Across England and the UK, we are getting lots of questions from leaders of HE institutions and city regions. They are interested in what we are doing to gather insight from other countries through our networks on student intentions post-Covid, as well as what we are doing to support the international student recruitment process for this coming academic year. With almost half a million international students pursuing their degree in the UK in 2018-19, many institutions are looking to a national and coordinated effort to ensure the impact on their international students from the pandemic is kept to a minimum.

We have been working with our partners, including UUKI, BUILA and the Study UK/GREAT campaign to support the HE sector to focus on the immediate implications and possible solutions to support UK decision-making and strategic direction. Through our International Education Services (IES) team, we are sharing information and updates on the development of in-country Covid 19 issues available via IES Market News and holding monthly webinars to share analysis of the implications for student mobility and transnational education. Our recent surveys carried out in China, India and Pakistan on student concerns and intentions are presented online in a really accessible video format.

We are also facilitating communications from the UK to local students, agents and counsellors overseas through dedicated platforms for UK institutions to communicate updates on policy changes and deadline updates through our StudyUK online platforms. The Study UK global website is being regularly updated with the latest guidance on health and safety, exams, visas etc for international students and students are being directed to the website via social media posts. Digital marketing solutions for UK institutions to reach out to local students are increasingly important in this time, so our IES team has rolled out a series of digital campaigns and virtual fairs, starting with a China Spring Media campaign specifically addressed to the Chinese market and the Post Gaokao Virtual Clearing Exhibition. 

As lockdown eases in China and starts to ease in other countries, we are doing horizon scanning and exploratory and in-depth analysis on opportunities, challenges and changes contributing to innovation and development in specific areas of international education and/or the industry as a whole due to Covid-19. A good example is in East Asia, where British Council IES team has launched the Education Futures Mini Conference Series – a digital conference series of discussions and reports for UK education institutions, UK government stakeholders and UK sector bodies with interests in internationalisation and international education. This builds on our existing support to help the UK education sector manage risks and identify opportunities during the pandemic.

Meanwhile in South Asia, as part of our ongoing support to IELTS partners and Higher Education counsellors, British Council IES and British Universities’ International Liaison Association held a joint webinar. The webinar, Policy and Advice from the UK Higher Education Sector (South Asia), highlighted measures taken for students due to Covid-19 and shared the insights for prospective students on online teaching, visa and travel advice.

All of this insight and data is feeding into our Going Global 2020 Conference which is free and open to all to attend. There is no better way to identify major trends in global HE education than to attend some of the sessions.

If you are interested in finding out more about the work of our IES team and the range of services we offer, please contact:

If you would like to find out more information on any of the specific webinars or campaigns referenced in this article, then contact