The British Council operation in Taiwan has a strong focus in Education promotion. The two Education Exhibitions the Council organizes in Taiwan (Oct and March) are the most important and biggest UK-related events of the year. Our exhibitions have now a high profile and are recognized as the best-organized and attended education promotion events in the island. Our last exhibition in Oct, for example, attracted 100 UK institutions and 31,000 visitors, which was a record-breaking number.
Usually, the Oct Exhibition is the biggest of the two, as it is held at the beginning of the recruitment year. The March exhibition usually serves as a follow-up to the October event. The exhibitions feature institutions from all the sectors of education (HE, EFL, FE and Secondary) and, in addition to the institutions being represented on the stands, we also run a number of activities, such as seminars and presentations, alumni forums, lucky draws, etc.
This time, alongside the Education UK Exhibition, The British Council will also be exhibiting Sound Design (March 2-17), an exhibition spanning 40 years of record and CD cover design from the UK. In addition, we will be holding a British DJ party with Room 18 on March 16 and launching a CD cover design competition in collaboration with The London Institute.
Both the Education UK Exhibition in Taipei and the Sound Design Exhibition will be held at the NY NY Department Store.
The Education UK Exhibition dates are March 9 and 10, Taipei; March 12, Kaohsiung; March 13 Taichung, and March 14 Hsinchu. The welcome reception was held March 8.
A private reception was held as a welcome party for all the UK institution representatives attending the Education Exhibition on March 8 evening. The theme of this particular reception was alumni. As well as the UK institution representatives, we will be inviting around 100 UK university graduates to join the event. The party will serve as the official launch of the UK Alumni Association in Taiwan. There will also be guests from local education agencies, local institutions and British Council staff.
Lord Sainsbury, UK Minister of Science, and Tom Buchanan, Deputy Director General of The British Council, were our guests of honor. After the welcome addresses, guests enjoyed a buffet dinner, accompanied by a live band and great company!
In all of our work, The British Council in Taiwan addresses UK alumni as a vital target audience. We currently run an Online Alumni Database for scholarship and privately funded students, which allows us to be in contact with over 2,500 alumni. We also maintain contact and cooperation with SUROCUK (Students Union of the Republic of China in the UK) and ensure that students returning to Taiwan thereby become part of our alumni network.
A conservative estimate of the number of UK alumni currently in Taiwan, counting only those who have spent a minimum of one year in the UK within the last decade, is 50,000. These provide an extremely valuable pool of ambassadors for UK programs and institutions in Taiwan.
This year we are intending to increase the number of activities for UK alumni through the launch of the UK Alumni Association in Taiwan.
Last January, for example, The British Council threw a very successful party for Taiwanese UK Universities Alumni. The party was held at the United Hotel in Taipei and over 120 Alumni from 40 different British Universities attended the event.