We learn that the British Council have appointed a company to extend (or possibly expand) the Education UK brand. I don’t suppose we will see Education UK trainers or 3G phones, but I imagine we are condemned to see this wretched “brand” appearing in places where we might have hoped to avoid it.
Why so negative? Because Education UK is associated with failure, with lack of professionalism, with inadequacy, with poor planning and poorer implementation. It is the dysfunctional child of a shotgun marriage between Number 10 and the British Council that took place 10 years ago, and in those ten years it has pushed itself to the fore and advertised its failings to the world at large, to the detriment of the interests of British international education, and to a mixture of bewilderment and contempt in international students.
You think I exaggerate? Never mind the disastrous 8 years from 2002 to 2010. We now have a new Education UK site, if possible even worse than the old one. Visit Education UK yourself now, and imagine you are a parent looking for a suitable boarding school for your child. Try it. Boarding schools are invited to pay £1750.00 for this travesty. After you have tried that, give one good reason why the Education UK “brand” should be expanded, and let us all know. Now try looking for a degree course in Central England in Marine Biology. Now look for a Home Tuition course in English in Scotland. And so on.
They have cleaned up some of the misinformation, but about three months after opening the site, it still reads “As an international student in the UK you can work up to 20 hours a week in term-time.” That is true only if the visa was applied for before 3rd March this year. It is no longer true, and putting that statement on the home page of this site, which aspires to official status, is both sloppy and irresponsible. Seriously irresponsible when you consider how vital this factor is to so many students.
And now Tayburn, the design company, have been roped in to do what they can to make this sow’s ear look like a silk purse, and expand it. The attempt is as vain as it is wasteful. But then that is precisely what the brand is all about.