Malleable Musings

December 4, 2011

HE Global

The Chancellor’s Autumn statements last Tuesday had a couple of impacts for Higher Education.  However it wasn’t the  £200 million boost to science funding that caught my eye.  It was paragraph A 80 of the Autumn Statement Document.

Education export opportunities – The Government will launch HE Global, an online portal providing information and advice to higher education (HE) institutions on expanding abroad. It will also develop a vehicle to bring together government, the HE sector and industry expertise to package and sell education offers overseas.

My initial reaction was, “Oh great – another website.”  Then I thought about the timing.  The Autumn Statement was delivered on the first day of the EducationUK Partnership meeting, probably the leading conference for those working in UK HE international student recruitment.  From talking to colleagues who attended I don’t think HE Global was mentioned to delegates in Edinburgh.

This therefore sounded like it would be a UKTI-led initiative whose usefulness would depend on who was actually doing the work.  When I was doing international office type work I never really found the UKTI to be all that helpful.  Most of their staff didn’t really seem to understand the issues that HE institutions face when working overseas, or what they are trying to achieve.  I’d used them in the past to arrange Ambassador’s receptions and I also read their briefing notes, like these ones for Singapore (2010 and 2011).  For me these Singapore notes are particularly interesting as I’d sat through intelligence gathering meetings between UKTI consultants and Singaporean HEIs, having been invited in to the meetings by the Singaporeans.

Therefore I was gladdened to see a note on the International Unit website on Friday saying that HE Global is an initiative that they are involved with.  From the site:

The HE Global is a web portal and will give users:

  • better knowledge of foreign market opportunities,
  • clearer and coordinated services of government and partners’ services,
  • better understanding of foreign quality assurance and accrediting systems,
  • access to finance and insurances to reduce risks and
  • access to key information to help HEIs assess risks and carry out due diligence before undertaking TNE activities.

Points 2-5 certainly look interesting therefore I’ve already emailed Alex and will be watching out for the launch on 25th Jan.

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