New website boosts UK education promotion overseas

Tuesday 19 March 2013

The British Council is constructing an enhanced version of the popular Education UK website in order to build on its successful promotion and marketing of UK education providers operating in the UK and abroad.

In a highly competitive market, the UK is the second most attractive destination for international students worldwide. Each year, close to 500,000 students come to the UK to study at a boarding school, college or university, and an estimated 600,000 come for a short English language course. The reputation of the UK’s education sector is so strong that in 2011-12, an additional 571,000 students chose to take a UK course outside of the UK.

The British Council’s Education UK website aims to inspire students worldwide to choose a UK education, and offers impartial advice and resources to help students find suitable courses and scholarships. It currently receives over two million unique visitors annually.

In order to further grow its success in attracting students to the UK, the British Council has undertaken a competitive tender process, and has appointed Hotcourses Ltd to produce the enhanced Education UK website. The refreshed Education UK site will enhance the current service’s work to: promote the UK as a study destination and the value of a UK qualification; and help prospective students and partners to find the right UK education providers and study options.

Hotcourses produce a number of market-leading websites for domestic UK and international education markets and will bring their experience and expertise to bear in re-launching the Education UK website in a series of planned phases. The first will first improve existing services for users searching for courses, thereafter adding new functionality in the areas of:

  • Transnational Education – helping international students find and gain a UK qualification delivered in their own country.
  • Education Agent promotion – helping prospective student visitors to the UK find reputable agents.
  • Social media promotion - including the addition of course search to the Education UK presence across social media platforms.
  • Mobile access – offering platform-specific versions of the website to improve access to information for the growing number of prospective customers using mobile devices.

The enhanced website will go live in August 2013 and will build on the new services thereafter.

Hotcourses and the British Council will be engaging with education sector partners and stakeholders during the lead-up to and after the launch of the website to identify further improvements that will benefit all UK education sectors.

Dr Jo Beall, British Council director of education and society, said “The British Council has been promoting UK education overseas for almost eighty years, and ambitious students around the world are aware of the first class reputation the UK enjoys. However, our research suggests that the global boom in international students is going to level out, with students  becoming more savvy and the market more competitive. The UK can’t afford to rest on its laurels, so we 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. We’re very pleased to appoint Hotcourses, who have demonstrated excellence in this field, and we’re confident that the benefits of this appointment will soon be felt by the sector and international students alike.”

Mark O’Donoghue, Hotcourses Managing Director said “We are very proud to be appointed to re-energise the Education UK website, build its traffic and deliver a compelling proposition for both prospective students and UK education providers, wherever they may be based. 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 to UK education providers of the Education UK brand in digital media.”

 

Notes to Editor

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.

We work in more than 100 countries, and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.

We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of £739 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%. We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose.

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org/.

Hotcourses is the UK’s leading producer of websites that help people find the right course for themselves. Hotcourses websites are used by over 50 million visitors annually across UK adult learning and schools, UK higher education and international student markets. Hotcourses has offices in the UK, Australia, Malaysia, the USA and India.

For more information please contact Tim Sowula, Senior Press Officer, tim.sowula@britishcouncil.org or (020) 7389 4871