UK EdTech heads to China on first ministerial trade mission post-Brexit vote

  • 17 of the UK’s leading EdTech companies will be visiting Shanghai and Beijing next week on a ministerial mission organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and 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 £6obn spent per year – more than the entire UK education budget
  • UK education companies are experiencing an “unprecedented” interest from Chinese investors and educators alike, something that the sector is embracing

The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), which represents 325 UK-based education suppliers with combined revenues totalling £2.2 billion, today announced that it will be participating in a first-of-its-kind ministerial EdTech trade mission to China.

A total of 17 leading UK EdTech companies will be joining Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson MP and BESA on the mission, which is organised by the Department for International Trade.

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 for 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 Department for International Trade 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.”

The trade mission follows a BESA survey of 131 of its members that found that 45 per cent of education companies say that establish trade deals with China should be a priority for the UK government following the Brexit vote. You can download the full report here.


BESA’s directors and a wide range of members are available for comment. To discuss this story further, contact: Mark Rosser mark@besa.org.uk / +44(0)20 7537 4997

About BESA:

BESA, the British Educational Suppliers Association, is the trade association covering the entirety of the UK educational suppliers sector. It operates on a not-for-profit basis, and is accountable to an Executive Council that is elected by member companies.

It has an 80-year heritage serving the UK education sector, and represents over 300 educational suppliers in the UK, including manufacturers and distributors of equipment, materials, books, consumables, furniture, technology, ICT hardware and EdTech to the education market.

Working closely with UKTI Education, BESA helps take over a hundred companies overseas every year to a wide range of important export markets, from the US to Malaysia and China, providing intelligence briefings, logistical support and often substantial bursaries.

BESA has a Code of Practice to which all members must adhere, along with a stringent membership process, both of which assure schools of a high standard of quality.

For more information, visit: www.besa.org.uk