Skip to main content

Great Britain - Empowering the World's Youth

According to the OECD, the UK's share of all 'international mobile higher education students' decreased from 10.8% to 9.9% between 2000 and 2009. In other words we are gradually becoming less competitive, losing out especially to the likes of Australia (5.1% in 2000 to 7.0% in 2009), Canada (4.6% to 5.2%), and New Zealand (0.4% to 1.9%).

Isn't it about time UK plc started marketing itself professionally to wealthy Chinese and Indian parents rather than leaving it up to individual cash-strapped institutions whose messages will be both weak and inconsistent?

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find sectors where the UK still excels internationally. Admittedly we're pretty good at some things (engineering, financial services, medical research, even agriculture - we have some of the most fertile land on the planet), but we're no longer world leaders in very much - except what is becoming known as the Knowledge Sector (Higher Education and discrete areas of R&D), and Media (marketing communications, and cultural stuff like music, TV, art, theatre and movies).

My proposition is that we combine these two strengths by using one to help sell the other, instead of moaning that British kids are being squeezed out of British unis by foreign kids - WHO ARE HELPING TO PAY FOR OUR KIDS TO BE EDUCATED AT ALL. British Higher Education is scalable. It is not a case of either domestic or foreign students!

So the plan is rather than hope each academic institution will be able to make an impression on every wealthy (or simply ambitious) Chinese and Indian parent to send them their increasing numbers of precious children, why don't we combine our marketing expertise to make a big impression on every target parent that the UK collectively offers:

  • Safety (stable government, safest roads in the world, multi-cultural, strongly secular)
  • 800 years of education excellence and globally recognised reputation
  • The home of the English language
  • Accessibility (more flights to more cities than any other country on Earth)
  • Many of their own community already here
The world's largest marketing services corporation is British (WPP), and we boast an incredible array of marketing communications expertise and talent which we already export widely. Instead of letting Chinese (etc) parents arrive at their own conclusions about where to send their darlings, why don't we take a leaf out of Australia's book and use our extraordinary marcoms skills to market the benefits of a UK education - and not just UK Universities, but all UK commercial educational institutions, including our public schools, and specialist colleges and academies?

So Minister Willetts, how about: 
  • Big fat punchy campaigns aimed at wealthy Chinese and Indian Parents selling UK Education:
    "Great Britain - Empowering your Children".
  • Make the British Council answerable to the DTI and not the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
  • Remove all obstacles for foreign students to study here.


Popular posts from this blog

Phillips screws - yes I'm angry about them too

Don't get me wrong. They're a brilliant invention to assist automation and prevent screwdrivers from slipping off screw heads - damaging furniture, paintwork and fingers in the process. Interestingly they weren't invented by Mr Phillips at all, but by a John P Thompson who sold Mr P the idea after failing to commercialise it. Mr P, on the otherhand, quickly succeeded where Mr T had failed. Incredible isn't it. You don't just need a good idea, you need a great salesman and, more importantly, perfect timing to make a success out of something new. Actually, it would seem, he did two clever things (apart from buying the rights). He gave the invention to GM to trial. No-brainer #1. After it was adopted by the great GM, instead of trying to become their sole supplier of Phillips screws, he sold licenses to every other screw manufacturer in the world. A little of a lot is worth a great deal more than a lot of a little + vulnerability (watch out Apple!). My gromble is abo

Addictions. Porn, Drugs, Alcohol and Sex. Don't prevent it, make it safer.

In 1926 New York, during Prohibition, 1,200 people were poisoned by whiskey containing small quantities of wood alcohol (methanol). Around 400 died, the rest were blinded. The methanol they drank was in the moonshine they had bought illegally. In fact it had been added by law to industrial ethanol in order to make it undrinkable. Prohibition existed to protect everyone from the 'evils of the demon drink'. However, people still wanted to enjoy alcohol. So bootleggers bought cheap industrial alcohol and attempted to distill it to remove the impurities the state had added, but the process wasn't regulated. The state was inadvertently responsible for the suffering - although it was easy for them to blame the bootleggers and to justify escalating the war. This didn't stop the bootleggers. In fact it forced them to become more violent to protect their operations, and even less cautious about their production standards. Volumes of illicit alcohol, and therefore proportionat

The Secrets of Hacker Golf

Social media is awash with professional golfers selling video training courses to help you perfect your swing, gain 50 yards on your drive and cut your handicap. They might help a few desperate souls, but the rest of us hackers already know everything we need to complete a round of golf without worrying the handicap committee or appearing on a competition winner's list. What those pros don't realise is that for us hacking golfers who very occasionally hit shots that if you hadn't seen how they were hit, end up where the pros might have put them, we already know everything we need to know - and more. Unlike pros who know how to time the perfect swing in order to caress a ball 350 yards down the centre of a fairway, we hackers need to assemble a far wider set of skills and know-how to complete 18 holes, about which pros have no comprehension, need, or desire to learn. Here are some of them: Never select your shot until after you've hit it. A variation on this is to alway