In late October 2015, the University of Sheffield’s Online Learning Team was delighted to host a delegation of South Korean MOOC enthusiasts as part of the British Council Korea’s GREAT Britain competition, a public engagement programme designed to showcase UK higher education in Korea.
The delegation were selected as part of a national competition where entrants were invited to submit their idea for a MOOC, with the winners travelling to the UK for a whirlwind tour of institutions that partner with FutureLearn to produce MOOCs. Other stops included the National Film and Television School, the University of Glasgow, King’s College London and the British Library. The competition winners blogged extensively to share their experiences with prospective students back home via the Education UK website and a dedicated British Council blog.
Arriving in Sheffield on a crisp autumnal evening, the competition winners Junha Kim, Jung In Lee, Young In Choi, Sae In Lee along with Hanna Shin from the British Council were met by Chris Black and Anna Symington from the University’s Online Learning Team. We were joined by members of the university’s Korean Society for a welcome dinner at Piccolino in the Peace Gardens. Cue lots of excited conversation around the dinner table about Sheffield’s vibrant international student life and wider cultural heritage, and of course photo opportunities against the backdrop of the Town Hall fountains.
The following morning the delegation were greeted over breakfast by the Academic Lead for the Online Learning project, Professor Marie Kinsey, before taking a tour of the campus expertly guided by South Korean Student Ambassador Yoon Young Cho. Highlights were Firth Court and Weston Park, riding the Paternoster lift in the Arts Tower (taking in the stunning views from the top floor) and visiting the state of the art facilities on offer in the newly opened Diamond. Time to smile and say “kimchi” for another photo op.
The competition winners were given a guided tour of the Alfred Denny Museum of Zoology by Professor Tim Birkhead, and met with Harriet Holman, Project Manager for epiGenesys, a student run software development company. A farewell lunch at Interval Cafe with the Korean Society capped off the visit (everyone had the enchiladas – top tip) before a race down to the train station to journey onward to Glasgow.
It was a real pleasure to meet four young people with such an enthusiasm for education and a desire to see GREAT Britain and to be able to showcase what the university has to offer to international students. We were absolutely delighted to hear how much our visitors enjoyed Sheffield.
The GREAT Britain campaign showcases the best of what the UK has to offer to inspire the world and encourage people to visit, do business, invest and study in the UK. It is the Government’s most ambitious international promotional campaign ever, uniting the efforts of the public and private sector to generate jobs and growth for Britain.