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Education UK web site update for Further Education institutions

29 January 2002

As you may be aware, the new Education UK web site (http://www.EducationUK.org/) is now available in its pre-launch testing version. This version of the site is intended to be a taster of what the full site will offer when it is formally launched in March of this year. You will see that it includes a database of courses, as well as articles, editorial and help on FAQs. The data comes from three main sources, the UCAS and CSU databases for HE course data, and the UfI LearnDirect database for all other post-secondary course data.

At the moment only HE providers and accredited EL organisations appear on the site. During the coming days, we will be creating zones for FE providers, Schools and Colleges, and professional bodies. We will then populate these zones with data drawn from the relevant sources. It is possible that your institution will appear in more than one zone, e.g. if you are a College of FE that is also an EiBA scheme member. Therefore, before the formal launch of the site, you will need to check that your institution appears on the site, and check the course entry listings for your institution. As the finished database will contain around 600,000 courses, we are expecting the occasional error or omission.

With this in mind, we are asking that you check your institutional entry and the relevant course data included on the site. If erroneous or incomplete data appears, please contact Sarah Popple at Hotcourses (sarah.popple@hotcourses.com) or Wesley Hackett at the British Council (wesley.hackett@britishcouncil.org).

Over the course of the next few weeks we will be continuing to work on the search functions for EL providers and Schools, the general search facilities and the navigation systems within the site. Obviously a most important task is the continuing process of ensuring that the course listings are both accurate and complete. Our longer term priorities will be the development of the on-line counselling functions, the enhancements of the on-line applications facility and the possible integration of telephone call centre technology into the site.

In order to clarify the scale and nature of the Education UK web site project, some background and context may be useful. The Prime Minister's Initiative (PMI), launched in June 1999, includes as a major objective the encouragement of more international students to undertake UK education and training programmes. In developing a brand and promotion campaign to extend the credentials of UK education and training, it was recognised that an increasingly key source of information for international students looking for overseas study opportunities was the Internet. The creation of an Education UK web site was therefore a very high priority.

After a rigorous selection procedure, the British Council entered into a contractual partnership with a consortium led by Hotcourses to develop the Education UK web site and associated databases. The other consortium members are UCAS, CSU and Yahoo!. The consortium's bid was selected both because of its impressive technical capabilities and also its ability to provide a database giving comprehensive coverage of UK education and training programmes. Data on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are drawn from UCAS and CSU respectively. In addition, Hotcourses collects data on all other post-secondary programmes through its contract with the University for Industry's (Ufi) LearnDirect web site. Additional data from ELT providers, independent schools and colleges has been sought directly from those institutions. When complete, the database will include over 600,000 courses.

We believe that when complete, the Education UK web site will be a valuable and effective tool for global promotions and one that will place the UK well ahead of its international competitors. I hope that you will find the time to look at this version of the site and feed your comments through to us.

Wesley Hackett, Electronic Marketing Manager

Page content managed by the ECS Web Manager.

© British Council 2002. The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for educational and cultural relations. Registered in England as a Charity.

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