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Big push to attract overseas students

Colleges have been told they must go further than just recruiting overseas students and arranging exchanges if they are to be truly international organisations.

Principals need to develop an international culture across the whole college if they are to reach the Government's goal of offering a "world-class education".

This is one of the themes of a Department for Education and Skills conference next week - Global Skills: World-Class Learning - organised by the Centre for Excellence in Leadership with The TES.

It follows the recent launch of phase two of the Prime Minister's Initiative for International Education, which aims to attract 100,000 more overseas students to study at UK colleges and universities.

The Government's international strategy, "Putting the World into World-Class Education" was launched 18 months ago. Its goals include equipping people for life in a global society and work in a global economy, engaging with international partners and boosting the contribution of education and training to overseas trade and inward investment.

The conference will explore how this strategy relates to domestic FE policies. It will examine what globalisation means for students and how colleges can take it on board given diminishing resources.

It aims to encourage colleges to adopt a more strategic approach to international work, and look at how this can be more closely linked to their local communities.

Jo Clough, director of international development with CEL, said: "How can we aspire to being world-class without taking into account the rest of the world?"

The conference will take place at Westminster Kingsway College, London, on June 14. It is organised by CEL with the DfES, The TES, the British Council, the Association of Colleges, UK Trade Investment, Lifelong Learning UK and the Learning and Skills Council.

The TES is also running the Make the Link campaign to encourage schools and colleges to build links overseas. See

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