01 Aug 2012

Olympians and Pilot of World’s Fastest Car Join Forces at Showcase for Best of British Education

Inspiring the next generation will be the theme at the British Business Embassy today as 120 UK and international delegates will explore how sport, science and technology can be used to inspire young people to further study.

The event will showcase the best of British education to the world, promoting international collaboration and increased trade in ideas and services.

Steve Cram, former world record holder and Olympic silver medallist, and Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell will speak on how sport can inspire young people to stay in education. They will be joined by Wing Commander Andy Green, the pilot of world’s fastest car, the Bloodhound SSC, which is used to encourage schoolchildren to study science and technology. Other speakers include Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Adviser from Pearson, Professor Geoff Petts, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Westminster and Rajay Naik, Director of Government and External Affairs at The Open University.

Rajay Naik, Director of Government and External Affairs, The Open University said, ‘The Olympic Games are a wonderful celebration of all that is great about Britain. It is crucial that during these weeks we present the very best of our sport, culture, commerce and people. As the nation’s largest university, which is admired around the world, The Open University is delighted to be playing a major role in the British Business Embassy. We are proud of how we apply new technologies to expand access to and raise the quality of education – from our much-loved BBC co-productions to exceptional online content. This contributes to one of the best higher education systems on the planet; The OU looks forward to playing its role in expounding this to the world over the course of this great British summer.”

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said, "The UK's education and skills sectors have a world class reputation. Britain is home to leading universities, excellent vocational education and world-renowned schools”.
“The Global Business Summit on Education will provide a unique platform for educators from across Britain and around the world to discuss global education challenges and do business with each other. It will provide a powerful showcase for our education sector and its increasing importance in today's highly competitive internationalised economy."

Minister for Trade & Investment Lord Green said, “The UK’s education sector generates over £14 billion in exports annually and is respected around the world as a global innovator. New partnerships forged today will not just generate new business, but help shape the high-tech skills we need to drive progress and fuel growth.”

Jim Wynn, Chief Education Officer of Promethean, a Lancashire firm which makes interactive tools, displays and systems for use in classrooms, said,“The British Business Embassy Education day will be a great opportunity to showcase over 40 years of education technology innovation. Promethean, a UK company working in 108 countries worldwide, is very proud to be associated with this event.”

UK-international business
International business announced today includes:
The New College Nottingham International Lifestyles Academy (NILA), a collaboration between New College Nottingham (a UK Further Education College) and the Batra Group, will be opened in New Delhi in September. The Academy will deliver higher level vocational education for up to 1,000 students and will be the first of its kind in India. It will focus on the delivery of a lifestyles curriculum and advanced English and teacher training qualifications. It is hoped through Batra Group's large portfolio, businesses will also provide practical experience and enable progression routes for learners. The intention is to replicate this model across India to cover different vocational strands. The project is expected to create over 50 new jobs in the first academy in India.
The University of Salford will officially launch Salford Professional Development, a subsidiary company wholly owned by the University, providing high-quality, research-informed training and professional development courses in Britain and overseas using state-of-the-art facilities. The company aims to secure contracts with an estimated value of £5 million. Ten new jobs will be created in the company and an estimated 300 jobs created across the North West through the economic benefits generated by enhancing workers’ skills and productivity.

Notes to editors

1. The programme for all British Business Embassy events is at Watch all British Business Embassy sessions live Follow events live on Twitter @BritBizClub and join the conversation using hashtag #BritBizEmbassy."
2. The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.' It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011.

For more information on UKTI, visit or visit the online newsroom at

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