UK edtech heads to China on ministerial trade mission


UK education companies are experiencing an “unprecedented” interest from Chinese investors and educators

Top edtech companies are visiting Shanghai and Beijing on a ministerial mission organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), to visit a wide range of Chinese investors, officials and educators.

Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson MP, will be joining the delegation prior to his appearance at the Pujiang Innovation Forum.

The market for Chinese edtech is substantial, with an estimated £6o billion spent per year, more than the entire UK education budget. Meanwhile, UK education companies are experiencing an “unprecedented” interest from Chinese investors and educators alike, something that the sector is embracing.

BESA, which represents 325 UK-based education suppliers with combined revenues totalling £2.2 billion, is accompanying a total of 17 leading UK edtech companies to China. The edtech delegation includes: 2Simple, BBC Learning English, Bowater Holographics, Data Harvest, Educate, English Up, GL Education, Global Vocational Skills, Little Bridge, Prospects, ScienceScope, TeachPitch, The Exp Group, Titus Learning, uTalk, WCBS and Zzish.

Patrick Hayes, director of BESA said: “If you are looking of evidence of UK government working with industry to forge new trade relations following the Brexit vote, look no further than this edtech trade mission to China.

“The consultative approach being taken by the newly established DIT is widely welcomed by the education suppliers industry in the UK. We are confident that the hard work that has gone into the organisation of this edtech mission over the summer months will bear fruit in terms of increased UK exports, and foreign investment into UK edtech companies. The interest in UK edtech by China over recent months is unprecedented, and this mission is an important step towards maximising the opportunity for UK education suppliers,” Hayes concluded.

The trade mission follows a BESA survey of 131 of its members that found that 45% of education companies say that establish trade deals with China should be a priority for the UK government following the Brexit vote.


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