As well as promoting the UK as a study destination, the £6m Study UK Discover You campaign also aims to promote UK transnational education.
The initiative is part-funded by a £3m commitment from the UK government’s existing GREAT Britain campaign, which markets the UK in a number of areas including innovation, culture and business. The British Council has matched this amount, bringing the total funding to £6m.
“It’s also to encourage more international students to take up UK courses and qualifications overseas”
Jacqueline Jenkins, senior advisor – education engagement at the British Council, said the campaign will be looking at what UK education means to international students.
“It’s really about inspiring international students to realise the knowledge, confidence, skills that they gain while studying in UK education, and what kind of future that would lead them to,” she told The PIE News.
The campaign was originally going to be more tailored towards promoting solely the UK as a study destination, but has evolved to focus more broadly on what UK education means internationally, including TNE.
“[It’s] not just to encourage more international students to study in the UK,” said Jenkins. “It’s also to encourage more international students to take up UK courses and qualifications overseas.”
According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 665,000 students were studying offshore for UK degree in the academic year 2014/15, a number which has been on the rise.
A website which went live last month in a soft launch for the campaign provides practical advice for international students who are interested in pursuing a UK education, including visa information, scholarships and financial support, and accommodation.
It also features testimonials from previous international students, as well as information about life in the UK.
The GREAT campaign aims to promote specific UK strengths including its heritage, business, culture and English language. Education was not a focus of the initiative when it first launched in 2012, but its Education is GREAT arm was launched later in order to attract more international students to the UK.
“We’re doing huge amounts of strategic social media marketing now with this campaign”
Study UK Discover You is launching now to correspond with international students honing in on their study choices and applying to university.
“We’re rolling in the campaign now because that’s a critical [time] in the student decision making process,” said Jenkins.
The first phase of the campaign will be focused on marketing through social media.
“What we’re trying to do with this campaign is reach the students where they are through social media channels and the like,” said Jenkins.
“So we’re doing huge amounts of strategic social media marketing now with this campaign.”
It will also be targeting the already bourgeoning source markets, including China, India and Malaysia, before progressing on to target other markets around the world.