Over 5,600 meetings, 700+ delegates, a high-level Chinese delegation and a busy seminar programme made StudyWorld 50 an event to remember.
Michael Quinn of the Centre for English Studies said: “I personally think it’s been one of the best StudyWorlds for several years with a really good mix of agents, a lot of different nationalities and some very good meetings.”
While Kevin McNally of the Stay Club and IH Torquay thought it was “the best StudyWorld since it moved to London” over a decade ago.
The 50th anniversary event welcomed over 700 people from 61 countries, including 324 agents and buyers – more than in the past two years – as well as 247 educators and 84 service providers. Guests included Lord Karan Bilimoria, president of UKCISA, and Yinbo Yu, former international officer of the National Union of Students. Both spoke movingly about the importance of international education.
The magic of international education
“That is the magic of international education – bringing people together, with different backgrounds and stories, and from every corner of the world. And if there was ever a time where we need to shout about the positivity of international education, about the economic, social and cultural benefits student mobility brings – the time is now,” said Yinbo Yu, addressing delegates and special guests at the welcome reception.
Steve Phillips, chair of the English UK Board, said of Yinbo’s speech: “His great, impassioned speech set up StudyWorld 50 nicely. He is a great example of an industry success story.” He added: “I loved this year’s event. I’m energised even at the end of day three. So many great conversations and partnerships are being strengthened and formed.”
StudyWorld’s flexibility provided value for money
The different types of event passes, value for money and quality of agents were all positively mentioned by delegates.
Ward Lincoln, director of OISE who accompanied representatives of four of his different language centres on meetings passes, enthused: “I love it. I love the possibilities of all of it. We have chosen not to use tables because we like the dynamism of racing between meetings. Business is good – all four of them have full schedules and it’s a very strong environment and it’s allowed us to represent four schools for the price of two tables. It’s more value for money and if you want to break it down into real numbers its more educational tour operator minutes per pound.”
Stacey McGee of LILA*, who was holding meetings at a table, thought the value for money with the number of appointments was “completely worthwhile”. She said: “You know straight away they’re interested in sending to the UK rather than the awkward situation where they want to send to America.”
Nicola Whyley of British Study Centres, StudyWorld’s silver sponsor, was also pleased: “It’s been really good – we’ve had two full schedules and people have been queueing and leaving business cards on our table. There’s been really good foot-fall and that’s been great. We’ve had colleagues flowing around most of the workshop and bumped into so many people. As sponsor it’s probably been one of the best.”
A productive place to make ‘matches made in heaven’
In the first StudyWorld where agents attended for free, quality was much-praised.
Sitting with the English UK Wales educator village, Itzel Lopez of Cardiff and Vale College said: “It’s been excellent. There have been a lot of agents I have met who are matches made in heaven. It’s been very productive, and I’ve been networking at lunchtime as well.” It had also been a good opportunity to meet colleagues, she said.
Agent Arjun Thekkadavan of Alloa Consulting Ltd, who attended StudyWorld for the first time, said: “I think this is the best place to meet people. It’s very productive. We’ve found lots of good schools and had lots of meetings. I’d really recommend it.”
Networking opportunities at the event included the StudyWorld 50th birthday party on a boat moored on the River Thames as well as English UK subgroup networking lunch tables.
A full professional development programme covered everything from the latest research on working with Chinese agents and international student figures, to presentations on safeguarding, working with middle eastern students, wellness and a Lead 5050 panel on gender equality.
Chinese delegations brought by the Department for International Trade and the British Council China as well as embassy delegations enjoyed their own roundtable programmes on education in the UK.
StudyWorld will return next year to build more valuable partnerships
StudyWorld will return to the QEII Centre in London on Monday 7 – Wednesday September 2020. Bookings will open soon.
*A special thanks to all StudyWorld sponsors: LanguageCert, The Stay Club, British Study Centres, Ardmore Language Schools, TASIS, and also to IELTS and the Centre for English Studies for sponsoring our welcome reception and StudyWorld 50 party.