Freshers Festival Group in partnership with Homes for Students and China-Britain Business Council are set to run their first overseas event this March – Freshers Festival China – to help Chinese students learn more about studying in the UK.
China sends more students to the UK than any other country, with more than 150,000 Chinese students currently studying at UK universities. After the impact of Brexit and the pandemic, this number looks set to increase even further in the coming years (CCTV, 2021 Recent UCAS figures have shown a record number of applications from Chinese students hoping to study in the UK increasing by 12% with numbers now in excess of 28,000.
However, the information available to Chinese students about studying in the UK has long been lacking. Most organisations do not have a presence on Chinese social media channels and websites, and this means students are often not well informed about where / what to study, as well as lacking knowledge of key student issues such as accommodation, travel, discounts, and more. Expede International recently conducted a study of over 1300 Chinese students wanting to study in the UK, and found that these students are looking for more information on student accommodation (70%), flights (51%), and visa information (46%), among many other aspects of UK student life.
Freshers Festival China seeks to solve this problem. The virtual event will be livestreamed on Weibo, the largest social platform in China with over 850 million users, giving millions more students the chance to find out about UK student life. The event has been designed to celebrate the best of British education, and will not only feature universities and educational institutions, but also brands, service providers, and organisations involved in all parts of university life. Students will therefore be able to find information on study, visa applications, travel arrangements, accommodation, and everything in between.
The event is not only a fantastic opportunity for students, but it will allow universities, brands, and service providers the opportunity to promote their products and services to millions of students, without the need for travel, translators, or tiresome phone calls. It will be the simplest, most direct way to communicate with a Chinese student audience.
After the success of Freshers Festival Group’s virtual events in 2020 and 2021, which reached more than a million 18-24s in the UK, the founder of Freshers Festival Group, Graeme Barratt, hopes for Freshers Festival China will offer the same benefits to students in China:
Graeme Barratt, Managing Director & Founder of Freshers Festival Group:
“At Freshers Festival Group our aim is to create experiences which encourage students to connect with each other as well as the brands and organisations they need to make their time in education fun, positive and successful. Usually students would be well-informed by friends or family who had recently travelled to the UK but with restrictions stopping that for many the information isn’t there in the same way it was pre-pandemic. With so many students desperate to come the UK we want to fill this information vacuum to deliver the best content we can to equip them to make positive decisions while considering their move to the UK.”
Homes for Students Head of Partnerships Chris Cater added:
“We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Freshers Festival China. Through this partnership we are able to showcase the experiences available to future residents, from the stunning places to live, to our great locations and of course our well informed and supportive team. At Homes for Students we understand the considerations taken into account when making the decision to study abroad and with us, students find not only a place to live but also a place to thrive, meet new friends and live new experiences. Our robust relationships with local universities makes us the perfect choice for students hoping to live and study in the UK next year and we look forward to answering lots their questions once the fair is underway. ”
The event will be broadcast through a collaboration between China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), the leading organisation to promote trade between Britain and China, Homes for Students (HFS) one of the UK’s leading providers of student accommodation, Expede International (EI) international student specialists and Freshers Festival Group (FFG), who have run some of the largest student events in the UK for over 15 years.
After universities and organisations saw success with their virtual open days and events during the pandemic, the next logical step is to take these events to different countries, and run them in different languages, to reach as many people as possible. Freshers Festival China will do exactly this, and hopefully give students as much information as possible about UK university life, in order to help them make a more informed higher education choice.