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Exploring people behind the policy in ‘voices’ digest

The launch of a new PIE Insider digest on leadership in international education explores the role of personal brand and reputation in the sector.

The reach and influence of individuals is often greater and more impactful than corporate communications

The European digest also features an exclusive interview with Sir Steve Smith, the UK International Education Champion.

The first in a series that will also cover North America and APAC regions, the report contains a list of 50 voices either domiciled or operating in the European sector that we think offer an interesting commentary on the international education ecosystem.

The list includes a range of experienced leaders, rising stars, disrupters and policy makers who have something to say.

In a time when audiences are increasingly searching for authenticity and reality-based content, the voice and platform of individuals is becoming an important factor in furthering organisational goals.

Like it or not, the reach and influence of individuals is often greater and more impactful than corporate communications. Social media channels such as LinkedIn now equal traditional platforms for thought leadership such as conferences or publications.

Phil Baty, chief global affairs officer for Times Higher Education, who is named in the list of 50 voices for Europe, took to social media, saying it was an “honour” to be included in the list.

“Every day I appreciate how lucky I am to have the pleasure and privilege to work in such a vital and vibrant sector, with so many great friends and colleagues all across the world,” said Baty.

Even the UK international education strategy has a unique figurehead role in the form of an international education champion, spearheading the delivery of the plan and acting as a named representative for government officials overseas, a constant in what has been a time of political change in the UK government.

Speaking in the digest, Sir Steve Smith explained “my job is not to be in any spotlight. Away from the politics happening in the world, we’re just focusing on what’s doable.”

“The fact that the international education champion, not specifically me as a person, that role is back again [meeting with country representatives] is an important signifier. Government ministers may change but the principles have continued,” Smith said.

The interview reveals personal details about Smith’s own childhood and how those formative experiences have shaped his drive and motivation to champion UK education.

“The aim is to humanise our leaders and policy-makers, and highlight the challenges they face on a personal level”

The timing of the digest’s release is part of the build up to The PIE Live Europe, a flagship leadership conference taking place in London between March 28-29, 2023. There will be a session on the ‘voices’ led by The PIE’s director of insight, Nicholas Cuthbert.

“I am very proud of the interview with Sir Steve and the signposting to interesting perspectives across our network,” said Cuthbert. “The aim is to humanise our leaders and policy-makers, and highlight the challenges they face on a personal level.”

On-stage communications are an important part of effective leadership as the sector tries to communicate its vision, values and goals. Finding your voice can be important skills in motivating and leading a team, as well as influencing external relationships and business.

Readers can download The PIE Insider Leadership digest and 50 voices for 2023 – Europe here.

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