The British Council Pakistan International Education Services (IES) team organised the first-ever South Asia Agents and Counsellors’ Symposium from 6 to 8 July 2021.

The Symposium provided an exclusive opportunity to UK higher education institutions (HEIs) to directly engage with agents and counsellors from across South Asia through professional development workshops, plenary sessions by experts, and networking opportunities. The Symposium received 1,670 registrations from agents and counsellors from across South Asia. 4,620 people attended sessions over three days with each session receiving an average of 280 participants.

13 UK HEIs joined the Symposium including 6 Russell Group universities. These UK Universities provided twelve-hour long sessions on various topics of professional development for the agents and counsellors. These workshops featured twenty guest speakers from the participating UK universities. The themes of these workshops were: counselling students during Covid-19, scholarships, aptitude tests, personal statements, letters of recommendation, counselling for PG students, English language requirements at UK HEIs, studying in Scotland, etc. Each day of the event concluded with exclusive networking sessions between the agents and counsellors and UK HEIs.

Besides engaging the UK HEIs, the symposium brought together key stakeholders in the UK to provide consolidated and holistic messaging and communications around the latest policies and regulations in the UK. Five exclusive plenary sessions were led by UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI), UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), British Universities' International Liaison Association (BUILA), and British Council country and global teams.

These sessions provided the audience with updated information on applying, studying, travelling, and living in the UK. The opening and closing plenaries were moderated and hosted by the Study UK team in Pakistan. Salvador Lopez, Director Education, South Asia, British Council, formally opened the event by welcoming the participating UK universities, other UK partners and the audience.

The British Council will offer a range of activities this year across the region that will support agents and counsellors with strategic engagements, to recruit students, build sustainable partnerships and develop market intelligence.