On the 21 and 22 August 2014 Higher Education Wales (HEW) and British Council Wales welcomed a delegation of ten US and Canadian Guidance Counsellor Associations to Wales. The visit saw the seven American and three Canadian representatives visiting London for a general introduction the UK higher education (HE) system before moving on to Cardiff and Swansea.
HEW invited all of the Welsh universities to take part in an information session on the Welsh universities. As well as a general introduction to Welsh HE given by Richard Thomas, Pro Vice Chancellor for International at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, this session saw presentations from Cardiff Metropolitan University on international student support in Wales and Aberystwyth University’s Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) on research excellence in Wales. The session also included some enthusiastic student testimonials given by two American students at Bangor University. Each university was given the opportunity to speak about their unique offer.
The Guidance Counsellors also took part in campus visits to Cardiff University and Swansea University and took in a musical performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Further networking took place in glorious sunshine over lunch at Cardiff Castle.
Feedback from the Counsellors has been very encouraging. It was clear that their knowledge of the UK HE system had been broadened significantly by the visit, and that they left with a positive image of Wales as a study destination. A similar visit is already envisaged for next year.