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British Council

The work that I’m doing is really impacting people’s lives positively… We are all outcomes of the experiences that we have, and I do not know what I would be without that experience of  [studying] in the UK.

Satya Prakash Dash, student

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Life cycle

2018

Country/Region

India and UK

Client/Partner

Department for International Trade (DiT)

Vision

To assert the life-long value of UK higher education in Overseas Development Assisted (ODA) countries, by pairing current students with alumni from the same region and providing opportunities for future successful career outcomes.

Situation

Study UK, a partnership between British Council and HMG’s GREAT Britain campaign, aims to recruit international students to UK higher education, benefitting the UK economy while creating opportunity in ODA countries. Although India is the fourth largest sending market of international students to the UK, student numbers have declined by 20 per cent between 2013 and 2017. More was needed to convince young Indian students of the advantage of studying in the UK, while mitigating negative sentiment in the market. 

Implementation

We partnered with Oath, a media company which includes Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft, to produce two impactful three and a half minute films featuring current Indian students in the UK in conversation with alumni based in Delhi. One film featured MBA studies while the other featured bio-sciences. 

The films were distributed across Oath’s wide-reaching network and pinpointed targeting to potential international students and their parents, in the form of 30 second pre-rolls and full-length films, all within a native advertising context. These encouraged further exploration of the UK as a study destination.

Impact 

During the campaign, the films have generated nearly 3.9 million video views, with impressive 84 per cent completed views for the 30 seconds versions and 29 per cent for the long 3-minute versions – almost double the benchmarks, indicating high engagement and interest within our target audience.

The campaign has generated nearly 80,000 visits to the Study UK site, where students could get more information about studying in the UK, scholarship opportunities and practical information.

The films will be used in the 2019/20 campaigns to a new cohort of students and their parents. Following the success of the campaign, we are delivering a similar campaign in Malaysia in 2019. We are planning additional high-impact media partnerships in 2019-20, delivering high-quality content at scale. We will also work on additional video projects inspired by the authentic, personal note of these films.

Mutual benefit

The campaign helped establish the UK as an unrivalled higher education destination amongst prospective students and their parents. Real Indian students and alumni took part in the programme, representing both the student experience in the UK and the prospects of a successful career.

The audience were encouraged to discover more on the British Council website, where they could also get information on scholarships and financial support, thus making studying in the UK more accessible.