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British Council beefs up marketing support

Launched this month, British Council Services for International Education Marketing (BCSIEM) replaces the Education UK Partnership programme, providing support in seven core areas: consultancy; transnational education support; face-to-face briefings with British Council staff in-country; education intelligence (and statistical analysis); exhibitions; direct marketing and alumni services; and training for agents.

The British Council aim to help UK educators meet their internationalisation challenges in an evermore competitive market

New features of BCSIEM include access to 37 markets, rising to 41 in 2013

The British Council decided to overhaul its internationalisation marketing support services for UK educators – which HE and FE institutions, independent colleges and boarding schools can use. Anne Wozencraft, head of education at the British Council, said the service had been updated after a consultancy process with key bodies such as Universities UK and the Association of Colleges. It aims to help institutions thrive in an evermore complex and competitive operational landscape.

“I hope it allows UK educators to internationalise, to engage, but also to be able to make the best possible strategic decisions and access resources to have the most effective marketing,” she said.

New features of BCSIEM include access to 37 markets, rising to 41 in 2013. This is up from the previous 18 and includes less established countries such as Kazakhstan, Poland and Cyprus.

The service is also pay-as-you-go as opposed to subscription based, allowing clients to access information and services concerning only the markets they are interested in. In addition, regional teams of account managers deliver the service, providing clients with bespoke advice.

“Most of the institutions are very, very pleased [with the pricing model]”

“Most of the institutions are very, very pleased [with the pricing model] because it’s much more flexible for them,” said Wozencraft. “They might pay a lot less because they are only going for certain services in certain countries rather than a subscription for 18.”

She acknowledged that there have been changes to the funding model of many institutions. “They need to be evermore innovative and fast-moving in the way that they market themselves, and in the number of markets they are looking in,” she said. Changing modes of delivery such as transnational education and student visa curbs had also been drivers, she added.

A new website has been launched with regularly updated information, resources and news plus details of pricing. The Council said there would be flexibility in terms of the products and markets that could be included in the programme in future.

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