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College strengthens its international presence with influential China visit

Nottingham College’s bid to further its global links and to increase its international student base is moving forward with a recent visit to four of China’s cities by the College’s overseas ambassador.

Shaf Hussain, the College’s Head of International and Projects, was one of only three people selected as a guest speaker to represent the UK education sector at the British Council Agent Training Workshops during the Chinese visit.

The workshops, run by the British Council – which is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, were set up between the 4th and 11th December to promote and represent the UK FE college sector to students and parents in the country via education agent consultants (responsible for representing and helping with their educational planning).

Leading and presenting the British Council workshops, Shaf had the fantastic opportunity to promote our international provision to a large number of consultants around China – 180 attended the event in Beijing, 160 in Shanghai, 100 in Guangzhou and 80 in Chengdu.

Speaking of the visit, Mr Hussain, who has attended many global exhibitions around the world to promote the benefits of studying at Nottingham College said:

“It was a fantastic opportunity for me to attend these inspiring workshops on behalf of the College and to try to drive international student numbers for 2018 and beyond. The purpose of me attending was to try to positively impact on the international student market and I’m happy to say that I feel that I was able to achieve this.

“It was good timing for the College to attend such an event where we could promote ourselves as a reputable FE provider, highlight our new brand following our recent merger and just simply get our name out there.”

The visit was a success as Mr Hussain who was has worked at the College for 22 years, was able to inform student representatives about the benefits of the UK FE sector, as well as the appeal of studying at Nottingham College and within Nottingham City as a whole – with a view to positively impacting on the market and driving up student numbers for September 2018.

Education consultants representing students and their parents in China were able to ask a variety of questions and put their views forward through the event panel sessions.

Nottingham College, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English Language, has contacts around the world and has a successful track record – with 32 years’ experience delivering education to international students, of which many progress onto the top 20 Universities.  It is hoped that visits to countries like China will further raise the profile and appeal of the College.

Shaf Hussain felt that the China visit was a positive experience and fulfilled the College’s aims in highlighting its ability to stand out as a progressive FE College provider on a global scale. He added:

“Overall this opportunity has been great in promoting the FE Public Sector Colleges in the UK to a large number of Chinese agents. It highlighted the strength, experience and provision of UK FE Sector and a strong message went out to agents highlighting that FE is the best place to prepare international students for UK University Study.

“I was also able to explain to the education agents how the College can support Chinese students, which included informing them of the variety of the high value College courses offered which have proven to enable students to progress to top Universities.”

Nottingham College offers a range of Level 3 Foundation/Access to Higher Education courses, which are specially geared towards international students. There’s currently seven different programs which have proven to be very appealing to students in China, which are Business, Architecture, Management and Economics, Engineering, Accounting, Science and Medicine (due to come in in September 2019), as well as A-Level Programmes.

In addition, the College has a wide range of other Level 3 and HE courses available to international students alongside UK students. The international provision is based at High Pavement Campus on Chaucer Street in Nottingham City Centre.

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