Wittenborg's Florian Oosterberg Attends ICEF in Japan & South Korea
Engaging the Japanese & South Korean education markets
Wittenborg family member and Student Registrar Florian Oosterberg recently got the chance to represent Wittenborg at ICEF’s (International Consultants for Education and Fairs) annual conferences in Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, South Korea. At the conferences, she was able to connect with key industry professionals within the Korean and Japanese higher education markets and touched base with other contacts from around the world. “I was there to represent Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences in order to make new connections with education consultants,” she explains. There was a “good, relaxed atmosphere, both among institutions as well as with education consultants,” recounts Oosterberg. “Both were equally nice,” she says of ICEF's Japan and Korean conferences.
ICEF is a global network that connects international education providers with student recruitment agents and facilitators from all over the world. The organisation hosts various events and workshops throughout the year, facilitating networking opportunities for professionals. The conferences provide a platform for education institutions to meet with education agents and counsellors and is designed to help international educators gain a better understanding of the local markets by establishing relationships within each given region. Recently, Wittenborg's Michael Sheppard attended ICEF in Mumbai, India, the world’s current largest source of international students, having recently surpassed China. It was the first ICEF to ever be held in South Asia.
At ICEF conferences, visitors get to attend seminars and workshops while networking with other industry professionals. The event, held each year in different locations around the world, is attended by a variety of education professionals, including language schools, universities, vocational schools, international education associations and, of course, business schools like Wittenborg.
Around 65 institutions were present at the Tokyo fair, with Wittenborg being the only Dutch school in attendance. “The majority were institutes from Australia, Canada and the USA, but there were also European institutes from Sweden and Austria, among others," Oosterberg notes. Meanwhile, the Seoul conference saw about 49 institutions, mostly from the same countries present in Tokyo. Similarly, there were no other Dutch schools aside from Wittenborg, likely due in part to the Dutch government's recommendation that public universities cease international recruitment efforts due to difficulties in securing housing for incoming students. As a private business school, Wittenborg is not subject to these constraints, and is able to successfully house all incoming students at its Dutch study locations.
Oosterberg also highlights that, “the Netherlands is an unfamiliar market for Japanese and Korean students, who traditionally go to Australia, Canada or the USA as a study destination. However,” she adds, “education consultants were pleasantly surprised by the smooth visa process and the fact that WUAS provides accommodation for the first period of studies. Additionally, they were quite interested in our new summer school programme which is launching this summer, 2023.”
by Olivia Nelson