2016 BBA Winner Profile: UK-Japan Partnership - British Council and JAOS

Dec. 6, 2016


Ninth annual British Business Awards (BBA) ceremony held on November 11 2016 at Hilton Tokyo |  British Council & Japan Association of Overseas Studies receive UK-Japan Partnership award

The BCCJ extends its warmest congratulations to the British Council and JAOS for winning the 2016 BBA UK-Japan Partnership Award!

The British Council-JAOS partnership was recognised for launching the ‘Summer Study in the UK Programme’ for Japanese Senior High School students in 2016 to forge new links between Japanese agents and UK English language schools with a view to growing the market and helping young people realise their potential through education opportunities.

Matt Burney, Director of the British Council, who together with Masaru Yamada, Chairman of Japan Association of Overseas Studies (JAOS) won the UK-Japan Partnership trophy said:

"The exchange of friendly knowledge and understanding between young people in both the UK and Japan is more important than ever. Working with organisations such as JAOS enables us to create more educational opportunities for young people in both countries to help them realise their potential and be the best they can be. I firmly believe that it is the cultural and education relationships that exist between the UK and Japan that provide a strong foundation for the trade, commerce, political and other relationships to thrive."

A key challenge for the partnership was how an organisation like the British Council and private companies such as agents could work together to achieve mutual benefits as they can have different, sometimes conflicting, values.

For example, it was important for the British Council to embrace fairness and geographical diversity when promoting English language schools across the UK while agents might wish to prioritise marketability for customers and focus on a number of popular destinations within the UK.

This challenge was overcome by acknowledging the differences in organisation perspectives rather than overlooking them, and it was JAOS, one of the leading associations of agents, who played a significant role in ensuring that preferences from both sides were taken into account.

Through this partnership, 6 new courses were established between UK English language schools and Japanese agents. As a result, 39 senior high school students went to the UK during the summer vacation. In addition, through joint efforts in promoting these courses in the Japan market, the dedicated website attracted more than 8,000 unique visitors during the three-month campaign which has had a positive knock-on effect in raising profile for the UK English language teaching sector and has significantly contributed to the growing numbers of students going to the UK for the purposes of English language study. In terms of student hours taught, Japan is now in the top 10 global markets for the UK's English language teaching sector.

While the importance of the UK English language teaching sector for the UK economy cannot be overestimated, the sector has recently faced challenges due to emerging global competitors and growing perceptions of security risks in Europe.

The Summer Study campaign delivered through this partnership helped the UK English-language-teaching sector to raise its profile amongst Japanese young learners, their parents and schools, and contributed to maintaining the market share in this increasingly competitive market. For Japan, the partnership contributed significantly to the growth of study abroad amongst senior high school students - a key area of reform for the current Japanese government.

Read more about the British Council in Japan HERE

All photos by Anthony Tran at Life14

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