Because the world comes collectively to rejoice Worldwide College students’ Day, I’m delighted to have the ability to write a couple of marketing campaign my staff and I’ve been main at Universities UK Worldwide, #WeAreInternational: Reworking Lives. This marketing campaign goals to enhance perceptions amongst potential worldwide college students of how welcoming a examine vacation spot the UK is, by empowering the voices of worldwide college students at present right here to inform the story of their experiences.
One shining instance is Dhionis Llanaj from Albania, who used his graduate-route visa to work as a nurse on a vital care unit at Leeds College’s Educating Hospital NHS Belief in the course of the pandemic.
Dhionis, who studied on the College of Leeds by way of a Research Group pathway route, not solely balanced his intensive research in Medical Sciences but in addition made vital contributions to the healthcare sector within the UK.
Dhionis displays on his journey, commenting, “Working as an Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse and finding out Medical Sciences full-time was tough. To attend college, I wanted to make use of my annual go away and request an evening shift working sample. I’m delighted to say that I made it.”
At this time, he works as an Schooling Practitioner, coaching new employees, apprentices and nurses.
The relaunched and reinvented #WeAreInternational marketing campaign comes at a vital time, as immigration coverage modifications threaten to wreck perceptions of the UK as a examine vacation spot.
FindAUniversity, a key marketing campaign associate, has been monitoring each these elements in regard to potential worldwide post-graduate taught audiences (a considerable phase of the UK’s worldwide consumption). Most alarmingly, these audiences regard the UK as one of many least welcoming of a set of standard examine locations – beneath Canada, the US and Germany, and solely ever so barely above Australia.
FindAUniversity’s distinctive ‘share of search’ insights have additionally seen a major shift within the examine intentions of potential worldwide Masters college students. Worldwide curiosity in UK alternatives dropped by 21 proportion factors year-on-year in October 2023, with a corresponding swing to the US and EU.
This shift comes after each the September 2023 consumption (the final to be unaffected by visa modifications) and the announcement of considerable visa payment will increase on October 4.
Nonetheless, a spread of information demonstrates that the #WeAreInternational marketing campaign is pushing again towards these shifts. A ballot run by UUKi with round 1,500 potential worldwide college students evidences that 38% really feel we’re a extra welcoming examine vacation spot after participating with the marketing campaign.
FindAUniversity has additionally been monitoring consciousness of the marketing campaign amongst its audiences, discovering a regular improve as universities and companions assist share the message. Its knowledge additionally helps the marketing campaign impression as, amongst over 1,000 potential worldwide masters college students surveyed in September and October, these conscious of the #WeAreInternational marketing campaign are 17 proportion factors extra more likely to charge the UK as a welcoming vacation spot.
As Mark Bennett, FindAUniversity’s director of Viewers and Perception, commented, “This marketing campaign alone can’t take away the substantial obstacles going through worldwide college students, nevertheless it clearly will help audiences perceive and admire the chances which can be past them and underline the welcome, assist and alternatives for fulfillment that UK universities will at all times supply college students from wherever on this planet.”
Greater than 80 universities have actively participated within the marketing campaign, which has reached greater than 30 million folks to this point, with content material created – by us and by universities – being amplified by many different companions comparable to IDP, UCAS, QS and extra.
We even have marketing campaign companions, comparable to NCUK, a number one pathway supplier within the sector initially based by a consortium of UK universities, creating content material for us. They enlisted the assistance of their worldwide pupil ambassadors, at present finding out at their UK associate universities, to share their distinctive views of finding out a pathway qualification of their dwelling nation earlier than succeeding of their research at college.
Stuart Smith, NCUK’s CEO, advised me, “Worldwide college students who’ve transitioned to the UK by way of an NCUK qualification, supplied in over 40 international locations, function highly effective, genuine ambassadors for this marketing campaign. We’re dedicated to empowering their voices and their success tales are a testomony to the transformative energy of worldwide schooling.”
Storytelling is a strong instrument for model constructing, and a compelling story can set you aside from the competitors and resonate deeply together with your goal audiences – the UK, as a examine vacation spot, wants this proper now and we should proceed to spend money on and assist the #WeAreInternational marketing campaign.
In a world the place universities are going through fixed criticism, storytelling in greater schooling has by no means been extra essential – it transcends cultures, enabling us to share experiences and join with others; it may empower the voices of these on the coronary heart of what we do, informing and provoking; and it builds a way of camaraderie, pleasure and group.
We have to be daring sufficient, collectively working collectively and talking with one voice, to inform our story with conviction, impression and minimize by way of. Let’s bear in mind our true function, give attention to championing the work we do to reside it, an talk to the broader world what we already know – that we’re a welcoming examine vacation spot that values the contributions worldwide college students make; a examine vacation spot that delivers prime quality schooling and outcomes; and that UK greater schooling has the facility to rework lives.
Concerning the writer: Andy Howells has been in publish as assistant director for Exterior Affairs at Universities UK Worldwide since 2019, and he leads UUKi’s campaigns, advertising and stakeholder engagement actions. He’s led his staff to a number of award wins, most not too long ago profitable ‘Advertising and marketing Marketing campaign of the 12 months’ at The PIEoneer Awards in 2023 for UUKi’s #TwinForHope marketing campaign. Andy has labored within the sector for over 15 years, and from November 27, 2023, he’ll take up publish as chief advertising officer for NCUK.
With contributions from Mark Bennett, director of Viewers and Perception at FindAUniversity, and Stuart Smith, CEO, NCUK.