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StudyWorld revs up business energy

While a number of UK schools admitted that London 2012 had not been the best incentive for many English language students this summer, and talk of the London Metropolitan University debacle was omnipresent, business optimism bubbled away in many corners at the most recent “international student recruitment forum”, known as StudyWorld, which happened this week in London.

Hall 2

UKBA plans to dramatically increase pre-entry TB screening for another 67 countries

Many of the members of English UK – which organises StudyWorld – nodded to a busy junior market and the promotion of London 2012 on the world stage as factors fuelling their determination that business from here on in will prosper.

Education agencies attended in their hundreds to meet new and established partners; some such as those representing Spanish companies attested to a challenging operating environment nevertheless.

English UK organised seminars ahead of the “business speed-dating” workshop to deliver crucial information regarding the ever-changing visa environment, which the London Met story was a fine reminder of.

Erica Thurbon from UKBA discussed the “credibility testing” – interview sampling for high-risk nationals – that was announced and began in July, explaining that it will be on a completely random basis among those nationalities affected. She also spoke about UKBA plans to dramatically increase pre-entry tuberculosis screening for another 67 countries, up from the current list of 15.

Nathan Power, representing a growing Chinese language teaching business, also spoke about how to attract Chinese students and – crucially – their parents.

Over 800 delegates attended the event altogether, which Tony Millns, CEO of English UK, hailed as “very successful, very relaxed, very productive”. Plenty of social events were organised around the three-day conference, such as a party in City Hall organised by English UK London and an evening reception in Kensington Gardens to toast the centenary celebrations of the London School of English.

Jodie Gray, senior international manager at the association, said a Director Pass, enabling access for senior management, and a new bowling party on the penultimate evening, were both innovations that went down well with delegates.

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