Sunderland College has welcomed a new director of international development to grow its brand in the global marketplace.
Janette Donjon has been appointed to the newly-created role within the commercial development team in order to increase the college’s international student body as well as to cultivate provision overseas.
With a strong background in further education and international development, Janette’s previous experience includes five years at The Sheffield College as head of international and 20 years at TyneMet College where her roles included director of sixth form and head of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) and Business Languages.
Janette, who is originally from the North East and lives in Whitley Bay, said: “I am delighted to return home after five years working outside of the region. One of the things that attracted me to this role is the college’s investment in international development and its commitment to growing this strand of provision.
“One of my major priorities is to attract international students to the college by developing a range of programmes to suit the requirements of foreign students, for example growing our English Language provision and building on our successful IELTS (International English Language Testing System) course.”
Janette and her team will also be focusing on delivering transnational programmes. The college already delivers courses with its partner organisations in Malaysia and Inner Mongolia, and is looking to other key regions in South America and Asia where there is potential for growth.
“The fastest growing market in international education is transnational – and it is our intention to be part of this market,” added Janette. “We are going to build on the good relationships which have been developed with overseas partners and build up a solid network of overseas agents in order to develop further transnational programmes.”
In addition to these priorities, the international team will be looking to expand its highly successful annual summer school, which welcomes dozens of students from a partner school in China, by relaunching it as a multi-national event.
Janette, who is a director on the Enterprises Board of English UK, the world’s leading language teaching association, and is vice chair of the Association of College’s Latin America Group, will be working with other key partners in Sunderland, through the city’s International Strategy Steering Group, to boost engagement on an international scale.
She added: “The region as a whole has been very proactive in international development, and it has put itself on the map by providing an alternative area to London for investment in education. Sunderland College has an excellent track record for its contribution to the local economy, and this is something we want to increase further via international recruitment.
“It is a very exciting time for the college following the creation of our state-of-the-art Sports and Arts Academies and the current development of City Campus, our £29million flagship professional and technical campus in the city centre. The facilities and programmes we have at the college will be a major draw for students and this is something we want to capitalise on. Sunderland is a vibrant city with a lot to offer both home and international students, and we want to play our part in promoting this on the world stage.”
Iain Nixon, executive director of commercial activity, said: “Janette brings a wealth of expertise to the college and we are delighted to welcome her on board.
“In this challenging financial climate, particularly within the FE sector, it is vital for the college to find alternative options for income generation and developing a strong international brand and strategy is an integral part of this.”
For more information about Sunderland College’s international provision, click here.