Scottish universities launch their own overseas campaign

Scottish universities have created a new body to promote themselves to the rest of the world separately from institutions in the rest of the UK

June 17, 2014

Connected Scotland was launched yesterday in Edinburgh following calls by the British Council Scotland for institutions north of the border to sell themselves overseas as distinct from English, Welsh and Northern Irish universities.

The announcement comes with fewer than 100 days to go before the referendum on Scottish independence. Some advocates of a “yes” vote in September believe that a fully independent Scottish government could better promote Scotland’s universities abroad.

Connected Scotland, which is comprised of the country’s 19 universities and other bodies including the British Council Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and the Edinburgh government, aims to help grow the value of university exports from £1.3 billion currently to £2 billion in 2017.

The vast majority of this export income is earned through international students coming to Scotland to study. But in 2012-13, the number of higher education students at UK institutions from outside the European Union fell by 1 per cent, the first fall on record, with some blaming tougher visa rules and negative government rhetoric on immigration.

The Scottish education secretary Michael Russell has attacked the coalition’s immigration policy as “xenophobic” and pledged to bring back scrapped post-study work visas for international students if Scotland wins independence.

The first priorities for Connected Scotland are to establish Scottish higher education “more prominently” in priority countries such as Brazil, China, Malaysia, Mexico and Columbia, according to a statement about the launch.

Universities are not only looking to attract more students from these countries but also set up research and knowledge exchange links too.

In 2013, a report by the British Council Scotland, A Strategic Analysis of the Scottish Higher Education Sector’s Distinctive Assets, argued that the country should do more to promote its universities as distinct from the rest of the UK.

Lloyd Anderson, director of British Council Scotland, said: “The Scottish higher education system has a number of distinctive characteristics, among which are four-year undergraduate degrees and particularly high levels of student satisfaction. The British Council’s advice to universities anywhere in the UK is to make the most of their assets.”

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Daniel Mitchell illustration (29 June 2017)

Academics who think they can do the work of professional staff better than professional staff themselves are not showing the kind of respect they expect from others

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Senior academics at Teesside University put at risk of redundancy as summer break gets under way

Tef, results, gold, silver, bronze, teaching excellence framework

The results of the 2017 teaching excellence framework in full. Find out which universities were awarded gold, silver or bronze