From China to Chile and everywhere in between
30 March 2015
March through May is a busy and exciting time for the International Office at Queen Mary University of London. It marks the peak period for admission to our postgraduate programmes which begin in September 2015 and the start of the counselling season for students who are considering applying for undergraduate degrees commencing September 2016.
QMUL’s 12 International Officers, based both in London and our three Regional Offices in Beijing, Delhi and Lahore, spend much of this period on the road attending exhibitions, visiting schools and partner universities, working with our local representatives and hosting offer holder events in cities across the world. During this three month period we will be visiting over thirty countries and regions worldwide, including: China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Nigeria, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Greece, Canada, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Chile. We will visit over 100 cities and engage with an estimated 5,000 students and parents through face to face meetings.
Over the past two weeks in Singapore and Indonesia I have had the opportunity to speak with some outstanding students from some of Asia’s best schools, as well as a large number of prospective postgraduates who have already been successful in the early stages of their careers; it is inspiring to hear their motivation to further their education in the UK. It has also been fantastic to meet with some of our Alumni Ambassadors now forging successful careers of their own whilst flying the flag for Queen Mary University of London and trumpeting UK Higher Education.
I am currently in the back of a Silver Bird taxi (anyone who has been to Indonesia will know of the Silver Birds!) navigating Jakarta’s notorious traffic on the way to meet with students and the careers counsellor at The British International School. Whilst I am not normally a fan of traffic jams (don’t mention the M25!), it is moments like this, where I am not wired into Wi-Fi and connected to the wider world, which give me the opportunity to reflect on the fantastic opportunities international students who come to the UK have during the course of their studies. I am fortunate to work for an institution which offers both an outstanding academic experience but also a learning environment which allows our students, whether from Santiago, Sheffield or Shanghai, to live and study alongside new friends representing over 150 nationalities. In that respect QMUL and our 20,000+ students is a microcosm of London as a society - a cosmopolitan melange of cultures, languages, life experiences and ambitions.
Pursuing higher education in the UK is not just about securing an internationally recognised qualification which can shape and lead to a long and successful career, though that is of course the end game, it is also about honing skills in teamwork, debate and independent learning, not to mention the personal development achieved through engaging in the superb sporting and social opportunities championed by Students’ Unions across the UK.
So as my driver escapes the highways of Jakarta and we draw closer to the excellent British International School I am thinking about how I, and my colleagues spread far and wide across the world, can articulate all of these messages into our various channels of communication with students, be it face to face, online or via the ever important channel of social media. So to this end I started a blog, in the back of a taxi, on the way the British International School, Jakarta.
Head of International Student Recruitment
Queen Mary University of London
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