British Council Kenya held an IELTS agents business to business partnership workshop and networking event on 20th March 2018. The event brought together diverse agents from all over Kenya, who provide IELTS services to prospective students and people who seek to travel to the UK, Australia, USA, Canada and New Zealand for immigration or study purposes. 57 agents from 34 different organisations attended the event. The bulk of the agents came from the capital city Nairobi, while others came from Eldoret - the second most important city in western Kenya after Kisumu and the capital of Uasin Gishu County. It is the fifth largest urban centre in the country. Eldoret has recorded the 2nd largest volume of IELTS registrations for the British Council in the last 2 years.
In attendance at the event was the British Council Kenya Country Director Tony Reilly, the Director of Examinations for Sub Saharan Africa Nick Godfrey, and Dominic Hudson the Regional Exams Marketing and Business Development Manager as well as staff members from the Exams , Customer Service and Professional Training Departments.
The British Council Director, took the guests through the main areas of operation of the British Council, and touched on the synergies that exist between the different British Council products. In particular, the relationship between the Next Gen programme which is part of British Council’s commitment to understand youth attitudes and aspirations, amplify the youth voice and support better youth policy-making. The program is important in seeking to listen to and engage with the young population as they will become the next generation of influencers, leaders and shapers of their respective countries. Because the agents deal with mainly the youth, British Council programmes like these can be of interest to them and to the public they serve.
Nick Godfrey, the Director Examinations SSA, talked predominantly about the IELTS Exam. Aside from it being the world’s most popular English language test, he touched on the multiple uses for IELTS: immigration, spouse visa, work and higher education. Dominic Hudson, the Regional Exams Marketing and Business Development Manager took the agents through the upcoming support areas that British Council seeks to implement, as we improve our engagement with them. These include support services, events, co-branding, endorsement and an online registration system specifically designed for agents. What elicited the most reaction however was the proposed agents’ commission system, which would see British Council appreciate them for their input in getting IELTS registrations.
- The turnout for the event was very encouraging. 57 agents in total from 34 different organisations attended the event. The bulk of the agents came from Nairobi, and others were also from Eldoret.
- Representation from 3 of the largest agencies based in Eldoret. They travelled 8 hours to attend the event. Eldoret town has been bringing in the 2nd largest volume of IELTS registrations for the last 2 years. These agencies that were represented are : Shilex Consultancy – Eldoret, Brecy Education- Eldoret and Let’s Migrate Australia - Eldoret Office. One of the largest agencies – Visa Info did not send a representative, though in the last event they were represented.
- Adequate branding of British Council products in the main conference hall and in the networking lobby: Our main branded product was IELTS – however we also took the opportunity to promote our IELTS preparation classes, and our Professional development Courses.
- Regional representation: These were the Director of Examinations for Sub Saharan Africa , the Regional Exams Marketing and the Business Development Manager , gave the event much needed clout as well as giving a global perspective to some of the questions asked by the agents