of Study Group, the world leaders in international education, as well as a range of past and present international students from the centre.

The event was a celebration of the tremendous successes enjoyed by the Welsh International Study Centre (WISC) in the two years since inception. Study Group is the organisation that runs WISC, based at the University of Wales, Newport’s Caerleon Campus.

WISC was opened on the university’s campus in the new Kegie Building in May 2008 and has since seen 168 international students enrol. It offers two foundation routes into undergraduate programmes at leading Welsh partner universities. Route one is designed for students interested in Business, Law and Social Studies and route two is designed for those interested in future Engineering and Science degrees. Last year 60 students progressed from WISC to universities in Wales. 30 remained at the University of Wales, Newport, with others selecting Cardiff University and Aberystwyth University amongst others.

Dr Peter Noyes, Vice Chancellor at the University of Wales, Newport commented at the event: “Welsh higher education is currently going through a period of rapid change. The recently announced budget cuts affect the whole of the UK and have resulted in Wales looking at different ways of delivering higher education. We opened the International Study Centre in 2008 in order to properly prepare international students for HE study throughout Wales, and we’ve seen a direct correlation in the WISC preparatory programmes and increased performance from international students, throughout undergraduate programmes at the university.

“International students bring different cultures and different ways of learning to our campus and we’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback from all of our students. The Students’ Union has started social clubs to appeal to our international students and welcome them to the university. We want to achieve the right mix of students here and we value the two-way benefit that currently exists between UK and international students. We’re currently satisfied with a 10-15% internationalisation of the student population.”

Noyes concluded: “These students are long term business prospects for Wales as we expect a number of them to become heads of industry and public service in their native countries and are therefore essential business prospects for Welsh industry. Wales is growing all the time as a student destination of choice and we regularly welcome international partners from all over the world to our campus.”

The purpose of the dinner and drinks event was to extend the university’s thanks and gratitude to Study Group as the organisation responsible for running the WISC. Arvid Petersen, Global Executive Chairman of the leading international education provider was keen to reflect on the success of the WISC: “A university looking to increase the numbers of international students on their campus needs to do so with a structured approach. The WISC is properly preparing its students, giving them a better opportunity to excel on their chosen degree programme and adding value for the university.

“We’ve found on a global basis that the recipe for International Study Centre success is to encourage a diversity of nationalities, there are around 23 at the WISC at the moment, to study numerous disciplines. The WISC fully immerses its students treating them as members of the university from day one. This allows them the best possible preparation for their future undergraduate and postgraduate courses.”

Raisa Mia, 19 from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is one of the international students currently studying at the WISC. She took time out from the evening to explain what was driving her and how she was fairing in the UK: “I grew up wanting to study architecture but ever since I visited the Oxford Law School my heart has been set on law. I’m studying a business foundation degree at the WISC and have been offered a conditional place at Cardiff Law School. I’m the only Malaysian at the WISC but it hasn’t stopped the feeling of extended family that I have become accustomed to. All the teachers act as personal mentors as well which makes it really easy to settle in and progress with your studies.”

Mia already has future plans as she explained: “After I graduate from Cardiff I hope to practice law in the UK for two years before returning to Malaysia and working in the maritime legal sector.”

The WISC is one of 12 successful ISCs tutoring international students on university campuses across the UK. This summer will see the first wave of international students that commenced their studies at the centre in 2008, graduate from their undergraduate degree programmes and Study Group’s WISC Director, Vernon Dando, confirmed on the night that there would be a special graduation ceremony taking place at the university.


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About the University of Wales, Newport

The University of Wales, Newport has a long established international reputation underpinned by activities which range from its innovative MBA programme delivered in China to an extensive international recruitment network across 15 countries. Central to Newport’s international plans is ensuring an outstanding international student experience and in autumn 2007 international students voted Newport first in Wales in the International Student Barometer survey. Areas of the international student experience in which Newport excels include library and IT provision, the overall living experience and the quality of university accommodation.

In addition to Newport’s growing reputation amongst international students, the University is rapidly opening up new student recruitment markets. With a growing international student population the University is now welcoming students from a wide range of new markets such as Nigeria, Jordan, the Gulf States and Pakistan.

For further details see:

About Study Group

Spanning five continents, Study Group is a global leader in international education, providing the highest quality educational opportunities for students from over 140 countries. Beginning in 1994 with 7,000 students per year, Study Group now has an enrolment base of 55,000 around the world.

Through Study Group’s leading set of partnerships with top universities, it is able to provide on and off-campus preparation courses for international students that ensure academic success and entry into some of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world. The quality of its UK teaching is confirmed by independent accreditation bodies worldwide including: English UK, Ofsted, British Council and the BAC.

The biggest intake of international students into Study Group’s UK programmes is from countries with emerging economies such as China, South East Asian economies, and in particular from oil-rich nations such as Russia and the Middle East.

For further details see:

This post was submitted by Study Group.