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African and global educators, agents, and service providers come together at the inaugural ICEF Africa Workshop

Published Bernice on Thursday, May 24, 2018

The inaugural ICEF Africa Workshop was held in Cape Town, South Africa, between May 15th and 17th, 2018. This event brought global educators together with African agents, and also saw international agents networking with South African educators. The workshop’s 271 participants came from 49 countries, including 19 different markets across Africa, and took part in 2 499 one-to-one business meetings over two days.

130 educators from 98 institutions spread across 18 countries attended this highly-anticipated event. Just under half of the educators attending ICEF Africa came from major destination markets such as Canada, the US, and the UK, with strong representation from South African and Malaysian education institutions. Nearly one-third of educators came from important destinations such as Australia, Ireland, and Switzerland.

Simon Gooch, Director of Student Recruitment Africa, ELS International Pathways, Princeton (USA), said: “I was delighted to meet agents from 14 different African countries. Most importantly, many of these countries are ones where we currently have no representation, so I am confident that I have filled several gaps in our coverage of Africa. For institutions looking to broaden the diversity of their student body, this workshop is a must.”

Aldo Mendizabal, Manager, International Recruitment and Admissions, Durham College, Oshawa (Canada), added: “I was able to connect with great agents from all over Africa and have developed excellent relations with them. As a priority market for many schools, Africa has great business potential and ICEF has effectively filled the void, giving us a forum to connect and engage with new business partners.”

Simon Harrison, Director, the English Language Centre, University of Cape Town (South Africa), said: “It was fantastic to have the opportunity to meet with agents who were specifically interested in the South African market. The selection of agents was very good and I felt the contacts we made will have a very positive impact on our business. We will definitely attend future events.”

On the agent side, the breadth and diversity of African interest in international education was underlined by the fact that 64% of the agents present came from 19 markets across Africa, including Zimbabwe, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), and Kenya. Nigeria sent the most agents to ICEF Africa of any country (29%), followed by Cameroon, Ghana, Brazil, and South Africa.

Felly Mpita, Student Advisor at FEMAF (DR Congo), said: “The organisation was great and the people were wonderful – thank you!”, and Clive Willemse, Director, Niro Consulting Services, Windhoek (Namibia), added: “This event helped us to expand the company and our services a great deal!“

Lars Zimmermann, Managing Director, Academic Embassy, Bonn (Germany), said: “My expectations were absolutely exceeded. The venue was great and the atmosphere fantastic for mingling with current and potential partners from South Africa and beyond. The South African educators are a great crowd – so dedicated, enthusiastic and above all, representatives of great products and services.”

In summing up the event, Johannes Kraus, Chairperson of Education South Africa (EduSA), which sponsored the dinner reception at ICEF Africa, commented: “Showcasing South Africa and marketing directly to agents around the world has been truly amazing. It has put South Africa as an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) destination on the global map, and I am sure it will have an enormous impact on the future growth of our industry. Much appreciation to the ICEF team for a fabulously-organised event and for providing us with this wonderful opportunity!”

Three exciting FAM tours allowed attendees to see various locations in South Africa, while all enjoyed many informal networking opportunities, including a dinner reception featuring a 14-dish menu with food from all over Africa and entertainment from traditional African dancers and singers.

The next ICEF Africa Workshop will take place in May 2019 in Cape Town. For more information, please go to:

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