• Date: Thursday 21 September 2023
  • Time: 14.00 - 17.30 hours (GMT +7) *

14.30 – 16.30  Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam 
14.00 – 16.00    Myanmar 
15.30 – 17.30   Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan  
16.30 – 18.30   Japan, South Korea 
07.30 – 09.30  UK time 

This year’s British Council East Asia Counsellors Forum was held on Thursday 21 September and was hosted live from Bangkok. The hybrid event gave university guidance advisers valuable insights and resources to support students looking to enter UK universities in 2024 and beyond.

124 East Asian counsellors and 62 representatives from UK higher education institutions attended the forum both online and in-person. 

The forum covered topics including regional trends, UK education policies, student visas, and UCAS update for advisers. There was also a panel discussion led by BUILA executive and career counsellors from Victoria Shanghai Academy on how to develop practical strategies for successful student applications.

For counsellors who registered or attended the forum, please log into the British Council Agents and Counsellors Training and Engagement Hub to download the full summary report and gain free access to the UK university directory. 

For counsellors who missed the forum, you can sign up for the British Council Agents and Counsellors Training and Engagement Hub to learn more about the event and download the report. 

Should you wish to receive emails about our upcoming events, training opportunities, the latest updates from the British Council, do provide your contact details by filling in the online form here

British Council Agents and Counsellors Training and Engagement Hub
Newsletter sign-up form

A. Features of Event

Discover the power of student mobility data in East Asia

Gain a comprehensive understanding of regional trends, preferences, and challenges. Our expert speakers will delve into the intricacies of this dynamic landscape, equipping you with valuable knowledge on the evolving international education landscape.

Stay informed with the latest updates on UK education policies, student visas, and UCAS process

Staying up-to-date is crucial in today's ever-changing world. Our event offers a unique opportunity to stay informed about the latest updates on UK education policies, student visas, and the UCAS process. Gain exclusive insights from industry professionals, ensuring you have the most accurate and relevant information to guide your students towards their dream universities.

Bridging the gap to UK Study success - Empowering students for university preparation

As we approach the upcoming academic year, our event culminates in a roundtable discussion focused on supporting students applying to UK universities successfully in 2024. Engage in insightful conversations with university representatives and experienced career counsellors. Gain practical strategies, expert advice, and proven techniques to ensure your students' applications stand out from the crowd.

B. Timetable

Event schedule (tentative)

Time (Thailand time) Activity
14:00 Check-in for participants who attend the event in person from Bangkok and Jakarta 
14.30 – 15.30 Study UK Outlook in 2024


  Mapping East Asian student mobility to the UK: trends, priority subjects, skills gaps, and employment opportunities by The British Council 
  UCAS update – what you need to know by UCAS
  UK student Visas: statistics, process, and what the recent changes mean to international students by UKVI
15.30 – 15.40  Break 
15.40 – 16.30 Panel discussion: getting school-university collaborations off the ground - what are your needs?
  UK university admissions: strategies and support for counsellors by BUILA
  Post pandemic: What factors into students' choices? What do they need to succeed? by Victoria Shanghai Academy Hong Kong
16.30 – 17.30 Networking (for participants who attend the event in person from Bangkok and Jakarta only)

C. Guest Speakers

Jazreel Goh MBE
Country Director Malaysia
EA Education Insights Hub Director, British Council 
Jazreel joined British Council China in June 2004 where she led on the UK’s largest education marketing and partnership initiatives in mainland China. She has worked in various organisations in Malaysia, Australia, as well as Hong Kong in the areas of brand management, corporate planning and investment, international education consultancy, as well as in intellectual property licensing.

Lissapat Kraikruan
Visa outreach officer for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), British Embassy in Bangkok
Lissapat Kraikruan is responsible for overseeing the dissemination of visa information in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, as well as liaising with the private sector and education institutions across these countries. As a visa outreach officer, Lissapat aims to provide information while strengthening the effectiveness of visa operations and innovating new approaches to provide the optimum UKVI service for applicants.

Samantha Sykes
Customer Success Manager (Advisers)
Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS)

Sam has worked within Operations at UCAS for 7 years and leads who supports those advising applicants through the admissions process such as counsellors, teachers, and advisers. Sam is one of our UCAS’ experts in the customer journey and a regular host for many of the UCAS broadcast streams, from Facebook to Hub lives. She is a qualified teacher and prior to joining UCAS worked in UK secondary education.

Shonagh Maak 
International Recruitment Manager (South and South East Asia), University of Glasgow
Lead Agent Quality Framework, Co-opt, British Universities International Liaisons Association (BUILA)

Shonagh has worked with international students since 2008 in a variety of roles across Admissions. Student Services. Accommodation, International Recruitment and Partnerships. She is currently International Recruitment Manager (South and South East Asia) at the University of Glasgow where she leads a team of staff across Glasgow, India, Singapore and Indonesia to grow student enrollment and supports a diverse network of partners from the region. She also leads on the university’s overall agent engagement and management. Shonagh joined Glasgow in 2018 and previously worked at the University of Stirling and INTO Newcastle University. She has served as the Vice Chair of the Scottish Universities International Group and currently works with BUILA as the Co-Opt Lead for the Agent Quality Framework.

Rebecca Lucas-Timpany
Deputy Principal Student Support & University Counsellor
Victoria Shanghai Academy

Rebecca has been a university counsellor for a number of years at VSA and another school in Hong Kong. During the pandemic she moved to a wider role looking at student support across the areas of university counselling, social emotional counselling, and learning enhancements and support. She has an interest in learning across the lifespan.

Emily Benoit
Head of University and Careers Guidance
Victoria Shanghai Academy


Emily recently joined VSA as Head of University and Careers. Previously she worked at YK Pao School in Shanghai, a bilingual school offering IGCSE and the IBDP to majority mainland Chinese students. During her time at YK Pao, Emily helped support applicants who gained offers to Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, LSE, KCL, Imperial, Manchester, Edinburgh, St Andrews, and a range of other UK universities. Prior to moving to China, Emily worked for six years as an undergraduate admissions counsellor at the University of Chicago.

D. Become a British Council Counsellor

To support education advisers a better understanding of the UK education system, the British Council is pleased to announce the launch of a new, free, agent and counsellor training and engagement hub.

The hub represents every level of UK education and includes information on what international students will need to study at an English Language School, Independent School, College, or Higher Education Provider. It will provide a one stop shop for agents and counsellors to engage with the UK as a study destination as a whole.

Why should you sign up?

  • Free of charge: no registration fee, no recertification fee.
  • 100% online learning: content grouped in thematic areas, not by study level, total study time has been reduced by 25%.
  • Flexible learning: modules can be taken in any order, at any time. Experienced advisers can fast-track straight to the assessment – saving study time!
  • Online certificates generated immediately: upon successful completion. After passing an assessment and signing up to the Code of Ethical Practice, you can be listed as ‘certified’ UK study advisor on a public-facing website.

For more information, please visit our website by clicking here and join us today!