UKNARIC2018, Westminster, 7 and 8 November

Almost 600 people, from over 25 countries, attended the UKNARIC2018 conference in London on 7 and 8 November, making our 22nd annual conference the biggest-ever.

The conference took place at the QEII Centre in Westminster.

The overarching theme of the conference was Global Gateways – New Thresholds, New Skills, New Times.

In accord with this, keynote speaker, bestselling writer and journalist Tim Marshall, author of Prisoners of Geography, talked about how we are now in an ‘age of uncertainty and an age of walls’. It was against this backdrop that we had to consider issues of student and labour mobility

UK NARIC CEO Dr Cloud Bai-Yun said in her opening speech:

"The international situation is moving at a rapid pace and more than ever, we need to be mindful of the geopolitical situation as we plan our global activities and collaborations."

"Our overarching theme of Global Gateways – New Thresholds, New Skills, New Times is very relevant. We have skills gaps and productivity challenges, and the international movement of people and labour can help to address this. But the desire for management of that movement is growing. Innovative approaches to recognition of qualifications and skills can provide solutions to this policy dilemma – ensuring that the broadest range of skills can be recognised and harnessed, while simultaneously assuring that appropriate standards and thresholds are satisfied."

There were several interactive discussion and panel sessions throughout the conference, which addressed issues such as English language proficiency, transnational education, FE and the international market, and immigration compliance.

More than 40 specialist workshops took place to address the latest discussion points in international education, with lots of practical information and ideas to take away, and opportunities to explore and forge new partnerships.

Workshop speakers also covered a wide range of topics, such as Dr Danijela Trenkic of York University on the importance of English proficiency in learning and progression; Dr Thushari Welikala of St George’s University of London on understanding better how international students learn; Mr Olutise Adenipekun - West African Examinations Council Head of Nigeria National Office on cross-border education, Nancy Zhang, international project manager on the AIR Programme, the funded UK-China universities partnership scheme, lead a workshop in conjunction with the University of Central Lancashire; Lee Bartlett, head of partnerships and risk at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, spoke on compliance, and Geoff Gladding, the Department for International Trade’s head for education, spoke about the support that the Department can offer to UK educational institutions seeking to develop their international links.

UKNARIC2018 is grateful to our principal sponsors: ETS TOEFL; IELTS; Confucius International Education Group and our verification partner The DataFlow Group. Confucius International also kindly sponsored our evening networking reception.

The UKNARIC2018 digital mobility partner was Europass.

If you’ve been unable to join us at this year’s conference and have complimentary places included in your UK NARIC membership, speak to your account manager for access to workshop presentations.

Scenes from UKNARIC2018: