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London unis launch cohesive marketing drive

A group of leading London universities plans to use the high profile events happening in London this summer, such as the Olympic Games, to promote the city as a world-leading study destination abroad.

Representatives of the The London Universities International Partnership, which will promote London as the world's most popular student city abroad

“This summer’s major events provide a great opportunity for us to work together"

Launched at the House of Lords this week during the Going Global event, the London Universities International Partnership (LUIP) is a collaboration between 14 London universities and the city’s official promotional organisation, London & Partners, designed to help London retain its position as the world’s most popular student city in an increasingly competitive market.

In a statement, LUIP said London was the world’s most popular study destination with more than 105,000 international students from 210 countries, but faced growing competition. Countries offering degrees in English and the UK’s restricted student visa policies were said to be among its challenges.

Chair of LUIP, Gary Davies, said, “Global competition for this lucrative and talented segment of the [international student] population is growing and misunderstanding around the recent changes in the UK’s immigration regulations for students have made the international recruitment landscape more challenging.

“By working collaboratively to maintain our world leading position, we want to make sure the message is clear that we are open for business whilst demonstrating the amazing benefits of studying in London.”

LUIP will also launch the London Study Ambassadors Award in the USA and India

LUIP will use channels such as marketing, lobbying and partnerships to spread the message about London’s great offering for students. The campaign kicks off with two social media and alumni campaigns this summer to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games.

LUIP will also launch the London Study Ambassadors Award in the USA and India this summer, in which international students (one from each university) win exclusive business boot camps and city tours. In exchange they will work with London & Partners as ambassadors to promote London in their home countries.

“This summer’s major events provide a great opportunity for us to work together to promote all of the elements that make London a great global city, including our world-leading higher education sector,” said Davies.

To coincide with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in May, social media influencers from China will tour the city and its universities with LUIP, relaying their experiences to millions of online followers back home.

The tour will also be featured on one of China’s most popular television shows, Happy Camp

One celebrity, the Olympic diver Li Na, has 7 million followers on Weibo, while TV presenter He Jiong is said to have 10 million. The tour will also be featured on one of China’s most popular shows, Happy Camp.

Brunel University, City University London, Goldsmiths University, Kings College London and the University of the Arts London are among the universities participating in the scheme. For a full list visit the LUIP website.

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