The first annual ICEF Secondary Education was held in Long Beach, California from January 20 to 22. The event was an overwhelming success with exceedingly positive feedback from those in attendance.
The secondary education event is directed at international providers and student recruitment agents of secondary, boarding, high school, academic summer camp, foundation and junior programmes. In subsequent years, this event will be held around the world to showcase different regions and secondary education destinations. The 2021 event is scheduled for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the 2022 event will be in Europe with a precise location yet to be decided.
Markus Badde, CEO of ICEF, explained the intention of this event: “Due to the demand for foreign higher education qualifications, the market for secondary studies abroad has grown steadily over the past decade. Most major study destinations continue to report strong growth in enrolment for foreign diploma-seeking students. A number of our secondary education customers – providers as well as secondary focused agents – have been asking us for quite some time now to organise a specific ICEF event catering to this market.”
The inaugural ICEF Secondary Education welcomed 417 participants from 313 organisations. Of those in attendance, there were 147 education providers from 11 countries and 182 agents from 141 organisations across 37 countries.
Commenting on his experience, Evan Barnhart of Redwood Christian Middle School & High School said: “Apparently this was a first-time event for ICEF, but you would never have known it. I am continually impressed by the professionalism, and quality ICEF brings to the table. Quality agents, combined with an excellent venue, creates an opportunity for growth. As usual, well done.”
ICEF Secondary Education facilitated over 4 000 one-to-one business meetings. Rachel Fenton of Auckland Grammar School said: “I really liked the length of the one-to-one meetings. There was time to have a good chat and make notes to follow-up. It was great to have a high school agent-focused event for my sector, lots of new opportunities to explore further.”
Attendees took advantage of the 21 service providers in attendance. Arriving from five countries, the service providers offered a diverse range of information that was well received by the event participants.
The event provided participants with ample time to network outside of business meetings during a welcome reception, lunch, and coffee breaks. Attendees additionally enjoyed a formal dinner with a live band whose charismatic lead singer delivered an energetic night filled with great music and plenty of dancing.
An informative seminar programme included sessions on the emotional wellbeing of international students and a panel discussion comparing secondary education systems across the world. Other sessions reviewed the education markets in Canada and New Zealand. Suzanne Johansson, from the Ravenscourt School, in St. John’s particularly enjoyed a seminar directed to agents, saying: “The agent training and agent recognition seminar was very informative. I loved how thorough the training was for each market.”
The next ICEF Secondary Education will take place between January 20 and 22 in for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For more information, please go to: www.icef.com/events/icef-secondary-education