BUILA Conference

BUILA Annual Conference 2019

We are delighted that once again the BUILA Annual Conference proved to be such an enormous success; thank you for all your positive comments and excellent feedback. We would like to give our thanks to Queen's University Belfast for hosting us, to all our speakers, and sponsors and last, but most importantly, to all of you who took time out of your busy schedules to come and experience some excellent Northern Irish hospitality.

Under this year's theme ‘Navigating around Brexit, It’s full steam ahead!’, we had an impressive line-up of speakers looking at:

  • how our Japanese and Swedish counterparts’ internationalisation strategies compare with the new UK strategy and what the UK strategy means for international offices;
  • how taking a joined up approach can help you sustain and grow recruitment in difficult markets such as the USA;
  • how to approach the mature Japanese market and what the current and emerging opportunities are in the ASEAN region;
  • what the latest global trends are in social media and how universities can use these to connect with their potential students;
  • how universities need to engage better with major sources of quality student referrals, Counsellors & Advisors, and tips for how to do this;
  • what the latest developments are in the political and economic environment and how this might impact on international offices post-Brexit;
  • what the do's and don'ts are for TNE partnerships.

The Green Screen was an excellent addition to our Conference Dinner, resulting in some very ‘interesting’ Kate & Leo moments, and there were some show stealing performances on the dance floor encouraged by the brilliant and very interactive live band! Our thanks must go once again to DJG for getting us all in the mood at the drinks reception, which in the words of Dave Gardner helped to avoid that ‘sinking feeling’, our brilliant harpist from Ulster university, and Enroly for supporting the impressive dinner set around arguably the world’s most famous staircase! We are also grateful to IDP/Connect for supporting our drinks reception on the Wednesday evening, which once again proved to be a massive hit and got the Conference off to a very jolly networking start!

It was brilliant to see so many Directors at our Directors’ Forum for a very packed agenda; we were delighted that DIT & DFE could join us for discussions on the internationalisation strategy - they described the feedback from members as ‘gold dust’ and have asked us to create additional forums to continue the conversation. We were also pleased to be able to continue our relationship with EAIE, and to create new partnerships with other organisations that impact on the work of international such as QAA, English UK, NARIC and DE4. We will be coming back to Directors to follow up on the next phase of our new Manifesto, discussed on the day. Look out for more information on our China, Africa, India and New Middle East Regional Interest Groups, which will include a meeting in each country so we can engage with staff based there.

BUILA Conference Team 2019
Nancy Cooke, Mohsin Ramzan, Philippa Collins-Robson, Nanna Pedley