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Maeve O'Leary

Times Higher Education (THE) and the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) have agreed a three-year strategic partnership to support thousands of students at British international schools around the world to get the best possible advice around university selection.

COBIS, as the designated THE global ambassador for British international schools, will reinforce THE’s commitment to support and drive-up standards in the global international school counselling community, and work with THE to promote the vital role of the university counsellor to school leadership teams.

THE, the world’s most trusted data provider to the higher education sector, will provide unique opportunities for COBIS member schools to participate in THE’s global counsellor-facing activities. They will get insights from THE’s extensive knowledge of global higher education to provide the best guidance to their students.

Partnership highlights include a dedicated COBIS members page on THE Counsellor and COBIS endorsing THE’s Counsellor Accreditation Programme (CAP) to counsellors at their schools.

THE’s CAP has seen more than 2,250 university guidance counsellors from international schools in 139 countries register to participate in the free 12-module course since its launch six months ago. CAP was developed in partnership with leadership training provider Common Purpose and is set to be the largest global accreditor of school counsellors in 2024.

Catalina Powell, THE Counsellor’s global director, said:

“We feel privileged to collaborate with COBIS, the most esteemed global network of British international schools, to leverage its unparalleled experience engaging with leadership teams across hundreds of schools to help ensure the counsellor’s voice is heard.”

“With the THE CAP, developed ‘for counsellors, by counsellors’, we are helping to build the world’s largest university guidance counsellor community. A key challenge counsellors tell us they face is ensuring that school leaders have a strong awareness of the activities they undertake, and the pivotal role they play in helping students make one of their biggest life decisions.”

As part of the partnership, THE and COBIS will leverage their extensive digital platforms to cross-promote counsellor activities, with COBIS becoming the official “Global Ambassador for British International Schools” on its THE Counsellor platform. The COBIS-THE partnership also includes webinars for COBIS member schools run by THE, alongside promoting counsellor job opportunities. There will also be the opportunity for COBIS counsellors to gain access to in-person events at a THE/BMI International Schools Forums & Workshops in Vietnam, Colombia, Dubai, Indonesia and Brazil, with more to be launched next year.

Colin Bell, COBIS CEO, said:

“I am delighted to share the news of our partnership with Times Higher Education. Partnerships such as this only serve to strengthen the education community, and this collaboration will benefit the ever-growing COBIS family of schools and beyond. This partnership further demonstrates our commitment to providing and signposting exceptional higher education and career pathway guidance. We are proud to support the vital work of school counsellors worldwide in their work to support students as they progress to higher education and into the world of work.”

THE has significantly increased its activities in the school counsellor arena this year including:

  • Hosting the largest global network of accredited international school counsellors that included the launch of THE/BMI Global International Schools Forum & Workshop, and saw more than 100 counsellors from 35 different countries coming to London to engage with 60+ global universities
  • Launching THE CAP (May)
  • Launching THE Counsellor (November) for anyone working at a school that is involved in supporting students on career and university selection