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Pearson event offers business insight for UK HE

Pearson, describing itself as the “world’s largest education company” in its introduction to UK delegates this week, hosted a targeted business insight event for the HE community, while reinforcing that its Pearson PTE Academic test is a growing force within the competitive and lucrative high-stakes English language testing industry.

"We were keen to organise an event that focused on business intelligence for stakeholders in the sector"

Graham Smith from Pearson underlined the exam’s new live seat-search facility across 42 countries, while handing over to a panel of industry experts to deliver market intelligence.

The panel comprised Amy Baker from The PIE News; Tania Lima from the government’s HE International Unit (and UK liaison for Brazil’s Science without Borders programme); Ros Martin from Pennington’s Solicitiors (specialising in Tier 4 compliance); and Kate McAleenan, Head of UK Education Services (UKES), a new division created by Department for Business (BIS) and UKTI.

While The PIE talked about what the UK’s competitor countries were up to, Lima pressed home the opportunity that Brazil’s Science without Borders scholarship programme represents, with Brazil reportedly indicating “at least 10,000” students will be UK-bound under what Lima referred to as “massive mobility programme”.

Lima also revealed that from 2013, pre-sessional English will be covered by Brazilian scholarship stipends, although if the beneficiaries of the programme fail to make the required English language level to progress on to undergraduate studies, they will be required to return home.

McAleenan told delegates that UKES was set up this summer following an announcement in the Growth Review last year. Vince Cable announced in the UK’s industrial strategy that there would be an education strategy coming out in 2013. The unit, currently operating on a trial basis, will focus on opportunities overseas rather than on recruiting students into the UK.

Universities Minister, David Willetts, will head up a trade mission to Mexico and Colombia next year

As part of a commitment to building up education exports, McAleenan explained that Universities Minister, David Willetts, will head up a trade mission to Mexico and Colombia next year.

“We were keen to organise an event that focused on business intelligence for stakeholders in the sector, confident that they would appreciate the event if they learnt something new,” said Pearson’s Henry Tolley. “Feedback from delegates indicates we succeeded in achieving this and we look forward to hosting targeted industry insight events again for the HE community.”

In the afternoon, Pearson also hosted an event for the English language teaching sector, to launch the third edition of its coursebook, Cutting Edge. Delegates at that event were delighted that Colombian ballet star, Fernando Montano – who is featured in the new coursebook as a case study – arrived to put on a live display of his ballet skills.

 

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