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Maeve O'Leary

Professor Sir Steve Smith accepts a prestigious role to promote UK education.

The British Government has announced that Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter will be taking on the role of International Education Champion, a role created as part of the International Education Strategy, which was published by the Department for Education and the Department for International Trade in March 2019.

As International Education Champion, Professor Smith will promote UK education as the provider of choice. He will be working with organisations within the education sector, addressing opportunities and challenges to market growth. His vast global connections and experience will be an asset as he targets key regions around the world, creates networks and works with internaitonal government bodies and stakeholders. Two key parts of his role are to increase the number of international students studying in the UK to 600,000, and to increase the value of education exports to £35 billion by 2030.

Professor Smith said "I am delighted to accept this role working with the UK government as International Education Champion at a critical time for the sector and with new opportunities to attract international students and make new connections around the globe.

UK education is outstanding and my focus will be on promoting the whole sector from early years, primary and secondary education, further and higher education and the skills we can uniquely offer. Educational exports and international students contribute billions to our economy and enrich our society in so many different ways. I am truly excited by the prospect to enhance education here and across the world."

Our CEO, Colin Bell, who represents British international schools, educational suppliers and UK independent schools on the Department for International Trade's, Ministerially Chaired, Education Advisory Group has said "We are delighted with the appointment of Sir Steve Smith as the International Education Champion to represent UK international schools and all the elements of the highly globally respected UK international education sector overseas. We have a shared commitment and unfaltering pride and ambition for the British education sector in the UK and overseas".

Colin Bell and Professor Smith have already exchanged positive correspondence and are due to hold their first virtual meeting in the near future.

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