Dudley College

WM-casestudy_Dudley_CollegeSector: Education

Location: Dudley, Black Country

International Trade Adviser: Liz Blackford

DIT services used: Overseas Market Introduction Service, Tradeshow Access Programme

Snapshot – impact of DIT support

  • New staff taken on
  • Support winning international contracts


The business challenge

Six years ago due to changes with visa requirements and the international student market, international work began to decrease. A new international manager was put in place at the College who introduced a new team to pursue in-country development work, which included sending experts to deliver the training overseas in a consultancy model. Matthew Cadden-Hyde, International Operations Manager, explains the College hoped “to achieve genuine change and build long-lasting partnerships in international markets.”

How DIT has helped

Cadden-Hyde describes the College’s initial work as a “scattergun approach”, but with DIT support identified key markets, finding that “DIT know people we don’t, they can open doors we can’t and having DIT available to call on is very helpful.” The Middle East has been a huge success story for the College, with work to transform the Yemeni vocational sector raising its profile. Excellent relationships have also been built with Saudi Arabia, with the College helping to improve its college management systems. Cadden-Hyde found that “DIT were instrumental when we were going after the big bids in Saudi Arabia in getting ministerial support and access to UKEF.”

Contracts have been successfully won around the world, including in India and DIT has helped to investigate opportunities on visits to key markets. The College’s Vice Principal for International, Sanjeev Ohri, has found sustainable relationships come from multiple overseas visits, benefiting from DIT’s “contacts and experience in a lot of different markets; they can stand up and say we are representing the UK and industry and I think that’s a valuable thing for vocational training.”

The College is targeting new markets, with South Africa and emerging European markets on the horizon. Dudley College’s Principal, Lowell Williams, describes having an international component to educational institutions as key to growth because “we’re living in a globalised economy and a globalised world. Over the last five years we have gone from being very small internationally to being one of the biggest international colleges in the country.”