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StudyWorld’s flexible format helps build new partnerships between agents and educators

Published EDU-WorldWide on Wednesday, September 12, 2018

StudyWorld’s new flexible meeting options are changing the way agents and educators behave.

The increasing popularity of table-free meetings is having unexpected and positive effects, maximising meeting and networking opportunities.

 “There’s a lot more opportunity to bump into people. Agents I already know are bringing agents I don’t know to introduce them,” said Malvern House’s Ben Delaney, adding: “That’s different to last year. It’s word-of-mouth in a business context and a kind of quality control. It’s a surprising benefit, and a win-win for everyone.”

The Mackenzie School of English’s Chris Moonie agreed: “It’s nice to move around: it’s refreshing and dynamic and helps meetings because you’re moving round and connecting with other people. There are lots of incidental meetings.”

Swiss agent Claudio Cesarano was also impressed by the new format, which allows educators to have pre-arranged appointments anywhere in the venue, after meeting at a pre-arranged point. “It’s a nice atmosphere, everyone doing business. I like the meeting points and you can go with someone to the coffee bar talking away which makes it lively. You’ve got time to say hello to people and renew contacts and that’s an important part of it as well.”

Till Gins, Director of OISE, thought the UK focus gave StudyWorld “purpose and a sense of direction some of the other workshops don’t have” and also approved of the more flexible meetings. “If you don’t really connect with the person, you don’t have to spend twenty minutes with them – you can do ten minutes, pick up on everything and move on. It’s actually better if schools don’t have to sit there with an agent and pretend they are interested, and I think it’s very convivial.”

Participants reported being very busy. Carmel Roche and Naomi Willoughby from Edge Hill University, who were fully booked, had agents trying to catch them for five minutes between meetings. Carmel added: “One guy sat watching us for four hours asking if we could give him five minutes. It’s been great: we’ve got lots of agents to follow up and we’ve been squeezing in extra appointments where we could.”

Jodie Gray, English UK’s director of strategy, said: “We’re also getting feedback that StudyWorld has caught the imagination of our delegates and that they can really use our new format to maximise their meeting time. Networking has always been at the heart of our event, and this is taking it to a new level.”

Other highlights of StudyWorld 2018, which welcomed around 700 delegates from over 50 countries, included the very successful visit of a special delegation from the Gulf states. Basim Ibrahim of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority said: “StudyWorld made us feel very welcome and was very helpful, and it was really worthwhile. I look forward to a fruitful partnership moving forward. StudyWorld has been fantastic for us.”

The keynote speech from journalist Lindsey Hilsum, in which she urged educators to work with journalists in promoting “news literacy” to combat fake news was also popular with delegates.

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