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Edinburgh College building on international success

Posted: 15th May 2019

With summer fast-approaching, Edinburgh College’s international team is reflecting on a busy start to the year and focussing on developing new partnerships across the world to expand its international commercial activity.

Edinburgh College’s international team has enjoyed a busy start to the year with a number of new projects and partnerships coming into being and other, more long-standing, relationships developing into new areas. This reflects Edinburgh College’s approach to international business development, which beyond traditional student recruitment includes providing bespoke programmes for international groups in areas where the College has expertise – English Language and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) – and using this same academic expertise to provide consultancy services overseas.

In recent months, this approach has seen a number of groups from around the world come to Edinburgh to study bespoke courses at the College. These have included a group of kindergarten teachers from Azerbaijan studying a course on Early Education and Childcare, a group of students from Japan studying English Language and Airline Operations, and groups of English language teachers from Italy, Colombia and Uzbekistan studying programmes on English Language Development and Teaching Methodology.

As well as these bespoke group programmes, Edinburgh College has continued its long-running partnership with Panama, through its support of the Panama Bilingüe programme. This government-funded programme aims to improve English language competency in Panama by upskilling up to 10,000 teachers in English language and pedagogy. Edinburgh College is one of the largest suppliers of teacher training courses for this programme and recently welcomed its 18th cohort of students from the programme to Edinburgh. This long-standing relationship has developed into new areas, more recently with Edinburgh College supporting the development of a tourism curriculum for a new national technical and vocational college that opened in Panama last month.

Expanding international activity

Edinburgh College aims to be Scotland’s pre-eminent college, and internationalisation and expanding commercial income is a key component in realising that ambition. Having an international perspective enriches College life for all our students, and also reflects a growing acceptance across the sector that commercial income is an essential provider of resource for Scotland’s colleges in a fiscally constrained environment.

In practice, for our international team, growing our commercial income means looking to expand the scope of our activities in key international markets such as Latin America and Asia, and continuing to adapt the services we offer to the ever-changing international market.

The city of Edinburgh’s long reputation as a centre for excellence in education, and its continued success as a tourism destination, makes for a sound platform to raise the profile of Edinburgh College and take advantage of the growing international demand for English Language and TVET provision. In so doing, Edinburgh College, in turn, looks to play its part in reinforcing Edinburgh’s reputation as a place where students and professionals can come to study in a city that is both a fantastic environment for learning and a great place to visit or to live.

Looking ahead to summer and beyond

While the prevailing political uncertainty does present challenges for educational institutions working internationally, it does not drastically alter the underlying dynamics of the international market for education, nor does it diminish Edinburgh College’s desire to expand the scope of its international activities.

With the above in mind, the international team at Edinburgh College is looking forward to welcoming students from across the world to study on the annual English Language Summer School, while work is always ongoing to expand Edinburgh College’s global reach and to engage with new partners, and explore new commercial opportunities, across the globe.

If you have any questions about international business at Edinburgh College, or partnering with us, please email international@edinburghcollege.ac.uk

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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