Jun 25 2019

Our International Student Recruitment team recently organised a series of three-day conferences in China that aimed to raise the profile of our College, increase the understanding of the College's offering, and grow relationships with our overseas agents. We caught up with Alejandro to discover more about the importance of this trip and the most unique location he has travelled to for work.


1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your role within the International Student Recruitment team?

I’m Head of the International Student Recruitment team and I’ve been working at Royal Holloway for two years. I am originally from Mexico but moved to the UK five years ago when I took a job at the University of Liverpool. I have been working in higher education for eight years in different institutions including the British Council. The thing I enjoy the most about my job is seeing how studying overseas can help international students in their careers and their personal life.

2. We understand that you recently flew out to China with the Principal, Dr Lucy Gill-Simmen, and other colleagues from International Student Recruitment for a series of conferences. What were the objectives of the conferences?

We have a large network of education agents in China that recruit students into Royal Holloway’s courses and we travelled there to host three agent conferences to train our agents on our course offering and admissions processes.

Nathan Whittaker is our Regional Manager for East Asia and he manages our agent network in China and he led on these events.

Lucy Gill-Simmen delivered a fantastic Marketing masterclass that provided the agents with a taste of the teaching quality at Royal Holloway, and enabled us to engage with this group in a different way than just delivering PowerPoint presentations.

It was great having the Principal with us meeting the agents and talking to them about life at Royal Holloway. The agents were very pleased to see the Principal at the events as they felt recognition for being part of our network of partners.

3. Who were the attendees at these conferences and why was it important for them to attend?

The events took place in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, and we were able to train 74 agent counsellors from 13 different companies. These were important events because we have to keep updating our agents on new courses and new developments at Royal Holloway so they can promote us better. Bringing 74 agents on to campus would be very costly hence we decided to host the events in China to be able to train as many agents as we could.

4. Why is it important that our College continues to increase its international visibility?

We have to increase our visibility overseas because the international student recruitment sector is highly competitive and we need to stay in the game. We must get our brand out there so international students and other partners know that Royal Holloway is a great institution to study or to partner with for the purpose of studying a degree or to do research. There are also high achieving international students that can contribute to the diversity of the institution and support our research and we must show them that Royal Holloway is an excellent choice for them.

5. What do you enjoy most about working at Royal Holloway and within the International Student Recruitment team?

I enjoy being able to work with different teams across the College including teams in Professional Services and Academic departments. It has been a pleasure working with some of my academic colleagues for the purpose of international student recruitment, being able to work together for the benefit of the College.

I am very happy to Head the International Student Recruitment team at Royal Holloway for many reasons, but the main one is having a very good team of experts that are passionate about what they do and work really hard to recruit our international students.

6. Where has been the most unique location you have visited whilst travelling and why?

The most unique location for me has been Dubai. It doesn’t sound very exciting or exotic but I was very surprised when I discovered that most of the international students in that country were European ex-pats or from other South Asian countries like India and Pakistan. I was expecting for the majority of the students to be Emirate but that was not the case.