The Rt Hon David Willetts explains the UK’s International Education Strategy
Record numbers of diplomats representing more than 80 missions flocked to BPP University for a day of debate and discussion at the Embassy Education Conference the final conference before the 2015 elections.
Outgoing Universities Minister David Willetts explained his department’s International Strategy for Higher Education, while Nicola Dandridge, the Chief Executive of Universities UK, looked to the main debates that would surround higher education in the upcoming campaigns and outlined the sector’s priorities for a future incoming government.
Attendance at the conference was further boosted by news of the latest measures to curb student visa abuse. Home Office Director of Immigration Policy John Thompson was on hand to take questions from concerned consuls and education attachés and to explain that the Home Office’s actions were aimed at protecting genuine students and maintaining high standards. Delegates also heard from UKCISA chief executive Dominic Scott about the detrimental impact these measures could have on students and privately funded colleges and universities.
Examining the opportunities and challenges of globalising education were hot topics in themed and regional discussion groups. Diplomats could find out more about the benefits and drawbacks of trans-national education from Professor Christopher Costigan (BPP University), while Anne Marie Graham (HE International Unit) explained UK’s drive to encourage more UK students to study overseas in outward student mobility programmes. Simon Nelson of Futurelearn, the UK’s major provider of MOOCs (massive open online courses) outlined the potential of this medium of education.
The day ended with a networking reception where diplomats were able to put forward their suggestions to create a brandnew Education network in London.
PHOTOS: PIERRE DE VILLIERS
Elizabeth Stewart (Embassy Group) welcomes delegates
Heather Mulkey (International School of London Group) meets Inge De Feyter (Belgium)
Rafal Siemianowski (Poland) asks how a potential UK exit from the EU will affect the international education strategy
Niall Browne (BVS Education) meets Guoqiang Li (China)
The Universities Minister the Rt Hon David Willetts takes a question from the audience
Neil Herrington of Regent’s University London meets Akiko Tamura (Japan)
Universities UK Chief Executive Nicola Dandridge looks ahead to higher education policy in the upcoming general election
Hayk Khemchayan (Armenia) in conversation with Alex Boughton (University of Bristol)
Dr John Kirkland (Association of Commonwealth Universities) talks to the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific group
Aida Toumi (Tunisia) meets Kwame Asabere (Ravensbourne)
David Tumilty and Daniel Rolfe (both SOAS)
UKCISA Chief Executive Dominic Scott outlines the impact on new Home Office actions against universities and colleges
Glen Hardwick (Christie’s Education) and Tamba Ngegba (Sierra Leone)
FutureLearn CEO Simon Nelson gives a presentation on MOOCs
Hayk Khemchyan (Armenia) checks out the day’s agenda
Dr Dan Shah (Higher Education International Unit) gives an overview on Europe
Dori Donald (Embassy Group) welcomes a delegate
Kevin van Cauter (British Council) leads discussions with the Latin American group
Karin Purcell (Marymount) talks to Emad Fam (Bahrain)
John Thompson (Home Office) updates delegates on student visas
Kaye Hales (Embassy Group) assists Mohammed Al-Bawab (Embassy of Yemen)
Professor Christopher Costigan (BPP University) talks about the opportunities of Trans-National Education
Janice Grant (Abertay University) and Angeline Ward (University of Central Lancashire)
Will Archer (i-Graduate) in discussion with the Anglophone group
Chris Taylor (Worcester Univeristy) meets Voltaire Mauricio (Philippines)
Assistant Vice Chancellor of BPP University Amanda Blackmoor gives her opening remarks
Laura Thompson (International Community School) meets Lt Cdr Marthe Tsogo (Cameroon)
Shu Zhu (BPP University) talks to Dr T A Fauzi Soelaiman (Indonesia)