British Council launches revamped UK agent and counsellor engagement platform – hosts successful interactive briefing for UK study visa agents in Sri Lanka

the British Council in Sri Lanka hosted an interactive briefing
for UK education agents and school counsellors at the Movenpick Hotel in Colombo.
The well-attended event saw attendees being introduced to the newly revamped British
Council UK agent and counsellor engagement platform – The Hub -, with the opportunity
to also have any queries on the UK student mobility process clarified directly by visiting
senior UK Visa & Immigration officials.
In research conducted by the British Council, there has been a recorded 874.6%
upward surge (from 2019 to 2022) in students from Sri Lanka applying to pursue their
undergraduate or postgraduate study in the UK; with a 133.6% spike in student visa
applications from just the previous year alone. The study further revealed that while 10
years ago only 10% of applicants sought the assistance of an agent in the process, in
2022 the numbers rose to represent a significant 50%.
It is to cater to this increasing interest in the UK as a premier international study
destination, and in recognising the pivotal role study agents and school counsellors play
in student recruitment, that the British Council has re-launched The Hub; a one stop
platform providing everything agents and counsellors need in order to be able to
facilitate -both effectively and legitimately- their clients’ entry to the UK university of their
The Hub falls under the UK’s Education Agent Quality Assurance Framework, which
also provides members across the world with more unified and up-to-date
communications, good practice guidelines and a national code for ethical practice for
UK providers (the British Council, BUILA, UKCISA, and UUKI), as well as greater
accessibility to affordable training and certification for both junior and senior agents and
counsellors. More notably however, the framework offers both agents and counsellors
the opportunity to become a British Council certified agent through a free-of-charge
course and examination; a qualification that will have their names included in a global
database of accredited agents – a marker of excellence in the field.
At the interactive briefing, Divya Malhotra, Customer Account Manager – Education
(SASEA), and Tracy Mikeljohn, Entry Clearance Officer, from UK Visa & Immigration
presented to the audience in detail about the UK student visa application process, and also employed their insight to answer the numerous questions posed to them by the
“Our first UK agents and counsellors briefing was a huge success, with a far greater
demand than what we were prepared for,” said Hamzi Haniff, Education Programmes
Manager at the British Council in Sri Lanka. “We received extremely positive feedback
from the attendees as well, who feel they are now able to perform their roles as agents
more effectively and with greater clarity, and who are also convinced of the immense
professional benefits that come from signing up for the British Council certification
course on The Hub.”
“Last year UK VI granted 5,760 student visas to applicants from Sri Lanka alone,” said
Divya Malhotra, Customer Account Manager, Education from UK Visa & Immigration.
“We’re always grateful for the various initiatives taken by the British Council as a key
facilitator for UK study, and after this event, we’re encouraged also by the deep interest
study agents and school counsellors in Sri Lanka have expressed in understanding how
our processes work so as to serve their clients better.”

UK Visa & Immigration Entry Clearance Officer Tracy Mikeljohn and
Customer Account Manager – Education (SASEA) Divya Malhotra
UK Visa & Immigration Customer Account Manager – Education (SASEA) Divya Malhotra
UK Visa & Immigration Entry Clearance Officer Tracy Mikeljohn
British Council Sri Lanka Education Programmes Manager Hamzi Haniff
British Council Sri Lanka Education Programme Coordinator Deepthi Wijesinghe

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