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A DRIVE in the right direction

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A DRIVE in the right direction

A marketing and recruitment conference in Kuala Lumpur was a crucial component in INTO’s focused and sustained effort to rev up student enrolment numbers.

A marketing and recruitment conference in Kuala Lumpur was a crucial component in INTO’s focused and sustained effort to rev up student enrolment numbers. Eighty-four delegates from INTO regional offices, UK and US centres and our Brighton and San Diego offices flew in for several intensive days of workshops, presentations and interaction at the DRIVE conference - so-called to reflect its mission to Deliver Recruitment Initiatives to driVe Enrolments. “The point of DRIVE was to get everyone directly involved in INTO recruitment discussing and reviewing our strategy and processes, and agreeing upon actions to boost student numbers,” says chief comm… Read the full article
A marketing and recruitment conference in Kuala Lumpur was a crucial component in INTO’s focused and sustained effort to rev up student enrolment numbers.

Eighty-four delegates from INTO regional offices, UK and US centres and our Brighton and San Diego offices flew in for several intensive days of workshops, presentations and interaction at the DRIVE conference - so-called to reflect its mission to Deliver Recruitment Initiatives to driVe Enrolments.

“The point of DRIVE was to get everyone directly involved in INTO recruitment discussing and reviewing our strategy and processes, and agreeing upon actions to boost student numbers,” says chief commercial officer Sean Grant, the person who turned the ignition key for DRIVE, and who, along with group chief operating officer Anmar Kawash, will decide which of the initiatives suggested during the conference will be explored and, potentially, implemented.

“Of course, new recruitment initiatives were high on the agenda, and formed the basis for many of the presentations, but there was also a firm emphasis on getting smarter about how we both promote and use our existing resources and products.”

Assistant director (strategic projects) Stuart Coleman, who planned DRIVE’s ‘route’, got it across the starting line, and steered delegates throughout their five-day conference journey, says: “The main thrust of the conference was to refocus everyone on our mission to recruit students by allowing people to share and air their thoughts on key areas like product development, entry requirements, conversion strategy, scholarships, technology and digital I hope that all who attended found it as inspiring and informative as we hoped it would be.”

INTO London World Education Centre director David Silbergh definitely did: “I liked the fact that the workshops were structured to allow enough time for everyone to contribute, present their ideas and agree proposals for action. I was impressed by this thoughtful, mature approach, and am sure we will see tangible results from it.”

Start-up recruitment manager Tim Phelps who, along with director of new center operations Jonathan Rhodes presented an introduction to new INTO partner Washington State University, had this to say: “DRIVE was a perfect platform from which to introduce new initiatives and bring everyone’s attention to exciting new prospects which are now opening up.”

“The conference was a great chance to meet up with colleagues from around the world. It was interesting to find out what challenges, changes and opportunities they face, and find ways to work together to tackle them,” added Simon Iley, senior UK project manager (China, Hong Kong & Macau).

Executive chairman John Latham, who chaired an innovation-focused workshop, was positive about the overall level of engagement among delegates. “DRIVE was a great success, in that it delivered a whole raft of action plans for exploring and putting into practice.

“I enjoyed bouncing new ideas around with colleagues from sales, marketing, regional offices and centres, and discussing how we might bring them to life. I didn't enjoy losing the go-karting race quite so much, but you can't have it all! Huge credit to the organisers of, and participants in, this exceptional event - I'm looking forward to seeing the results!” he said."

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Staff and students hatch great plans for Year of the Rooster

That all of our US centers and partners sure know how to celebrate was obvious from the range of events put on to mark the start of the Chinese New Year. Here are just a few examples of what went on in late January. Showtime in St. Louis Cultures and languages were exchanged during a fun evening featuring specially-composed songs and skits about the New Year, festive paper decorations and the traditional handing out of red envelopes containing good wishes for the year ahead. Laughter and conversation flowed as students from five different levels of Chinese courses, Chinese students from the ESL program, and friends attended, alongside instructors from Saint Louis University’s Languages, Literatures, & C… Read the full article
That all of our US centers and partners sure know how to celebrate was obvious from the range of events put on to mark the start of the Chinese New Year. Here are just a few examples of what went on in late January.

Showtime in St. Louis

Cultures and languages were exchanged during a fun evening featuring specially-composed songs and skits about the New Year, festive paper decorations and the traditional handing out of red envelopes containing good wishes for the year ahead.

Laughter and conversation flowed as students from five different levels of Chinese courses, Chinese students from the ESL program, and friends attended, alongside instructors from Saint Louis University’s Languages, Literatures, & Cultures department.

“The event was a great opportunity for both Chinese program students and Chinese students to find a language partner, learn about each other's culture, and celebrate the new year together,” said Maimaiti Minawaer, an adjunct instructor in the Languages, Literatures, & Cultures department.

The feasting aspect, meanwhile, was covered off during a special meal attended by nearly 400 people, organized by the SLU Chinese Student and Scholar Association (CSSA)

An estimated 450 people attended an event on campus, where food was ordered in from The Mandarin House Chinese restaurant in St. Louis, and entertainment was provided in the form of student and community performances.

“While studying in the US, Chinese students cannot celebrate the new year with their families,” said CSSA president Xin Fan, the president. “To explain the significance of this holiday with domestic students, we ask them to imagine not being able to spend Christmas with their family and friends.”

A taste of tradition at OSU

On China Night (Jan 27), the LaSells Stewart Center at Oregon State University was decorated with red lanterns and balloons by the student-led Chinese Association of OSU (CAOSU). “We hold this event to give people a feeling of home, and also there are a lot of people interested in Chinese culture, and this gives them a chance to experience it,” says Yipeng Song, co-president of CAOSU. 

Dancers and musicians from OSU and other universities came to perform in front of the around 800 people who came along. A meal was also provided by CAOSU and OSU kitchen staff, who worked together to create authentic Chinese dishes. “We wanted to let everyone try some real Chinese food,” said CAOSU treasurer Shuang Lin. The traditional Chinese dishes included eggplant with garlic sauce, Mongolian beef, grandmother’s style pork, and egg tarts. “This kind of event helps everyone understand Chinese culture,” said Lin.

Sweet music on Colorado campus

On January 21, 2017, at the Fort Collins Lincoln Center, the Confucius Institute at Colorado State University celebrated the Lunar New Year with traditional musical performances by artists from Southwest University School of Music (China) and the CSU School of Music.

A folk music ensample was followed by 12 performances of song and dance, including an impressive choreographed number from the CSU Dance, Music and Theater Department.

INTO CSU students also celebrated the start of Lunar New year in Alder Hall by making red envelopes called Hongbao, and filling them with candy to give to their classmates. As they worked, they discussed the traditions associated with the Lunar New Year and taught other students some phrases in Mandarin.

UAB goes China-crazy

In late January INTO UAB sponsored the weekly International Coffee Hour on The University of Alabama at Birmingham campus, by providing traditional Chinese food and decorations. More than 80 students, staff, faculty and community members came along to join in the fun and feasting.

“I really enjoyed being able to celebrate the Chinese New Year here at UAB,” said Jennifer Manandhar, INTO UAB Student Experience Coordinator. “One of our Orientation Leaders from China came up and hugged me when she saw I was wearing red in celebration of their New Year. It was a very special day and she was so appreciative that we were wanting to celebrate her culture!”

Students handed out small gifts and enjoyed socializing with a variety of people from different countries. “This was a good chance to have a chat with friends about the Chinese New Year,” said Graduate Pathway student, Xiaodi ‘Melody’ Shan. “My friends always enjoy hearing about the Chinese New Year and I also prepared some small Chinese gifts for them.”

Some INTO UAB students also attended small gatherings over the weekend and attended the 11th annual Chinese New Year Festival hosted by the Birmingham Chinese Festival Association. The event had traditional Chinese games, food, dance and music. UAB Campus Dining marked the Chinese New Year by laying on a dumpling bar, Chinese food and a paper lantern making station at the Commons on the Green dining hall during lunchtimes.

 

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China comes to INTO’s UK centres

Chinese New Year was celebrated in typically enthusiastic INTO style around our UK centres. Here is a flavour of the feasting and festivities that took place in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland. A capital way to mark the day In late January over 70 INTO City, University of London and INTO London World Education centre staff and students flocked to celebrate the dawning of the Year of the Rooster at the Middlesex Street building in the heart of London. Traditional Chinese foods on offer in the highly-decorated café area included dry-fried sweet and sour pork, Szechuan style chicken, stewed beef with potato, dry-fried French beans and dumplings. Tarikul Khandker, Accounting Officer from I… Read the full article
Chinese New Year was celebrated in typically enthusiastic INTO style around our UK centres. Here is a flavour of the feasting and festivities that took place in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

A capital way to mark the day

In late January over 70 INTO City, University of London and INTO London World Education centre staff and students flocked to celebrate the dawning of the Year of the Rooster at the Middlesex Street building in the heart of London.

Traditional Chinese foods on offer in the highly-decorated café area included dry-fried sweet and sour pork, Szechuan style chicken, stewed beef with potato, dry-fried French beans and dumplings. Tarikul Khandker, Accounting Officer from INTO London World Education Centre, added to the sense of occasion by dressing up as a rooster and strutting around as everyone lined up for their food!

Chinese language support officers Jenny Qui (INTO London World Education Centre) and Jun Cai (INTO City) organised the party with help from head of student services Amy Pu.  

‘Our Chinese NY celebrations were a huge success and the students really enjoyed themselves. We wanted to showcase Chinese culture to our diverse students. Students also had the opportunity to taste traditional Chinese food and experience our NY celebration customs,” said Jenny.

Zhengtai Gao who is studying the International Foundation in Accounting and Finance at INTO London World Education Centre, said: ‘The Chinese buffet in the centre is so nice! I love having Chinese food with my friends and celebrating Chinese New Year with my teachers also, it has been very fun!’.

The event raised £65 for INTO Giving through an optional donation added to the ticket price. For more photos of the event, please click here.

Three of the best in Scotland

INTO Glasgow Caledonian University organised three activities for students to bring in the Chinese New Year. First up was a ‘cash-dash,’ where social team members Alana Stewart and Ludmila Nhampulo hid red Chinese envelopes containing £1 notes around the INTO GCU centre for students to find.

Chinese Language Advisor Lisa Liu, and IELTS Administrator Laura Mcallister, then took a crowd of students to a local restaurant for lunch and a raffle during which two students won a Glen (the INTO GCU highland cow mascot). IELTS assistant Laura Mcallister, said: “It was a great day. Lunch was excellent and the students were very happy with their raffle prizes.” Then, in the evening, Lisa organized a special trip to see La La Land at a local cinema, which was very much appreciated by all.

Belfast gets in the spirit

Everyone was invited along to a party at INTO Queen’s University Belfast on January 27th. The event, which was organised by finance officer John Shum, included Chinese food and lantern-making and ended with the Money God greeting everyone and giving out ‘chocolate money’.

The University, meanwhile, celebrated with a Chinese lion dance throughout campus and a Chinese lunch, followed by a week of culture talks at the language centre. The city, too, got into the spirit by decorating Victoria Square shopping centres with Chinese lanterns and lighting.

And last, but not least was a Chinese Spring Festival Gala – a joint effort by the QUB Chinese Students and Scholars Association, the CSSA University of Ulster and the Mandarin Speakers Association, which featured dancing, singing, Chinese martial arts and Chinese folk music.

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Indonesian bank sponsors employee to earn MBA in the US

In Jakarta, Indonesia, Dedi Surya Wardana works as a manager at Bank Rakyat Indonesia and is a husband and father for his growing family. In Birmingham, Alabama, Dedi’s life looks a little different. As a student in the MBA Graduate Pathway program, Dedi now spends his time in class, studying, attending UAB Blazer basketball games and exploring Alabama on the weekends. “Studying in the United States has been great because I am able to basically melt into the culture here,” says Dedi. “In Indonesia you just speak English in class. Here I practice my English from ordering Starbucks to speaking with my professors.” When BRI offered i… Read the full article
In Jakarta, Indonesia, Dedi Surya Wardana works as a manager at Bank Rakyat Indonesia and is a husband and father for his growing family.

In Birmingham, Alabama, Dedi’s life looks a little different. As a student in the MBA Graduate Pathway program, Dedi now spends his time in class, studying, attending UAB Blazer basketball games and exploring Alabama on the weekends.

“Studying in the United States has been great because I am able to basically melt into the culture here,” says Dedi. “In Indonesia you just speak English in class. Here I practice my English from ordering Starbucks to speaking with my professors.”

When BRI offered its employees scholarships to attend an American university to study English and earn their MBAs, something they have done consistently since the 1980s, Dedi was one of 500 applicants for the 38 available openings. He hopes the advanced education will help him rise as a top manager within the bank when he returns home after his expected graduation in 2018.

While Dedi may be far from home, he’s got some familiar faces on campus. Joined by four of his BRI colleagues, the five Indonesian students represent the bank’s largest group sent to study at the same school in 2016.

“Having a group to live and study with has been helpful. We all now live in different apartments, but we lived together for six months after we moved to Alabama and now we are all both coworkers and friends,” says Dedi.

Four of the five students are managers for BRI and one is an auditor. The group has shared many experiences in Birmingham, from going on a group shopping trip for winter coats to watching college football, a popular pastime for Alabamians.

They also are helping each other study and prepare for their MBA classes, a program that Dedi has found challenging but feels prepared for due in part to his INTO UAB Pathway classes. “The teachers at INTO UAB are supportive and make sure we are prepared. We will be ready for the responsibility of going into the MBA degree program,” he says.

Dedi has taken advantage of all the additional resources INTO UAB offers including tutoring services, workshops and a free Business Research Certificate through the UAB Libraries. He’s found the program helpful so far, as it provides information on finding materials such as market and industry research and financial statements that are vital to business research. Not only will the certificate help him in classes, but he also will be able to put the credential on his résumé and LinkedIn profile and apply the skills in his career back home.

However, his final return trip to Indonesia will only be after Dedi has soaked up every experience possible. He’s checking items off his bucket list, from visiting the Florida coast and Disney World to attending an NBA Atlanta Hawks game. When asked about his favorite “southern comfort food,” a cuisine Alabama is famous for, Dedi doesn’t have to travel far from campus. “The fried chicken in the Commons is the best! I’ve also been to Cracker Barrel. I got some moon pies and games from the store there to take back to my kids in Indonesia.”

The most important item on his bucket list will be walking across the stage at UAB Graduation with diploma in hand. His father has been a source of inspiration for him, encouraging him to take this journey and see it through. “He is retired now, but he was a banker too. He makes me want to succeed here to be able to go back to Indonesia and be able to continue to help my bank grow.”

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INTO programme gives Uzbekistan teachers ‘essential tools’

INTO Glasgow Caledonian University, in collaboration with NILE - INTO’s teacher training and continuing professional development arm, recently provided an intensive two-week programme for 44 school teachers from Uzbekistan. The specialised, challenging teacher training study tour focused on the teaching of the English language, the ultimate aim being to provide the teachers with knowledge and tools for implementing in the classroom in their home country. The primary and secondary school teachers had been hand-selected by the Uzbek Ministry of Education from 20,000 entrants to an open entry competition.  The group had a hugely positive impact on the entire INTO GCU body of staff as they were so eager to learn as muc… Read the full article
INTO Glasgow Caledonian University, in collaboration with NILE - INTO’s teacher training and continuing professional development arm, recently provided an intensive two-week programme for 44 school teachers from Uzbekistan.

The specialised, challenging teacher training study tour focused on the teaching of the English language, the ultimate aim being to provide the teachers with knowledge and tools for implementing in the classroom in their home country.

The primary and secondary school teachers had been hand-selected by the Uzbek Ministry of Education from 20,000 entrants to an open entry competition.  The group had a hugely positive impact on the entire INTO GCU body of staff as they were so eager to learn as much as they could during their short stay in Scotland.

“This group was a delight to host – hard working, fully engaged with both INTO and GCU, and a credit to their Ministry of Education and their country,” said INTO GCU centre director, Ian Butchart.

As part of the programme, the group attended Glasgow Academy to observe primary and secondary school teachers and pupils in the classroom environment. The teachers were also invited to sit in on a variety lessons, talk with students and teachers, and attend a ‘Q and A’ session with the Glasgow Academy’s Director, Peter Brodie, during which the Scottish and Uzbek education systems were contrasted.

As this was the first time many of the teachers had travelled outside of Uzbekistan, a full schedule of social activities was also arranged. The teachers enjoyed trips to Scotland’s largest Loch, Loch Lomond, where they were taken on a boat and whiskey distillery tour, followed by a day trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s historically rich capital city.

Just before heading home, teacher Shokhzod Artikov, said: “It’s been hard to take it all in. Our time here has been so beneficial, but has passed by so fast. What an amazing opportunity this has been, and what an amazing time we have had in Glasgow.”

The trip was a great success – and everyone involved hopes is that it will be the first of many. “We are very much looking forward to continuing the relationship with the excellent representative of the Uzbekistan Ministry of Education, and will seek ways for GCU, Scotland’s most internationally minded university, to work together with them in the future,” said GCU pro-vice chancellor Jeanine Gregersen-Hermans.

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INTO partner’s royal appointment

In late January, Her Majesty the Queen arrived on the campus of INTO partner the University of East Anglia where she was given a tour of the Fiji Exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and met with current Fijian students at the UEA, including an INTO UEA alumnus, Jessica Fong. As part of the preparation for the Queen’s visit Neil Bullett, social and welfare officer, arranged for hand waving flags of current students countries to be available to enable the students to feel part of the royal visit to campus. With the help of the centre director, over 100 students were permitted to be excused from classes to line the route of the Queen’s arrival on campus to ensure the first students the Queen saw were from INTO UEA. INTO UEA student Vanessa Adaobi Mordi, who is from Nig… Read the full article
In late January, Her Majesty the Queen arrived on the campus of INTO partner the University of East Anglia where she was given a tour of the Fiji Exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and met with current Fijian students at the UEA, including an INTO UEA alumnus, Jessica Fong.

As part of the preparation for the Queen’s visit Neil Bullett, social and welfare officer, arranged for hand waving flags of current students countries to be available to enable the students to feel part of the royal visit to campus. With the help of the centre director, over 100 students were permitted to be excused from classes to line the route of the Queen’s arrival on campus to ensure the first students the Queen saw were from INTO UEA.

INTO UEA student Vanessa Adaobi Mordi, who is from Nigeria and is on the Foundation in Humanities and Law, was among the happy throng on campus. “I was extremely excited!” she said. “I did get to see the Queen. Only for a brief moment, but even so, it was a nice experience - just next time I hope I get to see her up close and that the experience will last more than 10 seconds!” Justin Chou from Singapore and studying on the Newton programme said: “it was my first time seeing the Queen and I am impressed she is at my university.”

Photo: Andi Sapey. Courtesy of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. To see more photos of the Royal visit, please click here

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