Norwich University of the Arts

The value of international school students and how to connect with them.

Rhian John is an International Officer at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA).

NUA is a specialist arts institution in the United Kingdom with an academic community dedicated to study in the arts, design, architecture and media. It currently has international students from approximately 40 countries. Rhian talks about her work with international schools.

Why are international school students important to the university?

We consider students from international schools to be really important to us. They generally have a high level of academic achievement as well as valuable extra-curricular skills including great arts provision, which is particularly important to us. We see students from these schools as ‘global citizens’ who are open to the idea of studying abroad and collaborating with students from all over the world.

Working with international school college counsellors

I think the key to success in international schools lies in the relationship with the counsellor as they are the key contacts in the schools and will disseminate important information to their students. Many parents and students may not know many institutions outside of their home country and if they do know UK institutions it may be the ones with the highest rankings or most brand awareness abroad. The counsellor can help students understand the full range of options available and recommend the best fit for the institution. It is therefore our job to help counsellors understand what students will experience if they were to study at our University.

Engaging with international school college counsellors

We try to visit schools wherever possible; counsellors are usually well-prepared to accommodate school visits, as long as you give them enough notice. Counsellors are very busy and can be bombarded with requests for visits so, to other international officers, I would recommend being clear and concise in your communications with them.

We are a small team and are unable to visit the majority of the schools we’d like to, so we also keep in touch by sending marketing materials and sharing content that we think will be useful and informative to them via a regular newsletter. Current students or alumni are also a great resource – if you have a student who has studied at the school, see if they’d be willing to go in and speak on your behalf.

Are international school students focused only on the top ranked universities?

In general, that is not my experience. We have had many great applicants from international schools who see past rankings and try to find the best-fit university for them. International schools have students of all kinds of abilities who are looking for all kinds of disciplines to study. It does mean that international officers need to do research into each school to ensure they are targeting the right schools. We do this by using the filters available on ISC Online as a starting point and going from there (ISC Online is the ISC Research data and intelligence platform of the world’s English-medium international schools).

NUA international officers are often mentioned very positively by international school college counsellors. Why is that?

Thank you! I hope it’s because of our personal approach and we try to provide resources for counsellors that we think will benefit them and make their job easier.

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