Dr Jo Beall, the British Council’s director of education, said that despite catering to more than a million students each year, on and offshore, the UK couldn’t afford to “rest on its laurels”.
“Our research suggests that the global boom in international students is going to level out”
“Our research suggests that the global boom in international students is going to level out [by 2020], with students becoming more savvy and the market more competitive,” she said.
“So we’ve decided to revamp our digital offer to build on its success and help even more students get the information they need to facilitate them choosing to come to the UK.”
The Education UK site receives over two million unique visitors annually, offering advice and resources to help students find British courses and scholarships. Hotcourses, whose course portals have 50 million visits each year, promises to “reenergise” the brand and increase traffic.
It will improve the site’s search facilities in time for its relaunch this August. Later, it will add sections helping foreigners find UK transnational education opportunities and reputable agents. Education UK’s social media presence and mobile access will also be improved.
Mark O’Donoghue, managing director at Hotcourses, said: “At a time of significant change in global education markets, and pressure on UK institutions, we look forward to working with the British Council and the UK education sector to make the most of the potential benefit…of the Education UK brand in digital media.”
The Education UK presence on across social media platforms will also improve, along with mobile access
There was controversy over the Education UK brand in January, when in an alleged oversight, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills launched a new unit to promote transnational education under the same name. The British Council has since reassured stakeholders it is working with the new unit under the same brand.
Each year, close to 500,000 students study at a British boarding school, college or university, with 600,000 taking English language courses. In addition 571,000 students chose to take a UK course outside the UK in 2011-12.